Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cinema Tuesdays {Bedazzled}

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From 1967, Bedazzled is the inspiration for this month theme of Dealing with the Devil. Not only is it a brilliant modern version of Faust, but it's also a hilarious satire of the Sixties. If you haven't seen it yet, you're missing out on a truly terrific film.
Produced and directed by Stanley Donen, the story is by Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, the screenplay is by Peter Cook and the music is by Dudley Moore. This is Cook and Moore at the height of their creative comedic partnership.
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Dudley Moore plays poor Stanley Moon, a short order cook and a loser. Nothing good has ever happened in his life.
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Peter Cook's classmate and frequent Cook and Moore collaborator, the fabulous Eleanor Bron plays Margaret Spencer, a waitress at the fast food restaurant where Stanley works. Stanley's spent six years trying to work up the courage to ask Margaret out, but just can't seem to manage to do so.
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Peter Cook plays the Devil, or George Spiggott as he's known in London. George has taken an interest in Stanley.
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"Excuse me, but I couldn't help noticing that you were making an unsuccessful suicide bid"
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George offers Stanley the standard Seven Wishes For Your Soul contact and Stanley reluctantly agrees. The problem with the wishes is that Stanley is never specific enough and George is always able to find a loophole in order to prevent Stanley from having Margaret all to himself. But George explains that it's God's fault for giving him the compulsion to trick people and make mischief in the world. Stanley starts to realize that his life wasn't so bad before. And all George wants to do is to get back into heaven. You can't help but feel sorry for George. He's bored with his job, reduced to smashing up fruit in the odd crate, giving people parking tickets and being mean to old ladies. Plus the only helpers he has are the Seven Deadly Sins and they're more concerned with their own desires than with helping their boss, so George has to do everything himself. He's made the world such a rotten place that the only thing that he's come up with recently is advertising.
George and Stanley become good friends during the course of the film, since they're both so miserable with their lives and George really does want to help Stanley, but he just can't ignore his compulsion to trick people.
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This is George's London office.
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Raquel Welch also stars as Lust.
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"Tell me you need me. Oh, Love Me!"
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"This week's exciting new discovery: Drimble Wedge and the Vegetations!"
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"You fill me with inertia"
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The Leaping Order of St. Beryl. You can see the original sketch from their TV show Not Only But Also here.
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Andi B. Goode said...

Yes! I love this film. I was nearly in tears the first time I saw it - I especially love the 'leaping nuns' part. Oh dear.
-Andi x

BansheeMilk said...

Stanley Donen was brilliant. I grew up on "Charade"