6.5/10
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38 user 54 critic

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)
Reviews
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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More Like This 

The Decameron (1971)
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An adaptation of nine stories from Boccaccio's "Decameron".

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Rescued from abandonment and raised by the King and Queen, Oedipus is still haunted by a prophecy--he'll murder his father and marry his mother.

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A man wandering in a volcanic desert forms a band of murderous cannibals. A post-war German industrialist learns that his son is unable to make decisions or form relationships.

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A mysterious young man seduces each member of a bourgeois family. When he suddenly leaves, how will their lives change?

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Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After his quest to retrieve the fabled Golden Fleece, Jason returns to Greece with the powerful sorceress, Medea. However, when the king banishes her, it's only human that Medea plots her furious revenge. Can they escape her wrath?

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini
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The life of Jesus Christ according to the Gospel of Matthew. Pasolini shows Christ as a Marxist avant-la-lettre and therefore uses half of the text of Matthew.

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Having renounced her ignominious past, a former streetwalker reunites with her son. However, an extortion scheme endangers her aspirations for a decent bourgeois life. Can she protect him from the same snares that wounded her youth?

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Drama
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A pimp with no other means to provide for himself finds his life spiraling out of control when his prostitute is sent to prison.

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In World War II Italy, four fascist libertines round up nine adolescent boys and girls and subject them to one hundred and twenty days of physical, mental and sexual torture.

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Totò and his son Ninetto are drifting on a road in Italy, when they meet a speaking crow.

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Documentary footage of the city of Sana'a in Yemen, one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world, with a voice-over calling for UNESCO to protect the city's architectural heritage before it is destroyed by development.

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini
Stars: Pier Paolo Pasolini
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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

The line spoken by the angel in the last segment, "Vuolsi così colà dove si puote ciò che si vuole e più non dimandare" ("'It's will'd, where will and power are one. Ask thou no more"), is a quotation from Dante Alighieri's Inferno. 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.
See more »

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

Featured in Playboy: The Story of X (1998) See more »

User Reviews

The weakest link.
26 August 2003 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

It is the second part of Pasolini's "trilogy of life" and IMHO,the weakest :part of the reason can be found in the fact that it's merely more of the same ;after" Il decameron' the sensation of surprise has disappeared.Bawdiness,bawdiness and bawdiness,and a good dose of scatology.Besides,the stories,adapted from Chaucer are less interesting than in "IL decameron" ;the only good really good segment,as far the script is concerned ,is the one with the students and the miller's family:the mistaken identities are hilarious.But what remains is never really exciting.The scene in which a gay is literally "fried " is downright disturbing,coming from a director like Pasolini;the sequence is treated seriously ,almost without humor-unless the donuts seller counts-.

No one can argue the splendor of the cinematography;most of the times,it looks like pictures at an exhibition:the moist misty landscapes -particularly in the students' sequence- sharply contrasts with the mediterranean overcome by the heat ones in "il decameron";and the score,which includes old English traditionals is first-rate too.Ninetto Davoli,Pasolini's favorite actor,does his usual (almost silent) stint,in the grand tradition of Charlie Chaplin,which almost seems supernatural in this context;One should add that Josephine Chaplin is also part of the cast:some kind of double tribute.

The script is the Achille's heel of the movie."Il fiore della mille e una notte" will set the record straight and redeem Pasolini,for it's without a doubt the peak of the trilogy of life,with its numerous stories " à tiroirs".


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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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