Bedazzled (1967)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Black Comedy, Religious Comedy  |   Release Date - Dec 10, 1967 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 104 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom , United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Review by Michael Costello

Musical specialist Stanley Donen is the nominal director of this brilliant comic parody of the Faust legend, but the real auteurs are undoubtedly its two stars, half of the groundbreaking "Beyond the Fringe"comedy group. Dudley Moore plays a wimpy bar waiter, hopelessly in love with his co-worker (Eleanor Bron). When he's on the verge of suicide, Satan (Peter Cook) appears, offering him seven wishes in exchange for his soul. Irreverent and surreal, ranging from high-flown wit to raunchy low comedy, despite moments of inertia, the film remains one of the funniest of its decade. Cook and Moore start out to explore the irrationality of commonplace fears and insecurities along with the commercial exploitation of same, and end with a wholesale comic critique of then-contemporary society which mostly still applies. As funny as Moore is as a man whose various wishes are bent askew by the devil, Cook is the comic center of the film, a mischievous demon who goes about the daily business scratching LPs ('60s), tearing out the endings of books, and flicking parking meters "expired" in his tireless efforts to make the human race miserable. His proudest achievement thus far: advertising. The film reaches its apogee as Moore, now morphed into a nun, takes his rightful place with the sacred order of the Leaping Beryllians. To reveal more would be sacrilege. Bedazzled also represents the apogee of the partnership of Cook and Moore, who would soon go their separate ways, with the latter finding stardom in Hollywood.