The first time I saw the names Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger was in the opening credits to their 1945 film I Know Where I’m Going, which I had picked up from the library on a whim. That film (known as “ikwig” to its legion of fans) was such a gem—gorgeous chiaroscuro cinematography, an excellent script, a perfect setting (northern Scotland) and cast (Wendy Hiller and Roger Livesey in the central roles)—that I became an instant evangelist for it, insisting to family and friends that they “really must watch it!” Later I learned what I should have known already, that Powell and Pressburger were responsible for a significant number of British films made during the 1940s, including The Red Shoes (1948) and The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943), considered by film buffs to be among the true classics of modern cinema. Criterion has just released a beautifully restored two-dvd edition of Powell and Pressburger’s A Canterbury Tale (1944), which tells the story of a British soldier, an American soldier and a “land girl,” who meet by chance in a small village not far from Canterbury. The main characters find themselves drawn to Canterbury’s cathedral, each for different reasons, and as they make their personal pilgrimages, they follow paths travelled by centuries’ worth of pilgrims before them. A Canterbury Tale was not a success when first released—one element, a mysterious nocturnal prowler who pours glue on the hair of local women, was particularly singled out for criticism—but the film has had better luck in recent years, resonating with modern audiences who find deeper significance in the film’s main theme: the historic past that always haunts the English countryside.