Decameron Nights (1953)
Movie InfoDirector Hugo Fregonese and writer George Oppenheimer do the unthinkable: they manage to transform Giovanni Boccaccio's bawdy -- and downright raunchy -- medieval tales of martial discontent and infidelity into harmless white-bread treacle. Louis Jourdan plays Boccaccio in a framing story set in a villa in the Florentine hills. With a widowed woman and her sex-starved female wards hungrily hunched over listening to his every word, Boccaccio spins three tales of illicit romance involving a trio of medieval husbands and wives. All three tales feature Jourdan as the romantic male lead and Joan Fontaine -- spruced up in a collection of bright costumes -- as the misunderstood and mistreated women of the tales. The first story concerns the bored housewife, of a middle-aged husband, who willingly jumps into the arms of a roustabout. The second tale tells the story of a husband who is highly suspicious of his wife's fidelity and the wife's circumspect way of proving her virtue to her husband. The third story is an ineffectual lark about a wife who fools her indifferent husband into demonstrating his proper marital role. Boccaccio had to wait for Pier Pasolini in order to get the spirit of his Decameron right. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi … More
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