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The Canterbury Tales DVD

Hugh Griffith , Laura Betti , Pier Paolo Pasolini    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
Price: £14.99
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The Canterbury Tales DVD + The Decameron / Notes for an African Oresteia (DVD + Blu-ray) + Arabian Nights (DVD + Blu-ray)
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Product details

  • Actors: Hugh Griffith, Laura Betti, Franco Citti, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Ninetto Davoli
  • Directors: Pier Paolo Pasolini
  • Producers: Canterbury Tales (1972) ( I Racconti di Canterbury ), Canterbury Tales (1972), I Racconti di Canterbury
  • Format: Import, PAL, Widescreen
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Run Time: 111.00 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00EJ4Q4D0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 235,185 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Australia released, PAL/Region 0 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), English ( Mono ), Italian ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), Italian ( Mono ), English ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (1.85:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Alternative Footage, Documentary, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, Trailer(s), SYNOPSIS: The second part of Pasolini's trilogy is based on the 14th century stories of Geoffrey Chaucer. Plunging with gusto into some of the blackest and bawdiest of the tales, Pasolini celebrates almost every conceivable form of sexual act with a rich earthy humour. The film's visual magic is complimented by this new high-definition restoration. Tom Baker is included in a largely British cast with the director himself taking on the role of Chaucer. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: Berlin International Film Festival, ...Canterbury Tales (1972) ( I Racconti di Canterbury )

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It should be noted that this is not the director's cut that won the top prize at the 1972 Berlin Film Festival. That version ran 140 minutes while this one clocks in at 112 minutes. That's almost 30 minutes of missing footage which no doubt explains the choppy quality of the editing and the incoherent nature of some of the stories. I first saw this movie in the English version when it played in U.S. theaters back in 1980. There was no NC-17 rating back then and so it was rated X. I watched as within the first hour virtually everyone walked out of the film. It seems that they were expecting a porno version of classic literature (remember GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES FOR ADULTS?) but didn't get the sex they were looking for. While there were sex scenes, it was the full frontal male nudity and the gay sex that got the X rating. That and the infamous ending which still has to be seen to be believed. Today it's interesting to note that in the U.K. the film now carries a 15 rating instead of an 18 yet it's still the same film which is definitely not for purists.

If you are familiar with the works of Pier Paolo Pasolini (who plays Chaucer) then the nature and the overall look of the film will come as no surprise. In addition to being a filmmaker and an actor, Pasolini was a poet, a Marxist, a gay rights activist, and a political agitator. It was the last two activities which led to his murder on November 2, 1975. He was 53. His films have a deliberately primitive style that recalls the films of D. W. Griffith and those of Italian Neorealism. Pasolini deliberately used non-professionals in many of his films to achieve the look he wanted and to get "unaffected" performances. The film was made in several of Chaucer's English locations giving the stories a real sense of verisimilitude.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chaucerian 26 Sep 2012
By LeBrit
Format:DVD
There are remarkable scenes in this film like in all Pasolini films. One has to suspend belief and drive on autopilot, ignoring the bits that grate and wallow in the bits that really, really magically work (for some obscure reason) as Pasolini is a very different director after all. Above all the film befits the bawdy tale as opposed to other rendition which have been brought in line with particularly uptight middle class sensibilities. So, if you have those it will shock and maybe even offend you. And all hail to that!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Canterbury Tales for a Canterbury pilgrim 8 April 2010
Format:DVD
This completes my collection if Pasolini's "Trilogy of Life". I had never actually seen this movie before and ordered it out of curiosity. I've really loved The Decameron since I first saw it 35 years ago, The Arabian Nights less so but still enjoyable. The Canterbury Tales has all of the fun of "The Decameron" and much of the light, despite the rain and mud. I thoroughly enjoyed it although I may never see Dr Who in the same light again!! Thw quality of the dvd itself exceeded my expectations. It may even have surpassed the bfi editions of the other two which I bought during a trip to the UK in 2005 and was certainly considerably cheaper.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pasolini does Chaucer 6 Feb 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is truly a classic film one of the Greats of Pasolinini, interpreting and making Chaucer's Canterbury Tales sing out to us as real life characters spanning the centuries, and from the very different world of some of the Pilgrims portrayed. This is not an accurate translation of Chaucer but the most lighthearted and sinister exposition of the harshness and ribald life of Chaucer's time for very English characters to play. It is really good to see English actors strutt their stuff but the best of all is the Italian actress that plays the insufferable Wife of Bath. Part of the secret is that Chaucer's England probably was, in spirit, far closer to Pasolini's Italy than we like to think...When you play it be sure you use the English dubbing because the Italian version also available is definitely not as good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
I see so many people voice their disgust at this film for being full of fart jokes but in that sense it is close to the source text which is rude and bawdy. if you don't want jokes about farts, bodily functions and sex then may i suggest you read dickens because Chaucer's text is full of them.

regardless of what some reviewers say this film is beautiful with breath taking compositions and beautiful costumes. it sounds wonderful too with a mix of unaccompanied singing, out of tune liturgical nonsense and street sounds.

my only real complaint is that it can sometimes be confusing for someone who has not read the source text. i watched this with my partner and had to explain what was happening at many points.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chaucer meets Pasolini 25 Mar 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Perhaps the best of Pasolin's films the print here is better than anything ever seen before and well worth the cost.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An old friend 4 Nov 2010
Format:DVD
We first saw this when it came out in 1972 and have not seen it since. It is so totally different from anything else that it is difficult to know whether you like it or not. Therefore the questions: "What is entertaining?" - YES. "Was it worth the price?" - YES. "Would we recommend it?" - YES. "Will we watch it again?" - YES. The conclusion is that we do like it and found it a good experience to watch it again after all these years. Buy it and enjoy.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Repetition? 6 May 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Yes a good film but of course purists will object but it's a different medium. But director doesn't seem sure whether to make it modern or medieval. Or dirty and clean (in sense of environment). But stories are fun if not engrossing.
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