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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 3,633 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 42 critic

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

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(screenplay), (book)
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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.

Plot Summary | 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

Producer Alberto Grimaldi, cinematographer Tonino Delli Colli and composer Ennio Morricone all previously worked together on Sergio Leone's The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966). See more »

Quotes

Angel: Hey Satan! Lift up your tail and show us where you keep the friars in hell!
See more »

Connections

Followed by Arabian Nights (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

Scatological film that vies more towards the crass
11 August 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Continuing his 'Trilogy of Life' cycle exploring medieval literature, The Canterbury Tales by Pier Paolo Pasolini, delves into some of the tales weaved within Geoffrey Chaucer's famous stories. It explores the myriad sexual depravities and allusions with bawdy gusto, featuring almost every perversion known, from voyeurism, flagellation, homosexuality, to even the "love" of a watermelon. The disparate, prurient tales are interwoven with Pasolini plays Chaucer here at his writing desk, imaging his lasciviousness upon villagers. There is even a strange comic interlude paying homage to Charlie Chaplin, in the form of Pasolini regular, Ninetto Davoli.

Whilst the visual style is similar to The Decameron (1970 - Dante Feretti again is art director), the stories do not intertwine as well here, which could create some confusion in the viewer. With a largely British cast (including Tom Baker, Hugh Griffith, Jeeny Runacre, and even Robin Askwith), the film film sometimes feels like a slightly less repressed 1970's British sex comedy (Carry On Canterbury, if you like). With its delight in sexual promiscuity and perversion, it is certainly one of Pasolini's less than intellectual affairs, and even fails to humour. Unless of course your funny bone is easily pleased by fart jokes.

With a bizarre finale set in hell (its visual design clearly inspired by the painting of Hieronymus Bosch), we see an over-sized Satan shitting out some plebeian folks, to the obscene delight of those scattered round the pits. Whilst this incredibly short ending is disgustingly joyous, it fails to save a very scatological film, that vies more towards the crass than the enlightening.

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