5.7/10
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26 user 19 critic

Bluebeard (1972)

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1:44 | Trailer
A World War I pilot whom everybody envies as a "ladykiller" actually is one - after he beds the women he's after, he murders them.

Director:

Edward Dmytryk

Writers:

Ennio De Concini (story), Edward Dmytryk (story) | 5 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Burton ... Kurt Von Sepper
Raquel Welch ... The Nun
Virna Lisi ... The Singer
Nathalie Delon ... Erika
Marilù Tolo ... Brigitt
Karin Schubert ... Greta
Agostina Belli ... Caroline
Sybil Danning ... The Prostitute
Joey Heatherton ... Anne
Edward Meeks Edward Meeks ... Sergio
Doka Bukova Doka Bukova ... Rosa
Jean Lefebvre ... Greta's Father
Erica Schramm Erica Schramm ... Greta's Mother
Karl-Otto Alberty ... Von Sepper's Friend (as Karl Otto Alberty)
Kurt Großkurth ... Von Sepper's Friend (as Kurt Grosskurth)
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Storyline

Baron von Sepper is an Austrian aristocrat noted for his blue-toned beard, and his appetite for beautiful wives. His latest spouse, an American beauty named Anne, discovers a vault in his castle that's filled with the frozen bodies of several beautiful women. When confronted with this slight oddity, Bluebeard explains to Anne that he found an easier alternative to divorce when he grew bored with his previous wives. In order to avoid being Bluebeard's next frozen bride, Anne must find a way to outwit her murderous hubby. Written by Leo Urbina

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Bluebeard loved all his wives passionately... to death! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | Italy | West Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 September 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bluebeard See more »

Filming Locations:

Budapest, Hungary See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A topless photo Joey Heatherton posed for during filming was used on the cover of her 1972 music album when it was re-released in 2004. She said in an interview: "That was done by the great Harry Langdon Jr., and I guess it was taken when I was making a movie with Richard Burton called Bluebeard. I think it was taken between scenes on the set, and Harry said, 'Come on, you opened your robe in Bluebeard, can I have a shot?' He told me we weren't going to ever do anything with it, and years later, surprise! The people at the label told me about the shot, and I saw it, and it is pretty...I told them it was a perfect shot for the cover." See more »

Quotes

Anne: Why did you kill them?
Kurt Von Sepper: Why? Why else? They deserved to die!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Gamera vs. Guiron (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

 
BLUEBEARD (Edward Dmytryk and Luciano Sacripanti, 1972) **1/2
8 March 2008 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

In the past, I’d watched three other versions (four, if one includes Charles Chaplin’s variation MONSIEUR VERDOUX [1947]) 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 [1967], CANDY [1968] and THE ASSASSINATION OF TROTSKY [1972]); 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 [1964]) and the novel methods of assassination (in the wake of A BAY OF BLOOD [1971]). Still, amid its forced Hitchcock references (the embalmed mother from PSYCHO [1960] and the falcon attack a' la THE BIRDS [1963]), 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.


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