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|Index||21 reviews in total|
20 out of 23 people found the following review useful:
Deliberately and elegantly kitsch... a cult!, 16 September 2004
Author: michelerealini from Switzerland
"Bluebeard" is neither a masterpiece nor a memorable movie. It is an
outdated film... Nevertheless, more than thirty years later, it is
still entertaining and funny. Why?
Because this 1972 version of the "Bluebeard" story -a wealthy charming psychopathic who kills his wives- is full of sarcasm, with a light horror touch. In this movie Richard Burton, who plays an insane, is once again a great leading man, surrounded by a group of sexy actresses at the height of their beauty (Raquel Welch, Virna Lisi, Nathalie Delon, Agostina Belli, Marilù Tolo, ...). The film is deliberately and elegantly kitsch... Watch the production design, the colours, the hunt scenes and the killing scenes -everything is filmed in a cynical and sardonic way. The film has quite a luxurious package, it's like a psycho-erotic endless game.
"Bluebeard" has no place in the movie history, I think it is an underrated film. But it has good points, even if it looks its age. To me it is a cult movie.
11 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Exceeded my expectations, 23 August 1999
Author: MrVB from New York
Forgive the 10 minutes or so of Richard Burton's (thankfully) sporadic organ playing. Instead, appreciate the plot (yes, this movie actually has one), dialog (especially the fast flying quips between the LUSCIOUS Joey Heatherton and Burton), acting (rather subdued for an Italian production), and production values of this rather well made film. There is no embarrassing zooming in and out with the camera, no corny sudden bursts of melodramatic music and barely any footage thst should have wound up on the cutting room floor. The women are portrayed across a broad spectrum: Strong willed, weak willed, not so bright and intelligent. Heatherton's attempt at analyzing Burton in order to stay alive is clever and well played out and the film has the usual ironic Italian ending.
13 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
A movie to like more for what it could have been than for what it is., 10 July 2000
Author: (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Northridge, Ca
This film has a lot of neat ideas, some beautiful women, and Burton as
world-weary Baron with a campy, phony, middle-European accent. The
script is clever and the sets are lavish, with Bluebeard's estate
evoking E. A. Poe's Prince Prospero's: a different color dominating
each separate room.
Only Dmytryk fails as a director. The material frankly begs for someone like a Roger Vadim or even Roger Corman. BLUEBEARD should have been more fun, more intelligent than the Vincent Price movies of the time (such as THEATRE OF BLOOD) or even those of Roger Vadim (such as PRETTY MAIDS ALL IN A ROW), and yet it isn't. The script demands macabre humor and erotica, and Dmytryk couldn't deliver either, even in his heyday (and this film was made at the end of his slow, sad artistic decline).
However, I personally enjoy this movie more for what it could have been than what it is. Unlike Chaplin's MONSUIER VERDOUX, and other "Bluebeard" movies directed by various people (from Edgar G. Ulmer to Claude Chabral) this is one film not inspired by the true story of Landru. It much more hearkens back to the original Perrault fairytale, only done in the modern times with Burton's Bluebeard as a proto-Nazi. It's not a bad idea for a film, but someone more hip, with more energy, was needed to pull it off.
7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
A Eurosleaze Classic, 10 September 2009
Author: (email@example.com) from United States
This movie was basically awesome: consistently statuesque women, exquisite castles, campy acting, ridiculous script, plenty of nudity, six murders, Richard Burton, and a pervasive, Euro-style charm that made even the sleaziest moments really fun and laughable. We ended up getting this as a Sybil Danning/Raquel Welch fan, and were really blown over by the film's consistent campiness and general Eurosleaze greatness. As far as Eurotrash goes, "Bluebeard" is double platinum. This was a really big budget production, and a lot of money went into the art direction. That said, expect great looking costumes and sets, which often rival the women as overall cinematic eye candy. I have to mention the ladies again, because they are stunning. Listen to this cast: Raquel Welch, Sybil Danning, Joey Heatherton, Virna Lisi, Nathalie Delon, Karin Schubert...."Bluebeard" plays out like a virtual "Whos Who" of A-list 1970's bombshells. Anyway, the script is ludicrous and silly, as is Joey Heatherton's performance as the female lead, but Richard Burton does a terrific job holding everything together. Raquel Welch plays one of the murdered wives, (and a nun to boot), and she's in the film for about 10-min. Sybil Danning plays a prostitute, and she has a pretty dank lesbian scene, but her screen time is similarly brief. The film's mystery elements are pretty predictable, but the whole affair is campy and attractive enough for it not to matter much. It is a bit long, and there is a tasteless hunting scene where a range of animals are shot, but I can't discount how fun most of this was. A Eurosleaze classic. ---|--- Reviews by Flak Magnet
6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
BLUEBEARD (Edward Dmytryk and Luciano Sacripanti, 1972) **1/2, 8 March 2008
Author: MARIO GAUCI (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Naxxar, Malta
In the past, I’d watched three other versions (four, if one includes
Charles Chaplin’s variation MONSIEUR VERDOUX ) about the famous
fictional serial killer Landru – the 1944 Edgar G. Ulmer/John Carradine
and 1963 Claude Chabrol/Charles Denner BLUEBEARD and the W. Lee
Wilder/George Sanders BLUEBEARD’S TEN HONEYMOONS from 1960.
Actually, this one is best approached as “Euro-Cult” (what with its flashes of nudity from a bevy of international beauties) rather than a historical piece – BLUEBEARD, incidentally, was a production of the Salkinds, soon to enjoy critical success with Richard Lester’s “Three Musketeers” films and, eventually, the money would come pouring in with the “Superman” franchise. Besides, the tone is unsurprisingly one of black comedy – with the titular ladies’ man revealed as an impotent who’s forced to kill a succession of spouses so as to keep this embarrassing fact a secret! Incidentally, it also transpires that events as depicted on-screen may well be fabricated since the real reason for the killings only emerges towards the end: “Bluebeard” – a WWI air ace – recounts his romantic misadventures to his latest conquest, a young American showgirl, after she’s cajoled by her husband towards the discovery of a secret passage leading to the vault wherein all the bodies of his former wives lie frozen!
The treatment is somewhat heavy-handed (with obvious predatory symbols, for instance): its connotations to Nazism, too, prove unnecessary – and, consequently, Bluebeard’s demise/come-uppance seems fateful when it should have been slyly ironic. All of which results in an uneven film with a tendency towards camp – though undeniably abetted by the overall handsome look (“Euro-Cult” regular Gabor Pogany is the cinematographer) and a typically imposing score by Ennio Morricone; incidentally, I had used portions of a funereal motif from the soundtrack of this film for my final short during the NYFA course I took in Hollywood a couple of years back! Individual contributions by the star cast, then, are also variable: to begin with, Richard Burton’s thespian skills were often misused during this particular period – lending his services to interesting but often ill-advised ventures (three more of which I watched only recently, namely DOCTOR FAUSTUS , CANDY  and THE ASSASSINATION OF TROTSKY ); in this case, he sports a silly colored beard (the script having interpreted the title all-too-literally, but which might actually be an indication that it shouldn’t be taken seriously) and looks alternately bored and exasperated throughout!
The ladies are all easy on the eyes but also surprisingly willing, with Joey Heatherton as the stunning current bride getting the lion’s share of the running-time. The others – in order of appearance – are Karin Schubert (when Burton’s deficiency, excused at first by a period of convalescence ostensibly suffering from a war wound, can no longer be concealed, she threatens to expose him to public ridicule and this triggers off his homicidal ‘urge’!); Virna Lisi (enjoying herself as she drives Burton to distraction with her incessant singing of corny love songs!); Nathalie Delon (a model whose inexperience in love leads her to take lessons from prostitute Sybil Danning, but the two become instant lovers!); Raquel Welch (a nymphomaniac who attempts to stifle the habit by, ahem, donning it i.e. she becomes a nun!); Marilu' Tolo (again, fun as an outspoken feminist – who even kicks Burton where it hurts! – but who also turns out to be a closet masochist); and Agostina Belli (as an outwardly-innocent but actually spoilt child-bride).
Going back to that “Euro Cult” comment, BLUEBEARD may have been influenced by the giallo work of Mario Bava – with its set of glamorous female victims (as in BLOOD AND BLACK LACE ) and the novel methods of assassination (in the wake of A BAY OF BLOOD ). Still, amid its forced Hitchcock references (the embalmed mother from PSYCHO  and the falcon attack a' la THE BIRDS ), it appears that Burton & Co. were consciously emulating the previous year’s success THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES (1971) – a low-budgeted but stylish vehicle for horror icon Vincent Price. Of course, one can’t forget to mention the film’s affinity with the classic Ealing black comedy KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS (1949) in its nonchalant, inevitably comical attitude to murder.
6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
camp pleasure, 24 July 2007
Author: tolo74 from Belgium
This film has been overlooked since it came out. It clearly isn't a masterpiece, but it has a great deal to offer to people with sense of humor. Burton is a little stiff as Bluebeard, but somehow this contributes to the strangeness of his character, making it creepy enough. Cinematography is top-notch, with lavish sets and wonderful art direction. The music score by maestro Morricone is fantastic, it gives us the real tone of the film, sometimes funny, sometimes odd, sometimes creepy... As I have read somewhere, the main problem with this movie is the fact that the director seems unease with the material, he constantly hesitates between farce, horror, satire, political allegory, eroticism... Maybe this is the reason why it is considered today as a cult film. It certainly gives the film an unique style! And what about the cast of Bluebeard's seven wives? This was probably the film's main achievement: what a fantastic parade of beauties! Impressive as it is, I can't help noticing some facts: Virna Lisi steals the show as a funny and weird character that cannot stop singing! Karin Schubert is the most beautiful of all them. Joey Heatherton seems at first out of place, her 60's looks at odds with the general setting of the film, but at the end her character works quite well. Raquel Welch gives the worst performance of the film: she isn't funny at all and proves what a bad actress she is!!! Agostina Belli is young and pretty... but a little bland (her character is not very interesting). Nathalie Delon is classy and mysterious, but she needed more screen time! Marilu Tolo gives another over-the-top performance, she has some of the best moments in the film.
7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Unholy matrimony, 24 April 2007
Author: Juha Hämäläinen from Finland
Richard Burton with his impressive skill and unforgettable voice surely
did many more demanding and better roles than Baron Bluebeard. As
limited as the role for him may have been, he really seems to make it
his own and it's hard to imagine anyone else of his stature at the time
quite reach the same result. Maybe Marlon Brando could have been as
good or better. As charming, as vulnerable, as ruthless, as big a star
and all at the same. I don't know about the box office, but actor and
story wise the producer made a good deal.
Poor Richard must have had some hard time with the actresses. All wives the most beautiful actresses around and not too shy. It's a bit shame that the repeating formula in baron's life and in the movie requires to get rid of them so quickly and mostly misses their acting skills leaving only Joey Heatherton linger around longer. Some of these actresses could have even filled in the main role better.
Bluebeard is an old fairy tale and a very cruel one as the original old tales used to be. So, this is a fairy tale for adults. The feeling is increased more by the fabulous castle, imaginative deaths and so forth. But placing the time of the story in the era of Nazi regime (though the marks and symbols used in the film are not genuine) gives it also another dimension. By taking on new wives to only to destroy them because of his own incompetence and false pride Bluebeard can be seen as a symbol of certain powers and what they have done (or are doing) to other countries and people. I'm not sure if the filmmakers really meant it that way, but that's how I see some of it.
If this film is mostly forgotten now, I think it's unjustly so and deserves new viewings. What it might miss in horror or suspense, it wins at least in wickedly dark humor and some tasty acting.
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Heatherton hits career peak opposite Burton in Bluebeard, 2 December 2007
Author: brefane from United States
Enjoyable, campy fun featuring a number of beautiful women, most of whom go nude, a seductive score by Ennio Morricone, good old fashioned direction from Edward Dmytryk that stresses atmosphere and setting, and that uses the flashback structure to good effect. Burton is an amusing Bluebeard and he's a lot more enjoyable here than he was in The ExorcistII(77), and Joey Heatherton who worked with Dmytryk in Where Love Has Gone(64)is well cast as the only American and the film's only likable character. Though Heatherton's look is not period, her charm and appeal to Burton's Bluebeard is believable, especially since most of Bluebeard's other wives are depicted somewhat unflatteringly. Though the film's treatment and attitude towards women is largely exploitive, and the film could be better paced, it's nonetheless diverting trash and thanks to a clever ad campaign and trailer it was a hit when released in theaters in 1972. The theatrical trailer is featured on Anchor Bay's DVD.
4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Not such a "bad" movie, 6 July 2008
Author: lazarillo from Denver, Colorado and Santiago, Chile
This is considered a "bad" movie by many people for some reason, even
though the "camp" here is obviously very intentional (he actually has a
blue beard, for chistsake!) Burton's character is obviously gay: he
meets and marries two American sex symbols of the era (Raquel Welch and
Joey Heatherton) as well as some of the most beautiful women in Europe
at the time (Agostina Belli, Nathalie Delon), but since he is unable to
really consummate with any of them, he finds something irritating (and
often hilarious) about them and kills them (talk about your gay
panic!). This movie should definitely appeal to people who love campy
ensemble-type films and Richard Burton at his hammiest (probably mostly
gays and women). But the most straight-arrow, un-ironic frat boy types
will no doubt enjoy it too because every woman here (except for Raquel
Welch) gets naked!
I did have one minor quibble though. If I was a homicidal misogynist the first female cast-member to go here would have been Joey Heatherton with her screeching voice and singular inability to deliver a convincing line of dialogue, but she gets to be the "final girl". Someone like the very lovely Agostina Belli, on the other hand, would have gotten to live a very long time.
No one else needs to act with Burton around though. He seems as happy as a pig in slop as he gets to deliberately ham it up for a change (and according to an interview I once read with one of his co-stars, Sybil Danning, he had even more fun OFFSCREEN--much to the chagrin of Elizabeth Taylor). This is really not such a "bad" movie after all.
4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Words Fail Me, 28 December 2007
Author: stealthjunk from United States
It's almost impossible to find the words to describe exactly how bad
this film is. Or to describe how much fun it was to watch. Bluebeard is
the story of a German Baron (Richard Burton) who has a, well, blue
beard. When Joey Heatherington finds out that he has killed a series of
wives and hidden the bodies she realizes that she is next. In attempt
to delay the inevitable she gets the Baron to tell his story. What
follows is a primer in how not to pick a girl.
The dialogue is phony, the accents are terrible but the women are all beautiful and (at least partially) disrobed. Maybe not the intent but this movie is a great example of a 1970's campy sex movie.
Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.
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