Decameron Nights (1953)

Genres - Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Erotic Drama  |   Release Date - Jan 13, 1953 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 93 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom , United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Trying to make a film like Decameron Nights during the era of the production code was probably not the best idea. The Giovanni Boccaccio upon which the film is based treats sex and love with earthiness and bawdy humor -- not something that is likely to please the censors of the time. Decameron tries to find a way to sneak some "naughtiness" into the proceedings, but it's superficial; and without that spice, the three stories that make up this omnibus film are noticeably lacking in flavor. Usually anthologies of this sort suffer from an unevenness -- one or more of the segments are weaker (or stronger) than one or more of the other segments. In Decameron, however, all three are equally lacking in interest. Throughout, Louis Jourdon evinces a modicum of charm and appeal, but not enough to set the screen on fire; Joan Fontaine looks lovely but comes across as rather dull and somewhat mannered; and only the supporting players cause the occasional spark of interest. Hugo Fregonese's direction is steady but lacking in sufficient imagination. Decameron does look attractive, however, with some beautiful on-location lensing, yummy color and gorgeous costumes. If Night falls dramatically flat, it still has some nice visual appeal.