Synopsis by Paul Brenner
Director 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.
death, love, lover, medieval, storyteller, widow/widower