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United Kingdom 1967
Directed by
Stanley Donen
103 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars


Stanley Donen’s Bedazzled, which was written by and stars Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, is typical enough of 60s British comedies that strung together a series of sketches in some broad narrative form (Richard Lester’s The Bed Sitting Room, 1969, in which Cook and Moore also featured is another example).

To give Cook and Moore credit, it is here done better than most instances but even so it is only intermittently amusing. Cook was no doubt the principal writer and his wickedly dry humour and performance as Beelzebub are the film’s strengths. Moore does a variant on his Dud character as the Wimpey’s short-order cook who sells his soul to Cook's Devil in the hope of winning the favours of a comely waitress (Eleanor Bron) but is always thwarted by Satan’s talent for mischief. The memorable sketch involving the Berylians, an order of leaping nuns clearly shows one of the sources for the Monty Python brand of absurdism, whilst Cook collaborator Barry Humphries makes a green-shirted appearance as Envy.

Bedazzled is the kind of erratic comedy which will either strike you as a flash of genius or a waste of time depending on your sensibilities and mood and that is very much an unpredictable matter of the moment

FYI: The film was remade in 2000 with Brendan Fraser and Liz Hurley and relocated to San Francisco. Unsurprisingly, it fell well short of the original.




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