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Dudley Moore: Bedazzled

[Bedazzled LP cover] Dudley Moore is known as the piano-playing drunk millionaire Arthur on this side of the Atlantic, but in England he’ll always be known as one half of a comedy duo with Peter Cook, who wrote and co-starred in Bedazzled along with Moore, who wrote the music for it in 1967. (It was remade in 2000 with Brendan Fraser and Elizabeth Hurley.) They’d come fresh from success after success in the UK for their radio and TV sketch-comedy shows, in which Cook was often the antagonist to Moore. In Bedazzled Cook is the ultimate antagonist — the Devil — come to Swinging London to claim a sad-sack short-order cook’s soul. Cook saw the film as his chance at transatlantic moviestardom; he took sole charge of the screenplay and made sure Satan got all the best lines (“We’ve been hit very badly by this peace scare”). Ironically, his intentionally subdued performance (the better to contrast himself with Moore’s pathetic, desperate, but sympathetic character) did too good of a job: Bedazzled was the beginning of Moore’s brief reign as American box-office king with films like 10 and Arthur, and the beginning of Cook’s slide into undeserved relative obscurity (American audiences know him from his cameo as the speech-impaired bishop in The Princess Bride).

The disparity between their characters’ natures is used to great effect in the film’s pop-star sequence, in which Moore, having requested that the Devil make him an adored figure, is transported to a Ready Steady Go–like studio set. Moore belts out a Tom Jones–esque song pleading for the audience to “Love Me”, and the audience duly screams for him in a perfect parody of Hard Day’s Night. Cook, again turning up to crush Moore’s fantasies, arrives on set after him as “Drimble Wedge and The Vegetations” and delivers “Bedazzled,” a bizarre tune that features Cook intoning “I’m callous ”¦ I’m dull ”¦ you bore me” in a monotone while undeterred backup singers sing “you drive me wild!” The challenge of “I’m not available” is too much for the studio audience, who forget all about Moore and swarm Cook.

[image of Japanese Bedazzled poster] The film’s soundtrack, composed by Moore, has some great pieces on it; besides the two songs above, the film’s main title is memorable. There’s some easy-listening filler, but it’s intended as schmaltz to underscore the vapidity of the characters in certain sequences. There’s some good strip-club music to showcase Raquel Welch (Cook wanted to call the film “Raquel Welch” so the posters could read “Peter Cook and Dudley Moore in Raquel Welch”), as the personification of the deadly sin Lust.

  1. Main Title
  2. Moon Time
  3. Strip Club
  4. Italy
  5. The Leaping Nun’s Chorus
  6. GPO Tower
  7. Love Me
  8. Bedazzled — link fixed
  9. The Millionaire
  10. Sweet Mouth
  11. Cornfield
  12. Goodbye George
  13. Lillian Lust

As an extra treat here’s Bongwater’s version of “Bedazzled” from their great 1990 LP Power of Pussy.

6 Comments so far
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Peter Cook steals the movie with his performance as Drimble Wedge – but you’ve posted the Bongwater version of “Bedazzled” twice without posting the original at all. But what I really meant to say was keep up the good work!

Good catch Fels, fixed now! Sorry to all who were confused.

“You fill me with inertia.”

Good call to post this; it’s been one of my fave films since I first saw it near 20 years ago. I’ve also been revisiting some of Cook & Moore’s “Derek & Clive” material and appreciating that; perhaps Dinosaur Gardens needs a good dump…

- ecc

Lots of Peter Cook & Dudley Moore downloads here including the complete “Misty Mr Wisty” album.

[...] de Dinosaur Gardens -23.548943 -46.638818 Share this:Like this:LikeBe the first to like this. Tags: Dudley Moore, [...]

[...] is as the founding member of the Dudley Moore Trio and with his musical scores for films such as Bedazzled (download link). Using the superlative musical talents he adopted in his youth, Dudley became a [...]



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