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Film / Bedazzled (1967)

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Can you guess which of the seven deadly sins she is?

Bedazzled is a 1967 Comic Fantasy film directed by Stanley Donen and written by and starring Peter Cook and Dudley Moore.

Moore plays Stanley Moon, a short-order cook at Wimpy's who is hopelessly in love with waitress Margaret (Eleanor Bron) but too shy to tell her how he feels. Depressed over his lot in life, he attempts to hang himself. When his attempt fails, in steps Satan, who goes by the unlikely name of George Spiggott and is played by Peter Cook. George offers Stanley seven wishes in return for his soul, and in his desperation, Stanley sees no reason to refuse... after all, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

A remake of the film was released in 2000.

This 1967 film contains examples of:

  • 15 Minutes of Fame: Stanley wishes to become a pop star; George delivers on his request, but then immediately makes him yesterday's news with his own new pop act.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: As much as Stanley disapproves of George's petty actions, he can't help but laugh when he makes a woman's grocery bag rip open and spill on the ground. He still calls George out on it though.
  • Affably Evil: George puts Stanley up in his mansion and plies him with food, drink and Lillian Lust. His hospitality makes it all too easy for Stanley to forget how cruel and manipulative he really is.
  • And Starring: The pre-title billing in the opening credits goes "Peter Cook and Dudley Moore...and Eleanor Bron", then right after the title it adds "Raquel Welch as Lust".
  • Attempted Rape: During his wish to be more eloquent, Stanley manages to get Margaret's adulation with his pretentious lectures and attempts to encourage her to drop her inhibitions, at which point she gets scared and starts backing out; Stanley doesn't get the message and forces himself on her, resulting in her fighting him off and screaming "rape." Only then does Stanley realize the nature of his actions, hastily ending his wish in response.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: The running joke of the film is that George, being literally Satan, introduces catches to every one of Stanley's wishes so that they backfire spectacularly on him. Stanley wishing to be more articulate results in him getting so caught up in his pretentions that he nearly rapes Margaret, Stanley wishing to be ultra-wealthy with Margaret as his "physical" wife results in her cheating on him, Stanley wishing to be a famous pop star results in him only getting 15 Minutes of Fame, Stanley accidentally wishing to be a fly on the wall is taken literally, Stanley wishing for him and Margaret to have a quiet country life results in them being participants in an affair that they can't bear to consummate, Stanley trying to make an un-abusable wish results in him and Margaret becoming nuns in a covenant, and Stanley's wish for a raspberry ice lolly counted even though George just walked down the street and bought one.
  • Bland-Name Product: While "Love Me" by Stanley and "Bedazzled" by George/Drimble Wedge appear for the all the world to be performances on the classic ITV music show Ready Steady Go!, a sign indicates that Go Going! is the actual name of the show.
  • Blowing a Raspberry: How Stanley ends each wish, but averted when his numerous raspberries do nothing to stop the final wish (other than earn a few dirty looks from the nuns). This foreshadows the reveal that his wish for an ice lolly counted despite it not being granted with magic.
  • Brick Joke: George scratching a classical music record and sending it out into the world during his first visit with Stanley at the nightclub, then later the Brahms record Stanley plays skipping during his "intellectual" wish.
  • Burger Fool: An interesting early use of this trope, in an unusual British adult setting, with Stanley working a dead end job at Wimpy's.
  • Camp Gay: Envy. He even wears green silk pajamas.
  • Cerebus Callback: "What about the Frobisher & Gleason raspberry-flavored ice lolly?"
  • The Chessmaster: George knows what his victims will wish for and is able to identify the flaw in every one of Stanley's plans.
    • "You should have specified the sex."
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Everything George inflicts on Stanley.
  • Covers Always Lie: This cover makes it look like Raquel Welch as Lust is one of the core characters. Although Lust does have a pivotal role in the film, she's only on for about seven minutes.
  • Creator In-Joke:
    • Dudley Moore plays a character named Stanley Moon. This came from an incident during his Beyond the Fringe days, when his future Arthur co-star John Gielgud mistakenly called him "Stanley Moon".
    • George tells Stanley he'll grant him "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." This film's director Stanley Donen previously directed Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The "pop star" wish, to match the scene being a live television broadcast (since color TV was rare in Britain in The '60s).
  • The Devil Is a Loser: Possibly the most literal example ever.
  • Distracted by the Luxury: Subverted in the rich man wish, where Margaret is running around with another guy, and Stanley buys Margaret a mink coat. She enjoys how it feels, but then just takes it off to run around some more.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Dudley Moore composed all the film's music.
  • Evil is Petty: "Your pranks are so miserable." George's petty schemes include posing as a door-to-door salesman and phoning people while they're in the bath. As he explains, the idea is to agitate people so much that they're tempted to commit the real sins.
  • Exact Words: What George does with all of Stanley's wishes.
  • The Film of the Series: Not the entire movie, but the "Berylian Order" sequence is based on a sketch that Cook and Moore did for their show Not Only... But Also.
  • God and Satan Are Both Jerks: George is certainly the living embodiment of Evil is Petty and perfectly happy to damn a hundred billion souls as long as it gets himself back Heaven. But God, for His part, was the one who agreed to the contest in the first place ( and then weasels out of it when George wins, causing George to declare that he's going to be even worse from now on), demands that George literally grovel in the dirt before Him while they talk, and just generally comes across as a self-obsessed tyrant.
  • God Test: Stanley wishes for a Frobisher's ice lolly as proof of George's claims. Rather than conjuring one, George just takes him to a candy store and buys one (and makes Stanley pay for it). Stanley is, not surprisingly, unconvinced.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Envy. He even wears green.
  • In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It: The title is shown in the credits as Stanley Donen's Bedazzled.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Margaret isn't necessarily unattractive, but Stanley, Inspector Clarke, and even George act as if she's the best looking woman in London.
    • At one point, George comments on Inspector Clarke's appearance in a highly positive manner.
  • Jackass Genie: George Spiggott embodies this trope, taking every one of Stanley's wishes and distorting them to amuse himself.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: God finds a loophole that enables him to screw George over and deny him reentry into Heaven using Exact Words and a technicality... in exactly the same way that George had been screwing Stanley over with regard to his wishes.
  • Lazy Bum: Sloth, naturally, is this.
  • Loophole Abuse: George is an expert at this.
  • Manipulative Bastard: George's entire schtick is playing with Stanley's feelings for Margaret.
  • Master of the Mixed Message: Margaret in the "intellectual" wish, who seems like she's totally picking up on Stanley's hints about wanting to get physical with her and agreeing, only to freak out and scream when he finally makes a small pass at her.
  • Medium Blending: When Stanley offhandedly wishes to be a fly on the wall, George turns them both into cartoon-animated flies.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Lust, naturally, and all the more so with Raquel Welch in a bikini.
  • Mundane Wish: Stanley uses a test wish on a Frobisher's ice lolly. George simply takes him to a sidewalk stand so that he can buy one.
  • Naughty Nuns: "And I love you too, Sister Luna."
  • No Accounting for Taste: Apparently, according to George, Lust is married... to Sloth.
  • Pet the Dog: When George, apparently on a whim, lets Stanley out of his contract. But he only did it so he could tell God "I even did a good deed!"
  • Poke the Poodle: George's sole reason for existing, it seems like.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: George's red socks identify him in each of his alternate identities — he even wears a pair as a fly! When he tries to return to Heaven at the end, he swaps them for sandals.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: All seven are given human portrayals. Raquel Welch is Lillian Lust.
  • Shout-Out: George's magic words are "Julie Andrews". He also uses "LBJ" and (unsuccessfully) "Jackie Kennedy".
  • Take That!: The absurd cloister is probably a veiled potshot at The Flying Nun.
  • Undesirable Prize: George says the prize for having ten bottles of Fruney Green Eyewash is "a beautiful silver tea service and a night on the town with Alfred Hitchcock", though the old woman apparently finds them desirable enough to take him up on his suggestion to go buy the bottles.
  • Unexplained Accent: Lust has a breathy Southern Belle accent.
  • Villainous Breakdown: George is in a wager with God: he has been promised that if he claims a hundred billion souls before God does, he will be allowed back into Heaven. He achieves this easily but God still finds a way to deny George entry to Heaven, and sends him back to square one.
  • Vow of Celibacy: The Devil gives Stanley Moon seven wishes in return for his soul. Stanley is in love with Margaret so he wishes for them to be together. The Devil decides to be a Jackass Genie and makes Margaret and Stanley nuns in love with each other. They're together in a nunnery, but this makes them celibate, and in the realm of the wish, Stanley is a woman, which Margaret is not attracted to.
  • You Won't Feel a Thing!: The Devil offers Stanley seven wishes for his soul. Stanley has misgivings and asks "But if you took it out, wouldn't it hurt?" The Devil replies "It's a perfectly painless operation, and afterwards you won't feel a thing!"