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The Canterbury Tales (1972)

I racconti di Canterbury (original title)
NC-17 | | Comedy, Drama, History | 30 May 1980 (USA)
Pasolini's artistic, sometimes violent, always vividly cinematic retelling of some of Chaucer's most erotic tales.

Writers:

Pier Paolo Pasolini (screenplay), Geoffrey Chaucer (book) (as G. Chaucer)
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hugh Griffith ... Sir January
Laura Betti ... The Wife from Bath
Ninetto Davoli ... Perkin
Franco Citti ... The Devil
Josephine Chaplin ... May
Alan Webb ... Old Man
Pier Paolo Pasolini ... Geoffrey Chaucer
J.P. Van Dyne J.P. Van Dyne ... The Cook
Vernon Dobtcheff ... The Franklin
Adrian Street Adrian Street ... Fighter
Orla Pederson ... Pilgrim (as OT)
Derek Deadman Derek Deadman ... The Pardoner (as Derek Deadmin)
Nicholas Smith ... Friar
George Bethell Datch 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 | History

Certificate:

NC-17 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Pier Paolo Pasolini later disowned his Trilogy of Life, feeling their commercial success betrayed his artistic vision. See more »

Goofs

Some of the women have tan-lines from bikinis. See more »

Quotes

Perkin's mother: [singing] Oh, there was a little beggar man that goes from town to town, and wherever he get a job and work he's willing to sit down.
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Alternate Versions

The original UK cinema version was cut by the BBFC with edits to anal sex shots, a man being whipped, and Rufus urinating on the crowd during the 'Pardoner's Tale' segment for an 'X' certificate. The cuts were fully restored in 2001 and the certificate downgraded to a '15'. See more »

Connections

Followed by Arabian Nights (1974) See more »

User Reviews

 
Eight tales about love and death.
28 September 2004 | by rathunterSee all my reviews

This movie is second of Pasolini's so called 'Trilogy of Love' (Il Decameron, I Racconti di Canterbury, Il fiore di mille e una notte; 1970-1974). All these movies are quite specific, there are said not to be that provocative or intriguing. They are greatly influenced by the fact that while directing them Pasolini was contented because of his intimate relationship with the 'innocent barbarian', actor Ninetto Davoli. It is also said that in 'Trilogy of Love' Pasolini became resigned to the present time world by escaping to the past.

However I don't think it's true. In these movies, Pasolini introduces to the audience an incorrupt world where people don't care about 'material aspects of life', they try to live at the full stretch, they seek love and, of course, sex and they do not respect 'the repressive limits imposed by religious and bourgeois morality' (Gino Moliterno). This is probably why Pasolini later declared that these three films were most ideological of his career (in his famous and long interview with Massimo Fini). I suppose Pasolini tried to confront such 'primitive' world with the world he had lived in and which he had hated so much (this confrontation is present all the time, especially by the contrast between the love and the death, by the contrast between the first tales, in which the human naked body dominates, and the last two tales in which pursuit of money causes death and perdition. Because of such end it is also suggested that I Racconti di Canterbury are very close to Pasolini's disillusioned last movie, Saló).

It is common to hear that Chaucer must have rolled over in his grave after this movie was released. But if you try to understand The Canterbury Tales in the context of Chaucer's attitude towards love in his (other) literary works, you will probably find that Chaucer would resemble to Pasolini alias Mr Chaucer ends the film with writing 'Here end the Canterbury Tales, told for the mere pleasure of their telling, Amen'.


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Details

Country:

Italy | France

Language:

Italian | English

Release Date:

30 May 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Canterbury Tales See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,368
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (premiere)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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