Wednesday 13 July 2011

Goodbye to John Sweet

I am very grateful, as I so often am, to Jonathan Calder's blog.  This time for the sad news that Sergeant John Sweet has died at the age of 95:

John Sweet, as fans of Powell and Pressburger films will know, was the American army sergeant who played the role of Bob Johnson in their wartime classic The Canterbury Tale.  Like Jonathan, it is one of my favourite films.  It manages to combine an amazing Chaucerian simplicity with a sense of such depth and feeling that I am never absolutely sure what the film is trying to tell me.  I only know that it is about England and it makes me feel good.

Sweet was spotted at an amateur dramatic performance, roped into doing the film while he worked at SHAEF headquarters on the D-Day plans, but never acted again after he went back to America.  It is an absolutely beautiful film and I thoroughly recommend it.

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