The Decameron (1971)
"Il Decameron" (original title)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, History  |  1971 (France)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 6,464 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 52 critic

An adaptation of nine stories from Boccaccio's "Decameron".


(novel) (as G. Boccaccio) ,
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jovan Jovanovic ...
Rustico (scenes deleted)
Masetto of Lamporecchio
Angela Luce ...
Giuseppe Zigaina ...
Maria Gabriella Maione ...
(as Gabriella Frankel)
Vincenzo Cristo
Allievo di Giotto (as P.P. Pasolini)
Giorgio Iovine
Salvatore Bilardo
Vincenzo Ferrigno ...
Luigi Seraponte
Antonio Diddio
Mirella Catanesi


An adaptation of nine stories from Bocaccio's "Decameron": A young man from Perugia is swindled twice in Naples, but ends up rich; a man poses as a deaf-mute in a convent of curious nuns; a woman must hide her lover when her husband comes home early; a scoundrel fools a priest on his deathbed; three brothers take revenge on their sister's lover; a young girl sleeps on the roof to meet her boyfriend at night; a group of painters wait for inspiration; a crafty priest attempts to seduce his friend's wife; and two friends make a pact to find out what happen= s after death. Pasolini is up to his old tricks satirizing the Church, and throwing in liberal doses of life and love. Written by Philip Brubaker <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Pasolini - Sacred and Profane See more »


Comedy | Drama | History

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sensuality, and for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

1971 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Decameron  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The first film in Pier Paolo Pasolini's "Trilogy of Life", continuing with The Canterbury Tales (1972) and concluding with Arabian Nights (1974). See more »


When Caterina sleeps with Riccardo, a tan line left by a bikini top can be seen on her back. However the bikini was not in use in 14th century Italy. Riccardo's body also shows tan lines left by wearing a pair of bathing trunks. Tan lines are also visible on the sinners cast into Hell in the dream sequence. See more »


Allievo di Giotto: Why create a work of art when dreaming about it is so much sweeter?
See more »


Followed by Arabian Nights (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

The pleasures of fornication
6 March 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

During the years immediately preceding the spellbinding horrors of his swansong "Salo", Pasolini created a trilogy of bawdy romps based on "The Decameron", "The Canterbury Tales" and "The Arabian Nights". They are conceived very much in the same vein as the earlier "Gospel According to Saint Matthew" with the accent on realism rather than stylisation. Thus the ancient buildings and open landscapes often teem with crowds of people. The subject matter is of course very different, but what fun it all is! "The Decameron" is, to my mind, the most original of the three. It seems almost to be without form. Stories start and end abruptly, as if, having milked a tale of its naughtiness, the director is anxious to get on with another without the delay of a preamble. What I like most about the film is the sheer happiness of so many of the characters. Although some suffer embarrassing discomfort (the buffoon who falls up to his neck into a privy), most have a highly enjoyable old time; the young convent gardener for instance who, feigning deaf and dumbness, has it off with a procession of nuns, who in turn register the joy of having witnessed "a miracle" when he eventually decides to speak. But my favourites are the young couple who have a naked lovers' tryst on a rooftop. The girl tells her parents that she is going there to listen to the song of the nightingale. In a film where everyone is mainly happy even the parents register pleasure that their daughter has "caught her nightingale" when they discover the young couple nakedly fondling each other after what one can only imagine to have been the night of all nights of lovemaking from the blissful start we have witnessed.

Was ever a young couple more perfectly endowed! In a film where many, including some of the young, are gap-toothed, their smiles reveal perfect sets. I presume they are real!

6 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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