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The Canterbury Tales

The Canterbury Tales

A Feature film by Pier Paolo Pasolini

Release in France : 29/11/1972

  • Contents

Actors (7)

Production and distribution (4)

Co-production :

Les Productions Artistes Associés

Film exports/foreign sales :

Carlotta Films

Foreign production company :

Produzioni Europee Associati (PEA)

French distribution :

Les Productions Artistes Associés

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Box office: Timeline

International releases (2)

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Based on the medieval narrative poem The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. It is the second film in Pasolini's 'Trilogy of Life'. The adaptation covers eight of the 24 tales and contains abundant nudity, sex, and slapstick humor. Many of these scenes are present or at least alluded to in the original as well, but some are Pasolini's own additions. The film sometimes diverges from Chaucer. For example, The Friar's Tale is significantly expanded upon: where the Friar leads in with a general account of the archdeacon's severity and the summoner's corruption, Pasolini illustrates this with a specific incident which has no parallel in Chaucer. Two men are caught in an inn bedroom committing buggery. One is able to bribe his way out of trouble, but the other, poorer man is less fortunate: he is tried and convicted of sodomy—it doesn't occur to the judge that such an act cannot be committed by one person alone—and is sentenced to death. As a foretaste of Hell, he is burned alive inside an iron cage ("roasted on a griddle" in the words of one spectator) while vendors sell beer and various baked and roasted foods to the spectators.

Full credits (10)

Assistant Director :

Sergio Citti

Screenwriter :

Pier Paolo Pasolini

Director of Photography :

Tonino Delli Colli

Editor :

Nino Baragli

Music Composer :

Ennio Morricone

Author of original work :

Geoffrey Chaucer

Foreign Producer :

Alberto Grimaldi

Camera Operator :

Carlo Tafani

Production Designer :

Dante Ferretti

Costume designer :

Danilo Donati

Technical details

Feature film

Genres :


Sub-genre :

Comedy, Anthology film

Production language :

Italian, English

Coproducer countries :

France, Italy

Original French-language productions :


Production year :


French release :


Runtime :

1 h 58 min

Current status :


Visa number :


Visa issue date :


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Posters (2)


Festival Selections

Berlin International Film Festival - 1972

Berlin International Film Festival (Germany, 1972)


Official Competition