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|Index||86 reviews in total|
As a story and a film, it's a classic that can't be outdone. Though it doesn't have many great laughs in it, the artistic insinuations and the theological views are pretty interesting and pretty tight. The performances are good, though dated even for a sixties film. But it's a classic, and Peter Cook and Dudley Moore make it that much better.
Peter Cook's "devil" is just the way I like him: he's your friend, the kind who sleeps with your girl, takes your car, and steals money from your wallet,...because he's your friend! Some of the movie is really funny, like the pruny green eyewash, the "love me" scene, the "oh, God, you're the best..". But some stuff is very forgetful (as I've forgotten what they are)....overall, worth seeing and then go find a "Derek and Clive, Live" record and laugh some more...
Absolutely my favorite movie. It is funny, clever, witty, and theologically sound. If I ever meet Satan, I am sure he will not have horns and a red suit but will be charming and a lot of fun. See it!
The usually less-than-dependable Dudley Moore does a good job here as
Stanley Moon, a short order cook leading a go-nowhere life but always
eyeing waitress Margaret Spencer (Eleanor Bron, whom you may recognize
from "Help!"). Enter the Devil (Peter Cook), going by the alias George
Spiggott. Satan gives Stanley seven wishes, so as to help the poor
bloke win Margaret's heart. Stanley makes his wishes, but there's
always a loophole leading to a rather embarrassing situation.
Maybe "Bedazzled" was sort of a period piece. A particularly dated scene is when a policeman is showing someone a rape victim and says "She brought it on herself." But overall, it's pretty funny, and Raquel Welch is really something playing Lillian Lust (one of the seven deadly sins).
I remember seeing 'Bedazzled' in the late 60s when it first came out, and laughing and laughing. I thought it was so witty--my first taste of British humor. Last weekend, 30-odd years later, I rented it for my 16-year-old daughter, who was pining for something light. Sophisticated in Brit humor--she was weaned on Monty Python--I wanted her to see the original 'swinging London.' I thought she might be bored, but she (and I) thoroughly enjoyed it. Time has only added luster--the script is as witty and as theologically sound as ever and the cameos as delightful. Time has only enhanced the 60s London scene--the rock star bit, my daughter's favorite bit, appears to have been an influence for the Austin Powers set designer. George Spiggot's petty irritations--the double tempt!--made us giggle. The pacing is a still a little slow--it drags at the end. My daughter loved it, however, which was a pleasure. Lots of fun to see this classic again.
This Mephistophelean comedy is easily the best of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore's big screen pairings, and far more successful than the Brendan Fraser remake (although the absence of Elizabeth Hurley guarantees that on its own), but it is somewhat inconsistent in tone. It's the set-up and linking scenes that are the funniest and cleverest by far, as Peter Cook's George Spiggott (aka the Devil) explains the various theological conundrums of the whole Good-and-Evil-and-Free-Choice thing to Dudley Moore's short-order hamburger chef Stanley Moon while going about his daily business of mundane petty sins and mischief - fixing parking meters, scratching records, cutting buttons off shirts, drilling holes in oil tankers, persuading pigeons to crap on passers by - with little help from his useless assistants ("What terrible sins I've got working for me. Must be the wages."). Most of the mysteries of the ages are explained: the Garden of Eden is revealed as a boggy swamp just south of Croydon, Heaven turns out to be the garden center at Syon Park in Brentford, God is naturally an Englishman. And the key to success with women turns out to be - "In the words of Marcel Proust - and this applies to any woman in the world - if you can stay up and listen with a fair degree of attention to whatever garbage, no matter how stupid it is that they're coming out with, til ten minutes past four in the morning... you're in." The wishes themselves are mostly slightly disappointing, like the duo's later TV work showing a tendency toward overlength, although they do offer Eleanor Bron a chance to really shine in several different incarnations of Moon's fantasy woman, and fly on the wall sketch and the wonderful leaping Nuns of the Berylian Order are strokes of insane genius (Cook's statically disinterested pop star - "You fill me with inertia" - is an inspired creation too). And don't forget the magic words - "Julie An-drews!" Second Sight's PAL DVD is a good one - a very good 2.35:1 widescreen transfer, a 23-minute interview with Barry Humphries (who plays Envy in the film) and raw footage of a newsreel interview on set with Cook and Moore.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A goof on the Faust legend, BEDAZZLED is a fun showcase for then
partners Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. As Harry Moon, Moore signs a pact
with the decidedly inept Cook and gets into one hair-brained situation
after another. Director Stanley Donen keeps things moving at a brisk
clip so the episodes are never tiresome. The nuns-on-trampolines
segment is priceless --- Moore's nun name is very clever. Cook and
Moore didn't get many chances to showcase their unusual chemistry on
film so the film is a real treat. Moore himself would not become a
genuine leading man for another twelve years.
Raquel Welch appears briefly and the always charming Eleanor Bron is in it too.
The humor is good and typical British. Most of the jokes work really
well, it's just too bad that some of the sketches are dragging on for
too long and the movie itself feels a bit long.
Man oh man, let me start of by saying that Peter Cook and Dudley Moore are horrible actors. It was really painful to watch at times for me but since this is a comedy, the acting really is secondary. The real power of course lies in its jokes and one-liners. Who cares really that Dudley Moore and Peter Cook weren't the world finest actors?
The quality of the most sketches is good even though some of course are better than others. But like I said it drags on for a bit too long at times, some more pace wouldn't had been such a bad idea at times. After 2 sins I already got a bit tired thinking about it that I had to watch 5 more sins but luckily the movie never really weakens and keeps you watching to the end.
It is a very recommendable movie to kill some time with, also because of Raquel Welch small role!
Bedazzled marked the first big-screen outing for Peter Cook and Dudley
Moore, and when it was first released, a lot of cinemagoers were baffled by
it. Probably because the dirty raincoats, cloth caps and surreal flights of
fancy of their TV incarnations 'Pete and Dud' were missing, but mostly
because Bedazzled really isn't that funny.
The whole film has a stiff and stilted air, and none of the cast seem at ease in front of the cameras. A lot of the dialogue sounds as if it was post-dubbed from inside a cardboard box (there's an appalling dead echo on some of the outdoor scenes) and most of the 'wish fulfilment' sequences fall tiresomely flat, with the commendable exception of the pop parody in which Moore's gold-suited lovelorn ballad singer is updated by Cook's doomy psychedelic hipster 'Drimble Wedge'. Eleanor Bron is irritating beyond belief as Moore's love interest - are we really meant to believe that he was driven to the brink of suicide by such a flat, unloveable creature? Raquel Welch is typically dismal and inept in her three-minute cameo as 'Lust', and Michael Bates does his usual pompous routine as a stuffy, worryingly sexist policeman.
Bedazzled does have some bright moments, however - the scenes where Cook and Moore's relationship is allowed to develop into something approaching mutual respect are funny, natural and often touching, and Cook plays his washed-up Satan (reduced to petty evils such as scratching record albums and cutting the buttons off shirts) with his customary dry wit. But on the whole, this film is embarrassingly dated - especially Stanley Donen's tricksy direction - and genuine Cook and Moore fans will get a better kick out of DEREK AND CLIVE GET THE HORN.
"Bedazzled" is dazzling to some, deadening to others. I eventually grew tired of the many tight close-ups of Dudley Moore's perspiring, beady little face, or listening to Peter Cook's repetitious lines and snotty delivery. The production has a nice feel in the early scenes at the diner, where Moore works as a short-order cook, but his seven wish-fulfillments after signing a pact with Beelzebub Cook are disappointing. Eleanor Bron, as the object of Dudley's affection--a cheerless, jaded waitress--takes some time getting used to; the actress uses her dry, apathetic voice in some amusing ways, and she's not afraid to be repulsive, but a little of her goes a long way. The Devil's faculty--especially Anger, Envy and Lust (the latter portrayed by Raquel Welch, in red bra and panties)--are wonderful, but this one-note twist on Faust is an overlong British farce with too-careful pacing and not enough big laughs. **1/2 from ****
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