Stanley is a short order cook, infatuated with Margaret, the statuesque waitress who works at Wimpy Bar with him. Despondent, he prepares to end it all when he meets George Spiggott AKA the Devil. Selling his soul for 7 wishes, Stanley tries to make Margaret his own first as an intellectual, then as a rock star, then as a wealthy industrialist. As each fails, he becomes more aware of how empty his life had been and how much more he has to live for. He also meets the seven deadly sins who try and advise him. Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dudley Moore adopted the moniker Stanley Moon in this film after John Gielgud wrote him a letter of introduction because he was impressed with Moore's work in the stage revue "Beyond the Fringe". Gielgud obliviously referred to Moore as Stanley Moon in the letter, and an amused Moore adopted the name as an alter ego for the rest of his life. After they worked on Arthur (1981) and Arthur 2: On the Rocks (1988) together, Gielgud good-naturedly said that he "got to know Stanley Moon rather well." See more »
When George and Stanley are traffic wardens, George jumps up onto the top of a red postbox which moves, revealing itself to be a prop. See more »
I'm The Horned One, The Devil, Let Me Give You My Card
Cooke and Moore were possibly the finest comedians the UK has ever produced before Python and others followed Pete and Dud were the undisputed kings of the new cutting edge of comedy/satire in the UK.
But always just under the surface (and later out in the open) there was a sadness and dis-satisfaction to both Peter Cooke and Dudley Moore and I think some of that shows up in this film. Think of the old lady taken for all her money by the Devil and the cheery goodbye she still manages. Also part of the film seems to be dealing with the moral flexibility of people given their circumstance.
Stanley Moon (Moore) has limited opportunities as a short order cook all he desires is the love of Margaret one of the waitresses at the Wimpy he works in. But he is a good person, when after a botched suicide attempt he sells his soul to the devil (Cooke) he has all the opportunities in the world but it is easier for the devil to corrupt him.
Throughout the seven wishes (in accordance with 7 the mystic number, 7 days of the week, 7 deadly sins, 7 brides for 7 brothers..)Stanley can only think of his own needs and perhaps this is why they fail to make him happy. On his one opportunity to give a wish away to stop one of the devils petty tricks (sending a swarm of bee's to harass some flower children) he refuses saying 'Their mine and iv'e only got four left!' The other main theme of this film is more to the forefront dealing with Cooke and Moores attitudes towards religion and it's place in what at the time was the modern world. People were beginning to come away from the church and for the first time non-believers were becoming the majority. Part of the film lampoons religion particularly the bouncing nuns, but at the end it's god who wins out over the devil all be it by a technicality. In a way they showed the obvious contradictions and flaws in the Christian faith - religion nice idea but surely it cant be that way? If all of the above makes this film sound heavy going be assured it's not, and where as in others hands it may have become a pretentious mess it becomes a light hearted very funny comedy romp. If you just want a laugh on a Saturday night this will provide it, if you want to look deeper in and start divining meaning from every little aspect you can it's that sort of film.
Highly recommended 9/10 NOTE - AVOID THE REMAKE LIKE THE PLAGUE IT'S Awful
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