My reviews of movies made by Robin Askwith, British actor.
Friday, February 11, 2011
The Canterbury Tales (I racconti di Canterbury) – 1971
Sortof a challenge finding this one, as it’s not available over here. I did find someone in Greece selling authorized copies of it. You could choose your format: Italian audio with English subtitles, English audio with Greek subtitles, a few others as well. I chose the English audio with the Greek subtitles. Which were nonremovable, so just a little bit annoying seeing all that Greek on there but you get used to it after awhile. Only came in PAL format, so again I must thank the DVD hacking code website.
This is of course based on the classic book by Chaucer written way back in the 1300s. According to Wikipedia, It is “a collection of stories written in Middle-English by Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the 14th century. The tales (mostly in verse, although some are in prose) are told as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from Southwark to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral.”
I did not read the original collection, but I’m assuming this movie “sexed up” the tales quite a bit? I don’t think I’ve ever seen this many naked guys running around before in a film! Even Dr. Who’s Tom Baker is shown in all his glory! Actually, that was kinda disturbing to see. Now….who do you think showed the LEAST amount of full-frontal nudity? Yep, our Robin, of course. Yah, he was naked, but discetely kept a few things out of sight. So much for being a “soft-core porn star!”
I was pretty disappointed with the length of his role. There were SO many good looking young guys that he could have played…that had meaningful dialog and a lot to do. Why he wasn’t put into a role like that mystifies me.
We meet his character “Rufus” near the end of the film, in a medievel whorehouse/tavern type establishment. The bedrooms are upstairs off a balcony that overlooks the tavern below. Each room was being “used” and he was one of the guys on top of a bored-looking girl, banging away. He finishes, puts some coins in her mouth, then gets dressed and goes out onto the balcony calling for some food. His request is denied, and he gets annoyed and berates the customers below, then starts peeing on them. I guess they were none too pleased, because in the next scene we see him being carried, dead, down the road outside. And that’s it for him. Not sure what purpose this character even served.
As his part came very near the end of the movie, we (yes, I talked my husband into watching this one with me) had kept our eyes open for him the whole time. I didn’t know how long his hair was going to be, so I almost thought a shorter-haired blond guy was him earlier in the movie until I saw a closeup. In fact, even then I was confused…..because his voice sounded JUST like Robin’s! Was the guy not English and they needed Robin to do his voice? Weird. And weird part two: ROBIN’s voice sounds like it was dubbed in with ANOTHER guy’s voice! Why did they need to do THAT? Puzzling. I hate that. Robin isn’t fully himself without his real voice. Bah. What a disappointment. Tell me what you think. Is it his own voice or not? He did have his “Horror Hospital” style hair though. I’ve added a short clip from it below. I know, bad quality. All I know how to do is the old “digital camera up to the TV” kind of filming.
Anyway, for the funniest account ever of Robin’s “behind the scenes” experience on this movie, reading his autobiography is a must!
UPDATE June 2011: OK, since seeing this I now notice it is available through Netflix on their "Play Instantly" feature! If only I had waited! Aahhhhh!
I did a bunch of screenshots from this movie during the Netflix showing of it. So much better quality than the ones I posted above, eh? Click on each one for a larger view. "Google Images" is just going to be flooded with Robin photos now, isn't it? :)