Review of Bedazzled (1967)

7 Jan

Bedazzled (1967) is a British dark comedy/fantasy film, that tells a story about a miserable man that sells his soul to the Devil in exchange for seven wishes.

Directed by Stanley Donen (Singin’ in the Rain (1952), Blame It on Rio (1984)), who is mostly known for his work on musicals.

Written by Peter Cook (Yellowbeard (1983), Derek and Clive Get the Horn (1979)) and Dudley Moore (30 Is a Dangerous Age, Cynthia (1968), The Hound of the Baskervilles (1978)), who both are the two leads of the film.

Starring: Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Raquel Welch, Eleanor Bron, Barry Humphries and others.

I must say that I saw the remake with Brendan Fraser and Elizabeth Hurley before this. And I like it a lot, I can see why it wasn’t critically acclaimed, but still I enjoy it every time I watch it.

So I thought I’d like the original at least as much. But I did not.

I mean, yeah, some parts were ok, like the joke they reused in the remake, when the protagonist wishes for a lollipop and Satan just takes him to a shop. Again I smiled at that. But I found odd the weirdly nightmarish tone.

Say what you will, but at least in the remake I really believed the main character would want to sell his soul, but here the motivation to make this faustian deal didn’t convince me.

There’s not much of physical transformation, so Dudley Moore has to do these relatively different characters using just his acting, that’s a chance to show off his acting, but I wasn’t too impressed. Peter Cook was more convincing as the Devil himself, doing his best well-meaning millionaire playboy impression. Liz Hurley is a hotter Satan, though. There’s not a total lack of hotties, Raquel Welch is just stunningly beautiful.

The film is unnecessarily blunt with the problems protagonist’s wishes present. And in most of them the love interest even barely shows up. Like, for example, there’s a scene where by mistake Dudley Moore is turned into a fly and then it proceeds to a scene that attempts to combine animation and live-action and the result is just miserable.

The grim tone and unnecessarily large involvement of Christianity in combination with dated satire,  overall mean-spiritedness, left me feeling just depressed and that isn’t what I want from a comedy with a concept that’s this gimmicky.

Overall, I found myself bored and getting angry at the movie as it went on. It wasn’t funny or thought provoking or anything I would expect it to be. Definitely not recommended. Stick with the remake. Sure, it’s stupid, but at least it’s fun.

I'll take the Satan that's on the left, thank you very much.

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