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|Index||87 reviews in total|
Not even going to discuss the movie at length - it's brilliantly funny; see
it. I'll admit I DID have an additional comment or two to make, but then I
read these IMDb reviews and sank into depression.
Do the people who "critique" 30, 40, 50-year-old movies by pointing out that "duhh, it's DATED!" imagine they're applying some kind of rigorous critical standard? Why not simply save valuable time, and pixels, by submitting a "review" stating, "This film cannot overcome the handicap of not taking place in 2003. Where are the SUVs? Where are the cell phones? And why wasn't it shot on the street where I live?"
And I'm fairly sure the guy who complained of the "snotty English accents" that ruined his BEDAZZLED viewing experience is the same fellow who lives in the White House and coined "strategery".
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Partial spoiler. One great thing about it, apart from the actors themselves, is the actual friendship that arises between the Devil and the "Faust" character (Cook and Moore). It seems that, in almost any other "Faust" story (obviously dramas, but comedies too), this would be just another trick used by the Devil to get the character's confidence. But in Bedazzled, it seems to be more or less completely real. And when George grants Stanley each of his seven wishes, but sabotages each one because of some loophole Stanley left in, he makes it clear that it's his job to do so. And in the next-to-last part, when all the wishes have gone badly, and George still has Stanley's soul, Stanley, instead of being bitter, thanks George for at least giving him a chance (which is a pretty original thing to include in a story like this- again, even a comedy).
Definitely the finest fruit of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore's comedy
partnership, one of the funniest films ever made, and one of my
all-time favourite films ever. It's been unavailable for years, with
crappy old commercial VHS copies with the soundtrack hanging off
changing hands for silly money (I taped mine off the TV like everyone
else.) But now it's out on DVD! As of this week (end of July '05). I
haven't bought one yet but I'm sure I will. I hope there are some nice
extras. But the film itself is an absolute joy. So it was made on the
cheap, so the production values are utterly 60s generic, so the sets
were banged together with spit and sawdust - who cares when Peter Cook
is just the best devil you could ever imagine, when the jokes are that
thick and fast and that good, when Dudley Moore is the perfect hapless
foil, when his music is so memorable, when Raquel Welch is such a good
sport as Lillian Lust ("pick yer clothes up Lily, you're due down at
the Foreign Office").
Now to complete my joy, they have to withdraw and destroy all copies and prints of the hideous Liz Hurley re-make which must NEVER, EVER be confused with this timeless gem which has given me and so many friends and acquaintances so much pleasure for so many years.
Watch it and when you've finished laughing (and thinking - after all, it is a perfectly plausible version of the Faust legend) raise a glass to the genius that was Peter Cook at his best (and this IS Peter Cook at his best) and to the beauty of his absurdly unlikely partnership with a sharp witted, sad-faced jazz piano player who was half his size and who went on to be perhaps the unlikeliest Hollywood movie star of them all. They're both gone, but in this perfect little film they will always be with us to mock us for our absurd vanities and follies, to make us laugh and think and feel.
Easily the funniest movie ever made.The pure nastiness displayed by Peter Cook is some of the funniest stuff ever put on film. The remake was a bust in comparison, but if you really want a great laugh watch this movie.
Full of social and commercial satire, as well as broad comedy, this movie
not only combines a sharp wit with broad laughs, but it does so with, deep
at heart, a sense of moral outrage. This is a movie made when it was still
possible to look askance at the proliferation of junk culture. It
with the 2000 remake (which is more concerned with product placements than
with the cultural pollution of fast food and concrete)and proves again that
Hollywood is insane for its new fascination with remaking perfect
The 1967 "Bedazzled" retells Faust, but it does so with an abiding suspicion of wishes, romance, and the arbitrariness of power. When Peter Cook plays Mephistopholes, he does it with not only an urbanity that would make Goethe or Marlowe proud, but with an absurdity that contemporary viewers are likely to see as a precursor to Monty Python. They shouldn't. Cook's devil is playing a game. His devil is warm, caring, amused, and yet indifferent to the exercise of power and the tortures of the damned.
All of this, and it's a wonderful comedy.
I saw it years ago when it first arrived on US drive-in screens. Didn't play well here at the time, this was pre-Monty Python days. The Britsh music invasion was on but the Brit comedy rage hadn't yet started. Think Monty Python meets Shakespeare with a touch of Noel Coward dryness and you have the texture and hilarity of this film. A good natured but on target jab at Christianity and religious politics in general and a good lesson in self appreciation. Cook's the smart assed devil who actually has some legitimate beefs towards the Allmighty. Dud's the poor schmuck who's getting devoured by his own timid nature and the world around him in general. They become good friends with only one problem. Ownership of Dud's soul. The one liner gags are terrific and more often than not they are dead on target. This isn't just a funny movie, it's a very smart film. Like the Python films that would come some time later it's a clever film with an edge that cuts into the nature and common fears found within the cultures that have sprung up within the boundaries of Western Christian Civilization. It will no doubt offend some, if not many, and will delight others. This has been one of my own all time favorite films.
This is one of my favorite comedies. It never fails to amuse me,
particularly the scene where Peter Cook/Satan is on his postbox
explaining his fall from grace. Who else can explain so well why they
would want to leave heaven?
My other favorite scene is the very last one, where the Devil leaving Wimpy Burger and telling God that he is going to fill the world so full of strip malls, Wimpy Burgers, expressways, etc, that even God will be ashamed of it.
That comment was made almost forty years ago and its almost scary how prophetic it was!
And, of course, "You fill me with inertia" is a great comedic line delivered with style by Peter Cook. I know a date is going badly if that line pops into my mind!
"Bedazzled" is the rare comedy that's imperfections are due to
creators cramming too many good, funny ideas into it. It's also exceptional
for being an excellent, colorful, brilliantly written and directed comedy
that stars the normally irritating Dudley Moore. Here he plays a depressed
short order cook madly in love with the waitress at his work place.He can't
find the courage to talk to her, so he tries hanging himself but screws it
up. The dashing Prince of Darkness enters, played by Moore's better half,
his comedy partner Peter Cook. The devilish Cook offers Moore seven wishes
in exchange for his soul, and Moore cautiously accepts. This leads to a fun,
funny, at times surreal farce packed with great dialog and a twist (and
twisted) ending involving nuns on trampolines.
The wish sequences, which place Moore in various situations and personas that eventually end up in Cook's favor, are little more than sketches that poke fun at intellectuals, the upper class, pop culture fads, and other social mores. They are funny, but many seem dated and overlong. They soon become tedious distractions from the best parts of the movie, the segments in between the wishes in which the extremely funny Cook steals the show as the unsympathetic, deadpan devil who calmly strolls about creating havoc and tempting people- and pigeons- to sin. His incompetent staff consists of the seven deadly sins, fleshed out by actors, including "Lillian Lust, the Babe with the Bust", played by a yummy Raquel Welch. These scenes are hilarious and at times even thought provoking, with various ideas and jokes about religion and the nature of good and evil. Like Monty Python's "Life of Brian" and Kevin Smith's "Dogma", this movie makes pokes fun at Christianity without being disrespectful or controversial, but unlike Dogma it is never overly preachy. The ideas don't get in the way of the jokes.
Towards the end of the movie and attempt is made to give it a plot, with a bet between God and the devil to see who can collect more souls. This should've been the main story of the movie. Cook's devil should have been the main character, with Moore as the last soul he needs to corrupt to gain entry back into heaven. But as it stands this interesting tale becomes just another subplot that doesn't quite come off, just like the pointless scenes concerning a dotty police officer investigating Moore's attempted suicide.
So while "Bedazzled" may not be a flawless piece of movie making, it is still a great, one-of-a-kind comedy that stands as one of the funniest movies ever made. It's certainly the best movie Dudley Moore has ever been involved with, not to put down "Santa Claus: The Movie" too much.
I just watched Bedazzled again last week, for the umpteenth time. And no
matter how many times I watch this film, I crack up. There are so many
hysterical lines and humorous visual gags...I just can't praise it
IMHO, the best moments in the film occur not during the "7 wishes" sequences, but during the conversations between Stanley Moon and the Devil:
Stanley: "You're a nut-case! You're a bleedin' nut-case!" Devil: "They said the same about Freud, Einstein and Gallileo." Stanley: "They said it about a lot of nut-cases, too!" Devil: "You're not as dumb as you look, are you Stanley?"
"So you really are the Devil." "Incarnate."
Devil: "Well, for one thing, he's (God) omni-present. That only means he's everywhere, all the time. I'm just highly maneuverable." Stanley: "So he's here in the van right now?" Devil: "He's in the van, he's in the can, he's in the trees, he's in the breeze, he's in your hair, he's everywhere. There's no privacy for anybody. [glaring upwards, to God:] GET OUT! Get out of here while we're changing our clothes!" Stanley: "You won't get anywhere shouting at him, you know." Devil: "You're right; I should take the humble approach. [gazing upward, to God] "Excuse me your ineffable hugeness; would you mind stepping out of the van for a moment while we miserable worms get our drawers on?" Stanley: "I can't say you sounded too sincere, mate." [Devil kicks Stanley in the butt] Stanley: "Hey! What are you on about?" Devil: "I just wanted to give him a turn. I saw him nestling in your trousers."
Dudley Moore is the perfect loser nebish, and Peter Cook perfectly devilish as the unholy one.
Ok, I'll stop now. Maybe one can see a film too many times. However, in the future, I will continue to dig out my videotape of Bedazzled a couple times a year, and wish that someone today would make funny, intelligent movies like this (actually, "Dogma" is pretty good, too. Another take on the whole god-thing. A fun double feature!).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
With 'Beyond The Fringe', Peter Cook and Dudley Moore - along with Alan
Bennett and Jonathan Miller - helped define 1960's comedy. They were a
classic comedy duo - Cook was tall, witty and handsome, Dudley short,
musically gifted and lovable. They progressed to television - the
wonderful B.B.C.-2 show 'Not Only But Also' - and finally into films.
After appearing in Bryan Forbes' 'The Wrong Box' in which they played
greedy, grasping brothers, they landed their own movie, directed by
Stanley Donen, known mainly for musicals such as 'Singing In The Rain'.
'Bedazzled' is a comic version of the Faust legend. Moore is 'Stanley Moon', short order cook in a London Wimpy bar, who is suicidally depressed because he feels his life is going nowhere. He even lacks the courage to ask the flighty waitress whom he is obsessed with - Margaret Spencer ( Eleanor Bron ) - out on a date. Salvation arrives in the cloaked shape of a mysterious stranger by the unlikely name of George Spiggot ( Peter Cook ). Spiggot is The Devil, and in return for Stanley's soul gives him seven wishes.
In the first, Moon is a Welsh intellectual who tries to sweep Margaret off her feet ( and into his bed ) with clever talk. She cries 'Rape'! In the second, he is a millionaire who lavishes expensive presents on Margaret, to whom he is now married. But she is openly sleeping with everyone except him. The third wish sees him as a pop star whom the whole world adores. Alas newcomers 'Drimbl Wedge & The Vegetation' are on the same programme, and Margaret transfers her hero worship to them. The fourth wish occurs when Stanley innocently wonders what Margaret is currently up to. He and Spiggot transform into flies who buzz around a morgue. The fifth has Stanley and Margaret passionately in love. But she is happily married to the too-good-to-be-true Peter. Stanley details his sixth wish carefully. There must be no men in Margaret's life. He forgets to specify the sex and is turned into a nun! Which means he has one wish left. Or does he?
Though regarded now as a classic cult comedy, the film was a box office failure in its day. Pete and Dud had many fans, obviously not enough to make the film a hit. The late Harry Thompson - Cook's biographer - thinks British audiences were disappointed not to see the duo's cloth-capped characters in the film. While undeniably amusing, I do not think they would have worked on the big screen. In America, the advertising mistakenly overemphasised Raquel Welch's contribution - she is in it for all of three minutes. 'Bedazzled' opened when the popularity of British comedies was in decline, with only the 'Carry On' series and all-star romps such as 'Monte Carlo Or Bust' ( featuring Pete and Dud, incidentally ) keeping the genre afloat.
Donen does not try to smother Cook's witty script with superfluous visual touches. Another director probably would have. The episodic plot is kept well under control. Sadly, he never worked with Pete and Dud again. The name 'Stanley Moon' came from Sir John Gielgud, incidentally, while 'George Spiggot' was the Moore character in the celebrated 'One Leg Too Few' sketch in 'Not Only But Also'. Another recycled idea was the leaping nuns. Dudley Moore wrote the wonderful soundtrack.
Often overlooked when assessing this film is Eleanor Bron, playing multiple versions of her character. Not only is she beautiful but a marvellous comedy actress. Two years before she had appeared as a Kali Priestess in The Beatles movie 'Help!'.
Funniest moment? Too many to name. Wish No.3 superbly sends up 'Ready, Steady Go' but it is Wish No.5 that never fails to make me cry with laughter. Stanley and Margaret desperately want to commit adultery, but cannot because their mutual admiration for her husband is too great!
One of the funniest motion pictures of all time. Watch it and treat yourself to a Frobisher & Gleason Raspberry Flavoured Ice Lolly at the same time, folks!
In 2000, Liz Hurley and Brendan Fraser starred in a remake, which was okay but not a patch on the original.
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