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Iconoclastic sixties merriment
Tom May8 October 2002
I did have high expectations going into this film, being a fan of Cook and Moore through what is available of "Not Only But Also", and several other Cook projects like the superb collaboration with Chris Morris, "Why Bother?" The expectations were largely fulfilled when I got to see this film, via a rare showing on Channel 4 this last April, as a tribute to Dudley Moore. The remake with Liz Hurley in place of Cook (how crass and thoughtless a piece of casting? They should really have discarded the title "Bedazzled" and just made it a Faust update, and not made any association with the Pete n' Dud film) is of course an irrelevance, and it is truly emblematic of our culture that it has received so many more IMDb votes than this original.

This film succeeds where "The Hound of the Baskervilles", a later Cook-Moore vehicle, abysmally fails. "Bedazzled" contains the essence of their comedic appeal, rooted as it is in errant taboo-breaking and gleeful absurdism. The strong guiding influence of Cook is in the script, which he had strong control over, by all accounts. The concept is a modern spin on the Faustian legend, based in 1960s London (amongst diversions!). "Bedazzled", with this scenario and its effective portrayal, is thus most winning when compared to both concept and execution in "The Hound of the Baskervilles"' lamentable case.

We have Pete n' Dud centre stage, and both at their comedic peak. Moore as a hapless, beleaguered little chap, and Cook as a matter-of-fact, mischievous, cunning and charming devil. A devil called Mr George Spiggott, bizarrely! :-) The other turns are good, and merely complementary, with the various sins portrayed pretty well. Eleanor Bron is reasonable as the malleable (according to the wishes) but essentially quite undeveloped love interest of Moore's. Not that this particularly matters in a comedy such as this; and her hair is eye catching. :-)

The brazenly literal cameo from Raquel Welch is something of a scream I must say; no pretence at her being anything else, which I presume there has been in other Welch movies of the period.

The various segments in this episodic film, are perhaps variable in their quality, but none are poor. The episodic nature of the film really does work in its favour keeping it fresh, but having the wonderful London linking sequences the heart of the film. It gets most amusing as Cook's devil repeatedly outwits Moore and finds loopholes in his wishes to downright exploit. The "happy family and home life" wish is really quite bizarre and almost disturbing in its oddness, while maybe the "rich" one slightly overdoes Bron's bumptious ultra-sexuality, even if the whole segment works very well. The "leaping nuns" part is prime "Not Only But Also" in its hushed absurdity and is a joy. The art direction and music aspects are notably good, embellishing the film and drawing out its sixties context. This film has not and can not date, as it is all so tastefully achieved and its technical grasp never exceeds its reach.

The whole film I feel, works excellently, with dashes of irony and an effective restating of the Faustian morals. There is an engaging melancholy to this film, below its comedic surface. The scene of the old woman being fobbed off by Cook is briefly poignant and suggestive of a whole society's delusion. The scenes as Cook effectively knocks on the door of Heaven feel slightly sombre to me, as well as oddly comic. There are some quite thoughtful scenes of dialogue as well, with the droll Cook in his element, perched atop a postbox. Of course, the depressing outcomes of each wish for Moore's character, only add to the slightly prickly, problematic mood that underlies the film. The whole thing ends on a very apposite note, I should add with a glint in my eye.

I loved watching this film, and while I doubt it could quite be labelled a fully-formed "masterpiece", it is a startlingly good evocation of the 1960s in a way... and also very much an amusing, clever comedy, with the subversive spirit of Peter Cook stamped all over it.
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A clever and classy treat
mathewshires13 April 2002
"Bedazzled", mainly because it's not available on DVD (and even VHS in the UK), has become something of a cult in recent years. This is also due to the simple fact that its a very good film, a very mannered and well-crafted high concept flick.

Dudley Moore and Peter Cook were still friends in 1967. They were two of British TV's most feted stars, and had also enthusiastically appeared together in a few ensemble comedy films. They were no slouches when it came to their first feature either. Stanley Donen was brought in a director, Cook toiled over the witty script, Moore did the perky score.

"Bedazzled" is slightly dated and is quite an uncommercial product overall, but its still a clever and interesting film. It doesnt deliver bellylaughs, but it is pretty thought-provoking and intelligent. There's funny one-liners ("Yes, Irving Moses-the fruitier etc), totally original ideas (the animated fly sequence, Raquel Welsh as Lust), slapstick stuff and a top pop parody with Cook as the indifferent "Drimble Wedge".

The pathos and sadness underpinning the movie is perhaps best summed up with the conned old lady's "Goodbye" as the Eyewash men leave. "Bedazzled" is very British and very 60s, but it still a well-made and well-acted fantasy, much better than the silly 2000 remake.
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I'm The Horned One, The Devil, Let Me Give You My Card
no-skyline31 December 2004
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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Does the devil bear the face of Peter Cook?!
Tails-517 July 1999
This is one of my personal favorites. Stanley Moon (Dudley Moore), a down-and-out Londoner who has a miserable job at the local Wimpy Burgers and has the hots for a beautiful waitress named Margaret Spencer, tries to hang himself, but then the Devil has to come in and save him. The Devil (played by Peter Cook) isn't all red and horned, but dressed in a nice tuxedo and wears Ray-Bans. He is interested in Stanley for the sole fact that George (the name he goes by) made a deal with God to get a hundred billion souls first before the other. In exchange for his soul, Stanley gets seven wishes, and of course George has to twist them all into nightmares, just for a cheap laugh. ("You just left me one little loophole. I had to take advantage of it, doctor's orders!") One of my favorite scenes is where Stanley and George are passing by as police officers, and with the snap of George's fingers parking meters expire, old ladies' grocery bags tear apart, and fires start in trash bins. Definitely a good movie if it's rainy outside, and you're all depressed -- it'll lift you up in no time!
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It really is that good
lucy-6617 April 2002
Just watched it again and this time I get it. Thirty-four years ago the script was over my head and I missed most of the double entendres. 1967 was a great

year for them as censorship had just been slackened. The pop star sequence is in fuzzy black and white because it's supposed to be on TV - yes, that's what it used to look like. (Did people really dance like that?)

The script is brilliant but sometimes the delivery is so throw-away the jokes are missed. Maybe as Peter Cook wrote them he didn't think they needed

underlining. For example, when Stanley borrows George's red nightshirt and

says something like "Does it really suit me? Red's not my colour, I'm usually more conservative." Red for socialism, blue for the conservative party. George's red socks were sported by Labour voters well into the conservative 70s and


Little things you may not know: Victorian nightshirts and long-legged bathing suits were a fad in 1967. George and Stanley when being themselves speak in

working class accents (unlike God). Dudley really was working class, unlike

Peter Cook.

RIP to both. Let's eat a bowl of raspberries and cream in their memories. xxxxxxxxxxx
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Hip comedy that gets better every time you see it.
mfredenburg17 January 2005
I have not seen the 2000 remake of Bedazzled for the same reason I never did see the Psycho remake - why mess with something so good?

Dudley Moore as a short-order cook leading a life of quiet desperation and Peter Cooke as the Devil team-up to deliver an extremely funny movie with surprisingly deep theological commentary. The Theodicy, the nature of sin and repentance, and other interesting topics are discussed and explored.

The first time I saw this movie I liked the offbeat humor (If you like Monty Python you will like this movie as well). However, I liked it better the second time I saw it and liked it even more the third time around, etc. So the first you see it you may give it a 7, the second time an 8 and by the third time it will rate a 9 or 10! I actually would give it a 9.5.

Speaking of a 10, Raquel Welch is appropriately cast for this movie!

Some other classic comedies I really like are the Pink Panther Movies, Arsenic and Old Lace (Cary Grant), A New Leaf (Walter Matthau) Dr. Strange Love, Pillow Talk (Doris Day/Rock Hudson),etc. IMHO, Bedazzled belongs in this company.

Unfortunately, it is only out on VHS, but I like this movie enough that I will buy the DVD when it comes out. (Note: it is now available on DVD and I did buy it!)

It would probably would rate a PG or PG-13 because of appropriately sexually explicit content - a funny seduction scene and some very brief nudity (movie would be fine without it, but it is extremely brief).

The movie pokes fun at religiosity. Which might offend some religious people. But if you are a person of faith who doesn't take yourself too seriously, you will find this to be a good watch and you might get an interesting discussion or two out of it.
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If you see only one Dudley Moore film, make it this one!!!
poiboy196621 August 2003
If you have seen the Brendon Frazer / Liz Hurley version of "Bedazzled" I beg of you to check out the original version. Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, an already famous comedy team brought their expertise to this film, a reworking of the Faust legend.

Moore plays Stanley Moon, a grill cook at the Whimpy Burger, who is in love with Margaret Spencer (Eleanor Bron), a waitress there. When his attempt to go and ask for a date is thrarted by his own hesitation, he decides to end it all.

Enter George Spiggot a.k.a. The Devil (Peter Cook) who tells Stanley that he can be with Margaret, in exchange for his soul. Stanley agrees, and the rest of the film showcases Stanley's wishes and that there is no such thing as a sure thing.

The chemistry between Cook and Moore shows through as their script demonstrates. Bron is wonderful as Margaret, and Stanley Donen's direction only accents the well written script.

The only other big name in the supporting cast, Raquel Welch, projects sheer sexuality as Lilian Lust, the sexpot of the Seven Deadly Sins.

Concerning the remake, I wish it were more like the plotline of the original, because I think that Liz Hurley would have made a terrific Lilian Lust. Watch the two versions and you'll see.

All in all, you can't go wrong with the original. Check it out and enjoy.

P.S. Julie Andrews!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Searching for Bedazzled (1967)
dave-151130 December 2004
I first bought this movie on VHS in 1983 as an ex rental from a garage, if it wasn't worn out then it certainly is now and I probably remember every line in the movie, but for some reason I have spent the whole evening searching for a copy I can buy to enjoy it again.

The movie is a gem incomparable to the 2000 effort.

Why is the movie so good? I believe the secret to the movie is that they played themselves, Cooke cruel, but humorous, arrogant, intelligent but tragic, Moore full of good intention, seemingly one step behind, but with the brighter future; the combination is gripping.

At the end of it all, as in life Cooke is exposed as being slightly more fragile than he gives on and an unlikely bond appears to have developed between the two.

I was reassured to hear the 60's critics found the movie bland and questioned Cooke's acting ability. Cooke's genius was non-conformity and the movie is full of it, trampolining Nuns, a hypnotically haunting Pop song, thought controlled pigeons, unforgivable abuse of kind old ladies and all captured in a cinematographic magic as were "the Prisoner" and "The Avengers" and which can never be recreated by a sequel.

There are so many great asides, lines and scenes, that to mention one or the other does not do justice; it is the wealth of colourful detail in the scenes, the events, the characters and the script. This movie certainly isn't "bland", "bland" is Cooke's appearance in the "One foot in the Algarve" episode and if there is any movie to best remind us why the pairing had a hint of genius this is it.

I hope I manage to find a copy to buy in the UK, but am also grateful that it is hard to get my hands on one. This movie like my "Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" or "Queen 1" LP is that much more enjoyable because it is mine and not the property of mainstream commercialisation ... However be sure you see it at least once when you can.
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A bit dated sometimes, but still very good.
Philip Van der Veken23 November 2004
I first saw the Hollywood remake of this movie a few years ago. I don't remember much about it, except for the fact that I wasn't really convinced by it. This evening however I saw the original version and I really liked it.

Yes, it looks a little bit dated and the acting may not be the best you've ever seen, but the story is nice and timeless. It's about a man who is afraid to ask the girl of his dreams out for a date. In return for his soul the devil promises him to help him. He sells his soul and he gets 7 wishes. Of course the devil always knows how to fool the man by making his wishes not coming true the way he had imagined it.

I had a good time watching it and I really had a few good laughs. The humor may look a little bit innocent by today's standards, but I still prefer this kind of humor over what is considered as humor today by some (a man running with a dead deer around his body, getting hit by a truck for instance - part in Tom Green's Freddy Got Fingered). You may call me old fashioned (even though I'm only 26 years old), but sometimes I prefer the old kind of humor over the new kind.

Overall this movie looks a bit dated from time to time, but don't let that be a reason not to watch this movie. I'm quite sure you'll enjoy it. I did and I give it a 7.5/10 for it.
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Why are people so very, very stupid?
fowler119 January 2003
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".
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didi-52 March 2003
Bedazzled just gets better as the years go by, and especially after the fiasco of the Liz Hurley remake. This version was written by and stars Pete 'n' Dud, with Eleanor Bron as the soppy Margaret Spencer, waitress at Wimpy's, Barry Humphries (otherwise known as Dame Edna) as Envy, Raquel Welch as Lilian Lust ... through its segments relating to Stanley's wishes (the 'sophistate', the millionaire, the pop star, the fly on the wall, the leaping nun ...) it scores points on every level, as well as reflecting the time - the pop star segment is very Ready, Steady, Go, George Spiggott's club (like Cook's in real life but hopefully the real one was less sleazy), and of course, the depressing town street burger bar. It is a very funny film and a good vehicle for the leads (their other teaming in Hound of the Baskervilles misfired badly). And it is directed by Stanley Donen, who was partly responsible for a string of MGM movie musicals with Gene Kelly in the 1950s.
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pseltzer116 May 2001
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.
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Great satirical comedy (even considering who made it)
Skragg30 January 2005
Warning: 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).
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Rejoice! Rejoice! It's out on DVD as of this week!
adamblake7731 July 2005
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.
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Never remake a perfect movie
masley9 March 2001
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 contrasts 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 films.

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.
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Faust-with a Swinging London 1967 twist.
k_rkeplar6 March 2005
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.
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One of the best
maggisuppe29 September 2004
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!
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Moore, Moore, Moore- How do you like it, How do you like it?
zmaturin4 February 2001
"Bedazzled" is the rare comedy that's imperfections are due to it's 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.
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An all-time favorite
rozebud-330 October 2000
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 enough!

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!).
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"Say the magic words - Julie Andrews!"
ShadeGrenade23 June 2006
Warning: 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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A hilarious comedy that must annoy quite a few people.
Fedor Petrovic (fedor8)17 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
A rather subversive little (slightly black) comedy, but not because of its support for hippies, but due to its demolishing of what constitutes the essence of Christian belief. The movie is at its best not during the materialization of Dudley's seven (well, six) wishes but during all the segments in-between. The dialogue between Dudley and Satan in these scenes is what won me over, and it's during these bits that Christianity, and religious belief in general perhaps, is taken apart with obvious joy by the writer. The mockery might be too subtle for the dimmer viewers, hence a believer of lower intelligence could enjoy "Bedazzled" without getting annoyed or upset. Although, a remark such as the one about a priest being "on our side" (Satan) might be a little too direct, and might reveal the film-makers' intentions even to the very unobservant viewer. Either way, I can imagine that the movie must have upset quite a few people back in the day.

The great irony, of course, is that this movie's portrayal and description of God is very accurate, i.e. quite in accordance with how He comes off in the Great Book. A point, however, that will be totally lost on (the more fanatical) believers.

Dudley refers to hippies as "those wonderful flower people" right after Satan targets them with a prank. What can one say to that? This was 1967, after all, an extremely naive and (comparatively) innocent period in the history of Western civilization. For all intents and purposes - at least to the lazier and more optimistic minds living at that time - hippies might have appeared to be that which they hypocritically tried to make everyone believe they were. If the movie had been intellectually fool-proof, which it isn't unfortunately but predictably (very few are), instead of glorifying hippies it would have placed them firmly on Satan's side, due to their abundantly obvious (perhaps with a little hindsight) penchant for indulging in at least half of the Seven Deadly Sins: lust, vanity, and sloth. (Hey, nothing wrong with lust; I am merely using the movie's religious-based logic.) Speaking of which, Raquel Welch has a bit part as Devil's servant Lust. She seemed to be rather confused about the accent she was supposed to use. I could have sworn she started off with an English accent but then somehow managed to slip into a light Southern twang. The director Donen probably didn't even try to correct her; he must have figured there was no use, not in a million takes. Or perhaps he'd given up AFTER the million takes. When Dudley's head is shoved onto her ample bossom, that might have been the first ever film sequence with a man resting his head on a pair of fake breasts. Just a thought.

There are nice little touches of insanity, such as the notion that the Devil had lost his touch somewhat, being reduced to performing minor acts of "sabotage" such as corrupting pidgens into crapping onto people's heads or performing trivial acts of fraud against little old ladies. Although the in-between segments are the funniest, there is much hilarity in some of the wish-segments too, the funniest being when Satan cons Dudley into becoming a lesbian nun. That entire monastery bit is the film's absolute highlight.

What really makes this comedy work most, apart from a meticulously prepared script, is without a doubt Dudley's excellent, totally spot-on nailing of the character. He plays him perfectly. The way he looks at people, the way he talks, plus his mannerisms and body language, all these are ideal for the portrayal of this fairly dimwitted Joe Shmoe loser. Occasionally Dudley says something a little too intelligent for his character, but that's forgivable in a comedy, i.e. plot-devices that advance a joke or gag are acceptable even if they stray from the established logic somewhat.

I haven't seen a comedy this funny in years (apart from "Borat" and "Bruno"), but I am not too surprised given that Stanley Donen directed it. He had actually managed to turn a MUSICAL into a funny movie years earlier with "Seven Brides For Seven Brothers", so if he could do that he could do a lot more.
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Bedazzled: Unwavering Brilliance
Baron Ronan Doyle25 March 2010
Having had my view of what comedy is revolutionised by Peter Cook and Dudley Moore via the immortal Derek and Clive, I could not wait to check them out together in a film. When I finally got the chance to see Bedazzled, I was incredibly excited to see what the most ingeniously funny duo ever could offer in a cinematic medium.

Moore plays Stanley Moon, a depressively lonely cook with a secret attraction to the waitress who rarely notices him. Deciding to finish himself once and for all, his suicide attempt is suddenly interrupted by the appearance of the mysterious George Spiggot. Soon after revealing himself to be Satan, Spiggot offers Moon seven wishes for the simple price of his soul.

Perhaps half an hour into Bedazzled, I started to feel somewhat disappointed. Though I was being made to chuckle, the opportunities for such weren't quite as frequent or hilarious as I had hoped. My expectations looking dashed, I decided to sit back and enjoy the substandard(by the high standards of Cook/Moore, that is) level of comedy I was getting. Of course, it was mere moments later that I was howling with laughter, a particular scene reducing me to fitful tears and gasps for air amidst the unwavering brilliance of gag after gag. The unending hilarity of that scene, and indeed all that followed, had me questioning whether I had just been in a mood not conducive to comedy. Cook's script is teeming with deliciously subtle jokes: whether cunning double-entendres or simple gestures. The dialogue is incomparable, benefiting from the clear chemistry of the two. Spiggot's twisted realisations of Moon's wishes are brilliant in themselves, particularly the now famous Order of St Beryl scene. My huge enjoyment of perhaps the latter two thirds of the film has me eagerly awaiting the chance to see it again.

Tremendously funny, Bedazzled is entirely worthy of its cult status. Managing to convince me despite my initial cynicism, I have no doubt that further viewings will provide the chance to catch the likely dozens of laughs I missed first time around. Everybody must watch this film.
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Fencing For Your Soul
bkoganbing29 November 2009
Bedazzled finds Dudley Moore as a short order cook at a Wimpy's in London trying his best to score with the lovely Eleanore Bron who comes in every day for an order. He'll do just about any old thing to make it with her and when you say that, you know that old Scratch will come up from the bowels of the earth to offer you a deal for your soul.

But Moore doesn't give up that easy in fact he worms seven different chances with this girl and as the devil his partner Peter Cook comes up with a loophole every time. I have to give Moore credit, he negotiates like a Philadelphia lawyer, but Cook is up to each and every one. The way he gets out of the seventh and last is one for the books.

Starring along with Moore and Cook is the city of London in the Sixties when because of the Beatles it was the pop capital of the world. For those who want a look at London back in the day, Bedazzled is definitely the film for you.

The only other American on this film besides director Stanley Donen is Raquel Welch who plays the deadly sin of lust personified. And I can't think of anyone better for that time period.

There is some physical comedy in Bedazzled, but the real treat is watching Moore and Cook fence for Moore's soul. It's the Faust theme with a real comic twist. Tab Hunter should have only been this cagey with Ray Walston in Damn Yankees.

Moore and Cook did quite a few films together before splitting in the late Seventies. Dudley Moore of course had far greater success as a single than Peter Cook did. Then again this side of the pond did not see that much of Cook. The team did a lot of British television together that we in America never were privileged to see. I'm told some of those programs are classic. Bedazzled is yet another classic for them that is available and should be looked at.
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Real 60's feel
jmilbank14 August 2005
I watched the Peter Cook and Dudley Moore comedy series on television in London as a teenager.

I saw the film when it first came out.

I saw it again recently at home on DVD.

It is a time capsule. After all those years it is still entertaining. The music, dialog and camera capture the spirit of the swinging 60's.

My teenage daughter saw it and said it was cool.

Well worth watching. Worth every penny.

It is also a kind of historical document. Made at the peak of the post war economic boom. The Devil's night club is set in a part of London under demolition and redevelopment.

Peter Cook plays the part of Lucifer admirably. Scratching the record is symbolic. The shoddy quality control of British manufacturers and the subsequent demise of the motor cycle, automobile and other industry.

A lot of extremely valuable stuff in there.
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Fun Sixties Comedy
RobertF8716 February 2005
Peter Cook and Dudley Moore were already well established comedians in Britain and in the UK with the famous revue "Beyond the Fringe" and the television series "Not Only... But Also...", when they made this comic take on the Faust legend.

Dudley Moore is Stanley Moon, a short order cook hopelessly in love with the oblivious Margaret Spencer (Eleanor Bron). After a suicide attempt, Moon encounters the Devil, in the form of George Spiggott (Peter Cook) who offers him seven wishes in exchange for his soul.

The film is, at times, very funny and Moore and Cook have genuine charisma in their parts, however the film is overlong and some episodes outstay their welcome. It is also very dated now. One curious thing is that, instead of portraying the Devil as the personification of evil, the film presents him as basically a likable trickster.

Not perfect, but worth watching for the genuinely funny moments and the huge charm of this film.
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