|Directed by||Hugo Fregonese|
|Written by||George Oppenheimer|
Geza Herczeg (treatment)
|Based on|| Summary of Decameron tales |
by Giovanni Boccaccio
|Produced by||M. J. Frankovich|
|Starring|| Joan Fontaine |
|Edited by||Russell Lloyd|
|Music by||Antony Hopkins|
Amerit Film Corp.
Film Locations, Ltd.
|Distributed by||RKO Radio Pictures|
Decameron Nights is a 1953 anthology Technicolor film based on three tales from The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio, specifically the ninth and tenth tales of the second day and the ninth tale of the third. It stars Joan Fontaine and, as Boccaccio, Louis Jourdan.
In the mid-fourteenth century, Boccaccio seeks his true love, the recently widowed Fiametta (Joan Fontaine), and finds that she has fled Florence, plague-ridden and being sacked by an invading army, for a villa in the countryside with several female companions. When he shows up, Fiametta does not want to invite him to stay, but her friends, bored and lacking male companionship, override her. To entertain the ladies (and further his courtship of Fiametta), Boccaccio tells stories of the pursuit of love.
Bartolomea (Fontaine) is frustrated by her marriage to the wealthy, much older Ricciardo (Godfrey Tearle). The latter's strong belief in astrology dictates how they live. One day, the stars are favorable for fishing, but pirates capture the ladies. Their captain, Paganino (Jourdan), releases all but Bartolomea. He demand a 50,000 gold florin ransom to be paid at Majorca. By the time Ricciardo shows up, however, Bartolomea has fallen in love with the pirate. She denies knowing Ricciardo and, when he is unable to answer a simple question about her, Paganino's friend, the Governor of Majorca (Eliot Makeham), orders Ricciardo to pay a fine for his lies: 50,000 florins. Paganino and Bartolomea get married, and he promises to give up piracy.
Fiametta is not amused by the "moral" of the story, but the others beg Boccaccio for another. Instead, Fiametta decides to recount a more uplifting tale, to her friends' disappointment.
Giulio (Jourdan) goads Bernabo (Tearle) into betting on the virtue of his wife Ginevra (Fontaine). Giulio wagers that he can seduce Ginevra within a month. However, Giulio merely bribes the woman's maid Nerina (Binnie Barnes) into letting him hide in her mistress's bedchamber. Later, while Ginevra sleeps, he steals her locket and cuts off a lock of her hair, noticing as he does so a birthmark on her shoulder. When Giulio provides all three as "proof", Bernabo pays up. He then recruits two assassins to do away with his wife. The killers are discomfited by Ginevra's lack of fear and let her go.
She disguises herself as a man and becomes a sailor on a merchant ship. A potential customer, the Sultan (Meinhart Maur), becomes fascinated by Ginevra's pet talking parrot and agrees to buy the merchant's wares if he can also have the bird. Since the parrot will only speak for Ginevra, she agrees to enter the Sultan's service.
Then one day, she spots her locket in a marketplace stall manned by Giulio. Still in disguise, she coaxes the story out of him and finally learns why her husband wanted her dead. She has the Sultan invite both Giulio and Bernabo to dinner. Later, with Bernabo within earshot but out of sight, she appears dressed as a woman and asks Giulio if he knows her. When he repeatedly denies it, she is vindicated, and reunited with her husband.
Boccaccio does not like the tale, and starts another.
Spanish Don Bertrando (Jourdan) is sent to fetch a female doctor, Isabella (Fontaine), for his master, the seriously ill King (Hugh Morton). On the trip, he defends her from two highwaymen.
When she cures the King, he offers her anything. She asks for a husband: Bertrando. Dismayed, Bertrando agrees, but immediately after their wedding, he leaves her - having fulfilled his promise - and resumes his playboy ways. Before departing, he tells her that he will only live with her if she obtains the ring on his finger and bears him a child.
Learning that Bertrando is trying to seduce an innkeeper's daughter, Maria (Joan Collins), Isabella has the innkeeper send Bertrando a message supposedly from Maria agreeing to spend the night with him. Instead, Isabella keeps the rendezvous in the dark, unlit bedroom. She later steals Bertrando's ring while he is sleeping and leaves before her deception is revealed. Months later, she gives birth to a son. Bertrando shows up, having heard that she claims the child is his. After she tells her story, Bertrando embraces her.
When Fiametta is again critical of Boccaccio's story, he gives up and leaves. However, he returns, takes Fiametta in his arms, and kisses her. She resists at first, then gives in.
The film presents a heavily sanitized version of Boccaccio's stories in keeping with the strict censorship code of the day. All of the explicit dialogue in Paganino's story is removed. Likewise, in Ginevra's story the location of her birthmark is changed from beneath her breast to on the back of her shoulder to make it less sexualized.
Giovanni Boccaccio was an Italian writer, poet, correspondent of Petrarch, and an important Renaissance humanist. He was known par excellence as the Certaldese, and one of the most important figures in the European literary panorama of the fourteenth century. Some scholars define him as the greatest European prose writer of his time, a versatile writer who amalgamated different literary trends and genres, making them converge in original works, thanks to a creative activity exercised under the banner of experimentalism.
This article contains summaries and commentaries of the 100 stories within Giovanni Boccaccio's The Decameron.
The Book of the City of Ladies or Le Livre de la Cité des Dames, is perhaps Christine de Pizan's most famous literary work, and it is her second work of lengthy prose. Pizan uses the vernacular French language to compose the book, but she often uses Latin-style syntax and conventions within her French prose. The book serves as her formal response to Jean de Meun's popular Roman de la Rose. Pizan combats Meun's statements about women by creating an allegorical city of ladies. She defends women by collecting a wide array of famous women throughout history. These women are "housed" in the City of Ladies, which is actually the book. As Pizan builds her city, she uses each famous woman as a building block for not only the walls and houses of the city, but also as building blocks for her thesis. Each woman added to the city adds to Pizan's argument towards women as valued participants in society. She also advocates in favour of education for women.
Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland, known professionally as Joan Fontaine, was a British-American actress who is best known for her starring roles in Hollywood films during the "Golden Age". Fontaine appeared in more than 45 films in a career that spanned five decades. She was the younger sister of actress Olivia de Havilland. Their rivalry was well-documented in the media at the height of Fontaine's career.
"The Merchant's Tale" is one of Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. In it Chaucer subtly mocks antifeminist literature like that of Theophrastus ("Theofraste"). The tale also shows the influence of Boccaccio, Deschamps' Le Miroir de Mariage, Roman de la Rose by Guillaume de Lorris, Andreas Capellanus, Statius, and Cato. The tale is found in Persia in the Bahar Danush, in which the husband climbs a date tree instead of a pear tree. It could have arrived in Europe through the One Thousand and One Nights, or perhaps the version in book VI of the Masnavi by Rumi. Though several of the tales are sexually explicit by modern standards, this one is especially so. Larry Benson remarks:
The central episode of the Merchant's Tale is like a fabliau, though of a very unusual sort: It is cast in the high style, and some of the scenes are among Chaucer's most elaborate displays of rhetorical art.
The Heptaméron is a collection of 72 short stories written in French by Marguerite de Navarre (1492–1549), published posthumously in 1558. It has the form of a frame narrative and was inspired by The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio. It was originally intended to contain one hundred stories covering ten days like The Decameron, but at Marguerite’s death it was completed only as far as the second story of the eighth day. Many of the stories deal with love, lust, infidelity, and other romantic and sexual matters. One was based on the life of Marguerite de La Rocque, a French noblewoman who was punished by being abandoned with her lover on an island off Quebec.
John Payne was an English poet and translator. Initially he pursued a legal career and had associated with Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Later he became involved with limited edition publishing and the Villon Society.
Sir Godfrey Seymour Tearle was a British actor who portrayed the quintessential British gentleman on stage and in both British and US films.
The Decameron is a 1971 film by Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini, based on the novel Il Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio. It is the first movie of Pasolini's Trilogy of life, the others being The Canterbury Tales and Arabian Nights. Each film was an adaptation of a different piece of classical literature focusing on ribald and often irreligious themes.
Griselda is a figure in European folklore noted for her patience and obedience.
Isabella, or the Pot of Basil (1818) is a narrative poem by John Keats adapted from a story in Boccaccio's Decameron. It tells the tale of a young woman whose family intend to marry her to "some high noble and his olive trees", but who falls for Lorenzo, one of her brothers' employees. When the brothers learn of this, they murder Lorenzo and bury his body. His ghost informs Isabella in a dream. She exhumes the body and buries the head in a pot of basil which she tends obsessively, while pining away.
Giovanni Sabadino degli Arienti was an Italian humanist, author, poet and prose writer.
De casibus virorum illustrium is a work of 56 biographies in Latin prose composed by the Florentine poet Giovanni Boccaccio of Certaldo in the form of moral stories of the falls of famous people, similar to his work of 106 biographies De Mulieribus Claris.
The Decameron, subtitled Prince Galehaut and sometimes nicknamed l'Umana commedia, is a collection of novellas by the 14th-century Italian author Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–1375). The book is structured as a frame story containing 100 tales told by a group of seven young women and three young men; they shelter in a secluded villa just outside Florence in order to escape the Black Death, which was afflicting the city. Boccaccio probably conceived of The Decameron after the epidemic of 1348, and completed it by 1353. The various tales of love in The Decameron range from the erotic to the tragic. Tales of wit, practical jokes, and life lessons contribute to the mosaic. In addition to its literary value and widespread influence, it provides a document of life at the time. Written in the vernacular of the Florentine language, it is considered a masterpiece of classical early Italian prose.
Fenisa's Hook is a play written by the Spanish playwright Lope de Vega. It was first published in 1617 in the eighth part of Lope de Vega's Comedias. Based on the tenth tale of the eighth day of Boccaccio’s Decameron, it has been called a picaresque play, works that exhibit an uncharacteristic moral freedom. It focuses on merchants, the circulation of bodies and merchandise, and the seductive power of art. Boccaccio's tale is about a trickster who is tricked Lope uses Boccaccio's story for the main plot of his play, where Fenisa, a courtesan in Palermo attempts to woo the rich merchant Lucindo in order to gain his riches. A secondary plot includes Dinarda who is dressed as a man and has come to Palermo in search of the man who seduced her and left her behind. Fenisa ends up falling for this Dinarda who is disguised as don Juan de Lara. While Fenisa is able to trick Lucindo the first time around, he comes back to Sicily a second time and this time he tricks her. In the end, Dinarda finds and marries her Albano, while Fenisa is left without a spouse and without money.
Decameron Nights is a 1924 British-German silent drama film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Lionel Barrymore, Ivy Duke and Werner Krauss. It is based on the novel Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio.
Wondrous Boccaccio is a 2015 Italian film directed by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani. It is loosely based on stories from The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio.
The Little Hours is a 2017 American medieval black comedy film written and directed by Jeff Baena. The film is loosely based on the first and second stories of day three of ten of The Decameron, a collection of novellas by Giovanni Boccaccio, a 14th-century Italian writer. It stars an ensemble cast featuring Alison Brie, Dave Franco, Kate Micucci, Aubrey Plaza, John C. Reilly, and Molly Shannon.
Italian: Novelle licenziose di vergini vogliose, lit. 'Licentious Tales of Lusty Virgins', is a 1973 Italian decamerotic comedy film lensed and directed for the most part by Joe D'Amato. The story and screenplay were written by D'Amato and producer Diego Spataro.
Nella Donati was a medieval noblewoman from Florence, Italy. She is primarily known because of Dante Alighieri's treatment of her relationship to her husband, Forese Donati, in the Divine Comedy and in a series of poems Dante exchanged with Forese.