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Bedazzled (1967)

Related: 1967 - British cinema

Raquel Welch as Lust and Dudley Moore as Faust in Bedazzled (1967)

image sourced here. [Aug 2005]


Bedazzled is a 1967 motion picture, irreverently retelling the Faust legend set in the Swinging London of the 1960s. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bedazzled_%281967_film%29 [2004]

Cultural impact

Films expoiling and celebrating the social and economic freedoms of the so-called swinging 60s were common but Peter Cook and Dudley Moore's intelligent and witty comedy manages to be amusing and to reassert the Faust legend's timeless caveats about greed and sexual passion. The film has been one of the few of that era that are still received as fresh and funny. It was remade under the same title in 2000. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bedazzled_%281967_film%29 [2004]

Plot summary

Stanley Moon (Moore) is a dissatisfied introverted young man who works in a fast-food restaurant and admires, from afar, the waitress Margaret (Bron). Despairing of his unrequited infatuation, he is in the process of an incompetent suicide attempt when he is interrupted by Satan, incarnated as George Spiggott (Cook).

In return for his soul, Spiggot offers Stanley seven wishes. Stanley consumes these opportunites in trying to satisfy his lust for Margaret but Spiggott schemingly twists his words to frustrate any comsumation of desire. On one occasion, he re-incarnates Stanley as a nun.

Spiggott fills the time between these episodes with acts of minor vandalism and spite, incompetently assisted by the seven deadly sins personified, most memorably Lust (Welch).

Ultimately, a surplus of souls spares Stanley eternal damnation and he returns to his old job, wiser and more clear-sighted. In the closing scene, Spiggott threatens revenge on God by unleashing all the tawdry and shallow technological curses of the modern age: All right, you great git, you've asked for it. I'll cover the world in Tastee-Freez and Wimpy Burgers. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bedazzled_%281967_film%29 [2004]


George Spiggott:
What terrible sins I have working for me. I suppose it's the wages. [to Lust] Pick your clothes up. You're due down at the Foreign Office.

There was a time when I used to get lots of ideas... I thought up the Seven Deadly Sins in one afternoon. The only thing I've come up with recently is advertising.

It's the standard contract. Gives you seven wishes in accordance with the mystic rules of life. Seven Days of the Week, Seven Deadly Sins, Seven Seas, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers...

Stanley Moon:
[reading Faustian contract] "I, Stanley Moon, hereinafter and in the hereafter to be known as 'The Damned' - The damned?" --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bedazzled_%281967_film%29 [2004]

Amazon description

  • Bedazzled (1967) - Stanley Donen [Amazon.com]
    When the Devil (Peter Cook) offers suicidal short-order cook Stanley (Dudley Moore) seven wishes, Stanley easily surrenders his soul. All of his wishes are granted, to the letter. Unfortunately, as each wish comes to life, the Devil--cheeky sod!--manages to slip some unexpected problem into the mix, ruining everything in a deliciously funny way. Bedazzled was made long before 10 and Arthur made Dudley Moore an unlikely movie star. It's a much purer expression of the off-kilter British humor that Moore and his writing partner Cook pioneered, humor that would lead to Monty Python's Flying Circus and other absurdist goofballs. Moore is charming enough, but what really makes Bedazzled work is Cook, who combines upper-class arrogance with a cheerful, even casual lunacy. Though he played character roles in movies like The Princess Bride and Black Beauty, he was never able to parlay his sneaky sense of humor into starring roles. Bedazzled is his outstanding triumph. Not only does the movie offer some sly commentary on Christian morality, it has a cameo with Raquel Welch as the embodiment of Lust. A classic. --Bret Fetzer for amazon.com

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