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Bedazzled

Bedazzled title card animated GIF

Year - 1967
Studio - Twentieth Century Fox
Stars - Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Eleanor Bron, Raquel Welch
Director - Stanley Donen
Writing Credits - Peter Cook (screenplay), Peter Cook, Dudley Moore (story)
Music - Dudley Moore

Synopsis

Stanley Moon (Dudley Moore) is a short-order cook and is depressed with his life. He's infatuated with waitress Margaret Spencer (Eleanor Bron) but can't work up the nerve to approach her. He makes a clumsy attempt at hanging himself, but only succeeds in breaking the water pipe the rope was attached to.

The devil, who goes by the name of George Spiggott (Peter Cook) appears in his flat, and makes the usual offer to buy Stanley's soul, in exchange for seven wishes. (He, like Ray Walston's devil in Damn Yankees, always wears bright red socks.) Stanley is skeptical, so George suggests a "demonstration wish". Stanley sarcastically asks for a "Frobisher and Gleason raspberry flavored ice lolly", and the devil complies by accompanying him by bus to the nearest Frobisher and Gleason stand, where he borrows sixpence from Stanley to make the purchase. Since the demonstration doesn't convince Stanley, George utters the magic words, "Julie Andrews", and they are instantly transported to the devil's headquarters, a seedy basement strip club, guarded at the door by his surly assistant, "Anger." George produces a contract for Stanley, who asks whether he should sign it in blood. "My, you are a traditionalist," replies George and suggests they use the blood of Sloth, another of his assistants. "He won't miss it."

Bedazzled poster

Stanley is instructed that, when he wants to return for his next wish, he need only make a "bronx cheer" sound.

Stanley's first wish is to become more "sure of himself, more...", and George suggests "Articulate? You'd like to be one of those people who uses words like 'Articulate'?"

Granted his wish, Stanley is now with Margaret, impressing her with his erudite and intellectual powers. Seeing his opportunity, he tries to kiss her, but she screams "rape, rape!" Realizing that his wish was incompletely formed, Stanley makes the return noise, and finds himself back with George Spiggot, ready to present his next wish, this time specifying that he be married to Margaret, that he be incredibly wealthy, and she be lustful and very physical.

Now granted this scenario, Stanley is at his country estate where he bestows expensive gifts on Margaret, a diamond bracelet, a fur coat, a painting (the original Mona Lisa), and she is indeed lustful ... only with another man.

Stanley returns, again and again, to Spiggot attempting to frame just the right wish, but each time there is a loophole that results in his failure. One time, he inadvertently says he wishes he were a fly on the wall where Margaret is talking to a police inspector, and he indeed becomes that fly on a wall.

Finally having used up his seven wishes, Stanley makes a plea that he not have to surrender his soul. Spiggott, surprisingly, agrees, as he is hoping that this magnanimous act will convince God to let him return to Heaven as an angel. However, God, knowing that Spiggott did this, not for Stanley, but for himself, will have none of it.

Spiggott returns to Stanley, now back at his short order cook job, and suggests a new contract. But Stanley now understands that the devil, by definition, will never help him and that he must try to win Margaret on his own abilities.

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The film was remade in 2000, with Brendan Fraser and Elizabeth Hurley, under the same title Bedazzled.