The Canterbury Tales

Further Study

Movie Adaptations

Further Study Movie Adaptations

The Canterbury Tales (1972)
Director:Pier Paolo Pasolini
Notable cast:Tom Baker, Hugh Griffith, Laura Betti

Pasolini’s film retells eight of Chaucer’s original stories: The Merchant’s, Friar’s, Miller’s, Wife of Bath’s, Reeve’s, Pardoner’s, and Summoner’s tales. While Pasolini’s adaptation is largely faithful, he expands several stories, adding material such as a public execution in “The Friar’s Tale.”

Ribald Tales of Canterbury (1985)
Director:Bud Lee
Notable cast:Hyapatia Lee, Mike Horner, Colleen Brennan

As in Chaucer’s story, this film features a group of pilgrims telling lewd, ribald stories en route to Canterbury Cathedral.

Canterbury Tales (2003)
Director:Andy De Emmony, John McKay, Julian Jarrold, Marc Munden
Notable cast:Nikki Amuka-Bird, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Billie Piper, Julie Walters

This BBC series takes six stories (The Miller’s, Wife of Bath’s, Sea Captain’s, Pardoner’s, and Man of Law’s tales) and sets them in modern Britain, turning the characters into recognizable 20th-century figures who work in television, pubs, and prisons.

Chaucer and the Canterbury Tales (2008)
Director:Kenny Leon
Notable cast:N/A

This film is a documentary of Chaucer’s life with particular attention to how he wrote The Canterbury Tales.