Five years after making "Letter From An Unknown Woman", Louis Jourdan and Joan Fontaine appeared together again in this film based on three of the 100 stories making up Boccacio's classic collection "The Decameron". All three deal with lovers and their problems. With a good cast of actors (Geoffrey Terle - the spy master from Hitchcock's "The Thirty-Nine Steps", Joan Collins, and Binnie Barnes among them) it takes full advantage of the still existing Renaissance buildings and streets to be found in Italy. And as such it is a pleasant enough comedy. Interestingly enough, the beginning showing soldiers trudging in the Italian countryside, and describing warfare and plague, is certainly not building the right atmosphere for a merry movie - but it is in keeping with the actual start of the book. The ten people who are telling the stories (five men and five women) are fleeing the plague in a city and are in the countryside amusing themselves.
Renaissance Italy has not been the subject of that many films in American and England. The Borgias are covered in "Prince of Foxes" and "Bride of Vengeance". Savanerola's attempt to reform Florence appears in the silent classic "Romola". Michaelangelo and Pope Julius II are dealt with in "The Agony and the Ecstasy". The German invasions of the 13th Century are covered in "The Flame and The Arrow". St. Francis of Assisi and Pope Innocent III are covered (sort of for the Pope) in "Brother Sun, Sister Moon". Those six films and this one seem to be it. No doubt more Italian made movies dealt with the figures of the Renaissance, but for some reason they never attracted American and English audiences. It seems to be our loss.
8 out of 8 found this helpful