6.5/10
5,847
36 user 51 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)
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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 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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Details

Country:

Italy | France

Language:

Italian | English

Release Date:

30 May 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Canterbury Tales See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (premiere)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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 »

Goofs

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

Quotes

The Wife from Bath: There's nowhere in the Gospels that says we ought to stay virgins. Anyway, tell me, what were the genital organs made for at the creation? Not to lie dormant I suppose. And nobody's going to tell me they were just put there to piss through. Mark you, I use it for that as well. And every man must serve his wife in wedlock...
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

Referenced in Rewind This! (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Superb Film
22 October 2007 | by networkenglishSee all my reviews

I'm rather bemused by some of the negative comments above. This film - in my humble opinion - is one of the greatest ever made, and my personal favourite of all P.P. Pasolini's. Pasolini brings life to Chaucer in a way my poor teachers at school could never have dared. In the film, Pasolini casts himself as Chaucer; daydreaming, laughing at his own tales, being berated by his wife. And therein lies the clue to this film. It's not just an interpretation of the Canterbury Tales, it's a portrayal of its author. For all claims of "smut" (see above), I can honestly say that your imagination must be pretty dull not to laugh at certain earthy, dream-like scenes. Absolutely non of the scenes in this movie can be branded as bad-taste. They're absolutely accurate. Pasolini showed deep understanding of the English psyche throughout; the examples are too numerous to mention. If you're looking for an explanation of The Canterbury Tales, you won't find it in this film. But if you're looking for how to go about interpreting it for yourself, you'll find no better. This movie is one that I will keep, and you can bet my kids are going to see it when they get a little older too.


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