Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969)

Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969)
6.8
  • 6168
  • R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release year: 1969 ()
  • Running time: 105 min
  • Original Title: Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice
  • Voted: 6168

Documentary film-maker Bob Sanders and his wife Carol attend a group therapy session that serves as the backdrop for the opening scenes of the film. Returning to their Los Angeles home, the newly "enlightened" couple chastise their closest friends, Ted and Alice, for not coming to grips with their true feelings. Bob insists that everyone "feel" rather than intellectualize their emotions, and Carol pronounces "that's beautiful" after anyone says anything even remotely personal. Ted and Alice humor their friends, but it is obvious that there is a good-natured sexual tension at work within the foursome.

#PersonCharacters
1Natalie WoodCarol Sanders
2Robert CulpBob Sanders
3Elliott GouldTed Henderson
4Dyan CannonAlice Henderson
  • INSIGHT! INSIGHT! by 9

    I love this movie. Although some people may classify it as "dated," the concepts that it deals with are worth exploring today. How honest are we to one another? How often do we actually look at people? And what is love?

    From its opening shots (tooling up PCH in a cool car) to its closing ones (people really looking at each other), it's a true work of art. The beginning truly captures the free and concept-expanding atmosphere that is the Esalen Institute, which itself has not changed much since then. Screen goddess Natalie Wood, in one of her best roles, inhabits the honesty and sexual freedom that is Carol. Robert Culp is a strong counterpart to her as Bob. The more repressed couple, Eliott Gould and Dyan Cannon, are perfect.

    Along the way, they explore the boundaries of sexuality, monogamy and friendship, and realize that some lines are better left uncrossed. To me, it puts a very fine point on what was going on in the 60s, and where exactly we went wrong.

    SEE THIS FILM. It'll give you insight. Promise.

  • This movie holds up! by 9

    I rented this movie because I remembered one scene from 35 years ago. I was astounded to see that the whole movie holds up very well. The 4 leads are terrific (Natalie Wood and Dyan Canon are beautiful, by the way, and Robert Culp hits just the right note with his "sensitive-new- age-guy" hip/naive performance) and you can see director Paul Mazursky's touch with what seems to be stretches of impromptu dialog I found true.

    The movie also does a great job of balancing drama with farce, superficiality with intimacy.

    The scenes at the Esalen-type retreat start at as spoof but evolve into real empathy. Parenthetically, check out the fashions in this film. There is one scene in a discotheque that Mazursky must have known even then would be a source of laughter and certainly, today, it's a hoot.

  • Great 60's comedy w/beautiful actresses by 9

    One of the best of 1969 with Natalie Wood and Dyan Cannon at their sexiest. Perfect casting, great story, and Mazursky's best film. I know the critics were split on this one, but it came out at the right time and it holds up today. What's not to like about this? Elliott Gould was never more befuddled, Dyan Cannon's best acting when she was gorgeous, Robert Culp's only decent movie, and Natalie Wood was born to play Carol.

    Certainly a 9 out 10! Mazursky would never again be so in touch with the times and the ending is NOT a cop-out! Check this out. Great stuff! Even the encounter session scenes have the ring of truth for that sort of thing. This movie is great!

  • Clever & Cool & Classy & Funny by 10

    What a delightful movie! I don't think its aged one bit. Sure the clothes are different, the latest self-help fads are different, the priorities are different--but SO much still resonates today. The relationship between love and sex and spouses and friends. Human desire, and commitment are timeless topics, and they are explored with great wit and panache in this thoroughly entertaining movie. And the dialogue! Many scenes purely consist of the twists and turns of intelligent people in verbal games--some of the scenes feel like being in a verbal

    amusement park, going up and down roller-coasters of clever and surprising

    dialogue. The funny moments are priceless: the tennis instructor asking for a glass of Pernod, Dyan Cannon in the therepist's office--probably the funniest and most perceptive take on the "therepy experience" ever shown on film-- (along with Kirstie Alley's therapist melt-down scene in Woody Allen's

    "Deconstructing Harry"), the opening group therapy session in the beautiful

    California countryside, that first dinner in the restaurant with Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice all declaring their love for each other in front of the table of bemused gay diners--it is a film filled with endless, perceptive and highly

    amusing details. Its a terrific entertainment. (One last comment--Dyan Cannon lights up the screen everytime she appears, with her sexy persona, her high

    spirits, her warmth and generosity, and that truly infectious laugh!)

  • "I like my husband." "Yes, but do you love him?" by 7

    I saw this movie as a repressed teenager when it first came out, so much of the humour I didn't understand. But even now, 30 years later, there are some specific scenes that I recall as superbly funny. And from my every dimming memory, the best parts are indeed when Carol is being "played" (like a fish!) by her psychiatrist.

#PersonCrew
1Charles Langcinematographer
2Quincy Jonescomposer
3Paul Mazurskydirector
4Stuart H. Pappéeditor
5Larry Tuckerwriter