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Bedazzled Movie Review

moore cook dudley comedy

Nowadays, when we discuss the Seven Deadly Sins, we don't kid around, but in the Swinging ‘60s, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore got away with it in this side-splitting Faustian comedy, co-scripted by its stars. Cook (1937–95) is The Devil, George Spig-got; Moore, then 32, is Stanley Moon, Wimpy's short-order cook. Stanley is desperately in love with Wimpy's counter girl, Margaret Spencer (Eleanor Bron, then 33), and George offers him seven wishes in exchange for his soul. In his pursuit of Margaret, Stanley squanders them, but he does get a rather good understanding of the Devil and the chance to meet all Seven Deadly Sins. Raquel Welch, then 27, is Lillian Lust. (And yes, that IS Edna Everage's alter ego as Envy!) The pleasure of watching Cook and Moore work together was shared by Brits and Americans alike for the better part of two decades. Some of the funniest sight gags and most incisive dialogue in Bedazzled represent the best of their work in British television. Cook and Moore also won two Tonys and a Grammy together (plus two other Grammy nominations) for their bright, satirical work as a team. At 43, Moore emigrated to Hollywood and quickly established himself as an Oscar-nominated movie star. Except for a 16-month comedy series in the early ‘80s (that lasted eight times longer than TWO of Moore's comedy series in the ‘90s), Cook remained in England. He drank, put on weight (he once joked about playing Fat King Farouk), accepted cameo roles, and died too young of an intestinal hemorrhage. Until another bright, satirical team, Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, arrived on the scene, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore were regarded by many comedy buffs as two of Britain's wittiest treasures. (Other Cook-Moore films: The Wrong Box and Those Daring Young Men in Their Jaunty Jalopies. Skip Paul Morissey's The Hound of the Baskervilles!)

1968 (PG) 107m/C GB Dudley Moore, Peter Cook, Eleanor Bron, Michael Bates, Raquel Welch, Bernard Spear, Parnell McGarry, Howard Goorney, Daniele Noel, Barry Humphries, Robert Russell, Lockwood West, Robin Hawdon, Evelyn Moore, Charles Lloyd Pack; D: Stanley Donen; W: Dudley Moore, Peter Cook; C: Austin Dempster; M: Dudley Moore. VHS, LV, Letterbox

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