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Benson is a Casanova who despises women and invents all sorts of tricks to bed them and leave them. His favorite one is going through Germany posing as an American GI of Teutonic extraction. Whenever he spots a girl he likes, he takes a Polarod picture of her house, knocks on the door waving the photo and pretending to be on a pilgrimage to this very cottage his grandmother so vividly described. It is an infallible system for a hit-and-run seduction. Benson seems content with his game until he meets Jameson, a real operator who has learned to combine sex with money. Jameson poses as an exiled prince and not only gets women to share his bed but also to bestow their jewels on him for the sake of the counterrevolution. Benson decides to corner Jameson's market on sex plus finance. A contest develops, and whoever wins will dominate a small Riviera resort as "King of the Mountain," the film's original title. Remade in 1988 as "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels." —alfiehitchie.
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
Feb 01, 2022 at 12:05 AM
grade Movie Reviews
A rare case where I preferred the remake...
"Bedtime Story" is a very unusual film in that I actually much preferred the remake, "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels"...and I rarely enjoy remakes. I won't bore you with a lot of details--suffice to say that it's pretty much the same plot but the character played by Marlon Brando is very sexist and crude...much more so and much more of a jerk than the character played by Steve Martin. And, therein lies the problem--he plays such an obvious pig that the film loses the audience. You just cannot believe he's a con man...and a successful one at that. Overall, an interesting idea that only is modestly interesting...at best. Stick with the 1988 film...your brain will thank you.
The dirty rotten caper
1964's 'Bedtime Story' is not to be confused with the 1941 film of the same name with Fredric March and Loretta Young, an enjoyable film in its own right despite March's uneven performance. Inevitable comparisons have been made with this film and its remake 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels', haven't seen that film in years but do remember enjoying it and intend to re-watch it when possible. Have liked all three leads in other things, with Marlon Brando especially having some iconic performances in his career.Found 'Bedtime Story' to be a very enjoyable film, lots of fun with the leads on top form. Don't be fooled by the film's pretty cutesy and child friendly-like title ('Dirty Rotten Scoundrels' even would have been a much more apt title) that makes you think that it is going to be another film entirely. It is a long way from cutesy and very much adult-oriented, much funnier and wittier than one might think looking at that title which does the film no favours, and quite a bit better than its mixed critical reception at the time suggests.'Bedtime Story's' script is not perfect, it could have done with some tightening up here and there as not everything felt necessary here and as a consequence the script is not as lean as ought. Meaning that the film sometimes drags and can get on the repetitive side. While the slang was interesting, it is very of the time and dates the film a bit.Was a little more mixed on Brando, leaning towards liked but had problems with his character. Brando has great charisma, great energy and some nice comic timing, extracting as much as he can out of the material and giving it juice, often amusingly oily. He does suffer from his character being too coarse and too much of a bully, so a near-irredeemable character that is difficult to get behind, and he can play the role too heavily and broadly at times. So a mostly fun if at times uneven performance in an unlikeable and quite odd role.David Niven, coming onto the numerous good things, has a character tailor-made for him, a character with characteristics that he was no stranger to and he is typically lively, sophisticated and charming. He and Brando have dynamite conflicting chemistry together that really gives 'Bedtime Story' sparkle, his smoothness contrasting beautifully with the broader acting style of Brando. Shirley Jones' character is not near as interesting but she is radiant, has a natural charm and appeals. The script isn't perfect, but has a wonderfully biting wit frequently and the broadness that it has doesn't get too nasty in my view. The story is not probable and the pace isn't perfect, but is enlivened by some genuinely funny set pieces and the dynamite character interactions.It wholly succeeds as lightweight fun and is generally crisp in pace. It is a lavish looking film, especially the colourful art direction beautifully photographed, love the attention to detail that some of the camera angles have. The music score is colourful and has a lot of personality and Ralph Levy's direction avoids being too wild, not always exciting but always expertly and never bland.All in all, uneven but good fun. 7/10
Conmen On a Train
For David Niven, Bedtime Story was the kind of part he could play in his sleep although he's quite wide awake here. But for Marlon Brando this was his second foray into comedy, he would not do another until the Nineties when he was accepting roles for money to pay his son's lawyers. Brando does quite well in Bedtime Story as the sleazy GI conman. We meet both of them separately at the beginning, Niven in his guise as a prince living in a palace on the French Riviera, fleecing money from rich tourists trying to free his country from the rebels, presumably Communists. And Brando manages to con his commanding officer Parley Baer more worried about getting his promotion to general than in dealing out justice to the guy who disgraced his daughter into an early discharge with a private separation package.Brando as civilian meets with Niven on board a train heading to the Riviera and brags about his exploits and talks about trying his luck on the rich babes there. Niven not wanting any competition arranges a small frame up with the cooperation of the police chief Aram Stephen. Of course when Brando gets wise to it, they're forced into a partnership of sorts.Niven sort of glides right into a part that he's done on many occasions, in this case not even having to rely solely on his considerable charm to carry a weak film. Brando had done comedy on screen before in Teahouse of the August Moon, but the role of Freddy Benson, GI Conman extraordinary fits him far better than Sakini in Teahouse.If Paul Henning and Stanley Shapiro on hiatus from their rural franchise at CBS had really wanted to make this a better film, they would have invested a surprise in Shirley Jones traditional good girl character. Remember she won an Oscar for playing against type in Elmer Gantry as a prostitute. Think of the ending in the John Wayne film The Train Robbers and think how it would have really fit here. Still Bedtime Story is not a bad film and it even got remade as the Steve Martin classic, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. And hats off everyone to Dody Goodman, the legendary Fanny of Omaha.
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