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The Canterbury Tales (1972)
"I racconti di Canterbury" (original title)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  30 May 1980 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 3,405 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 42 critic

Pasolini's artistic, sometimes violent, always vividly cinematic retelling of some of Chaucer's most erotic tales.

Writers:

(screenplay), (book)
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Title: The Canterbury Tales (1972)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sir January
Laura Betti ...
...
Perkin
...
Josephine Chaplin ...
May
Alan Webb ...
Old Man
...
J.P. Van Dyne ...
The Cook
...
The Franklin
Adrian Street ...
Fighter
O.T. ...
Chief Witch-Hunter (as OT)
Derek Deadman ...
The Pardoner (as Derek Deadmin)
Nicholas Smith ...
Friar
George Bethell Datch ...
Host of the Tabard (as George B. Datch)
Dan Thomas ...
Nicholas
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Storyline

Pasolini's artistic, sometimes violent, always vividly cinematic retelling of some of Chaucer's most erotic tales.

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

X | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

30 May 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Canterbury Tales  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(cut) | (premiere)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As with Pasolini's subsequent film in the trilogy, The Arabian Nights, United Artists released the film domestically through its rarely tapped Aidart subsidiary, in order to distance the company from any controversy. See more »

Quotes

The Cook: Between a jest and a joke, many a truth can be told.
See more »

Connections

Version of Canterbury Tales (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting but not Chaucer
26 February 2006 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

If you watched this movie in order to get a crib of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, you'd be out of luck, and missing the point. Chaucer's underlying anti-clerical and pro-love-and-life philosophy may be there, but the substance is very different. Pasolini's 14th century England lives and dresses more like 16th Century Italy.

The Miller's Tale is much grimmer when brought to the screen than Chaucer would have intended. "And Nicholas is branded on the bum, And God bring all of us to Kingdom Come" in Coghill's cheerful popular translation, becomes something more like the execution of Edward II. Not just on, but in. And the execution of a sodomite too poor to bribe his way off the griddle seems drawn out just to make a bad joke about the seller of "griddle cakes" (frittelli) plying his trade in the crowd.

He is one of the more than fair share of handsome young men in the film, and there's more than a fair share of closeups of their middle regions, front and back, in tight-fitting breeches (not that I'm complaining).

One feature that is almost entirely absent is any sense of pilgrimage. The storytellers appear only at the beginning and end of the tale. Instead we cut back to Chaucer himself (Pasolini himself, and very handsome he is too), writing the tales at a snail's pace. There are also long (by 2006 standards) tracking shots over indifferent scenery. Yet other scenes jump disconcertingly, the start of one tale used to mark the end of the previous one.


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