Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice


bobcaroltedaliceBob (Robert Culp) and Carol (Natalie Wood) feel enlightened and sexually liberated after a weekend of group therapy; back home they try to make their friends (Elliott Gould, Dyan Cannon) see the light as well. Paul Mazursky made his directing debut with this popular comedy, a product of an era that had people viewing sex in a very different way than their parents ever did. The writers create little dramas for both couples that challenge their perceptions and morals. There’s room for both curiosity and revealing psychobabble. The very last scene may be a tad too cute, but the actors are great, not least Cannon as Alice who’s quite uncomfortable by all this sex business.

1969-U.S. 104 min. Color. Produced by Larry Tucker. Directed by Paul Mazursky. Screenplay: Paul Mazursky, Larry Tucker. Cast: Natalie Wood (Carol Sanders), Robert Culp (Bob Sanders), Elliott Gould (Ted Henderson), Dyan Cannon (Alice Henderson), Horst Ebersberg, Greg Mullavey.

Trivia: Warren Beatty, Robert Redford, Jane Fonda and Faye Dunaway were allegedly considered for parts. Followed by a TV series, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1973).

Quote: “First, we’ll have an orgy. Then we’ll go see Tony Bennett.” (Gould)

Last word: “The studios now would prefer, I think for the most part, to do tent pole pictures. Pictures that hold up the tent. Spend $150 million. 3-D. They want to do ‘Bob & Carol’ [‘& Ted & Alice’] again. I said, ‘I’ll only do it if you do the orgy in 3-D.’ I don’t want to do it. I turned it down. The only way to get a small movie done is to do it independently. When I showed the original treatment for ‘Bob & Carol’, the first guy who saw it said, ‘It’s too dirty.’ I said, ‘Well, what if I get Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward to be one of the couples?’ And he said, ‘Well, then it would be good. I would do it.’ So they’ve always been stupid, but they were less stupid in the old days.” (Mazursky, Huffington Post)

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