Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969)
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as Carol Sanders
as Bob Sanders
as Ted Henderson
as Alice Henderson
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Critic Reviews for Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice
The genius of Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice is that it understands the peculiar nature of the moral crisis for Americans in this age group, and understands that the way to consider it is in a comedy.
Mazursky was lucky to get four such excellent performers working on his project, for the movie lives and dies based on their ability to quietly suggest the inner workings of a human mind.
Audience Reviews for Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice
This was the first film to really delve into the world of free love in the sixties, while also showing its appeal to the suburban set. Couple Bob and Carol see their sex life becoming uninhibited after a weekend romp with other love minded people, and decide that the act of sex doesn't need to have ties to love. Soon after they come home, they start to engage in casual sex with strangers. Their friends, Ted and Alice, watch them with prejudice, as many couples did at the time of the sixties' sexual revolution. Paul Mazursky is the writer/director of this film, and he does a great job of molding characters so that we see their complete transformations throughout the course of the film. While Bob and Carol both find the freedom enlivening, there's still jealousy and thoughtfulness in their relationship, and the always present proclamations of love. Though each of them feels themselves changing, we see their roots as a married couple and also Ted and Alice, as they come to understand and even accept their friend's new lifestyle. The characters were extremely engaging, and every relationship shown in this film felt real and authentic. As a character study it works perfectly, but works as a time capsule for the sixties.
A husband and wife, returning from a New Age retreat, entice another married couple to join the Sexual Revolution, replete with infidelity and orgies.
Half satire, half honest social documentary, Paul Mazursky's brilliant and funny portrayal of late sixties era swingers walks so many fine lines between ridiculous and believable and character study and caricature study that his work bespeaks remarkable intelligence. It's hard to classify this film because it "swings" so deftly between genres and characterizations -- a remarkably flexible film.
The performances are all incredible. Natalie Wood, playing against type, contrasts the natural innocence of her face and demeanor with the sexual freedom of her character, and I can't help but repeat: if there is a heaven and it doesn't involve being loved by Natalie Wood, I'll be disappointed.
Overall, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice both reveres and lampoons the late sixties and serves as a monument to the talents of its contributors.
See what happens when two couples try to live the late 60s early 70s lifestyle of free love and wife swapping, only to learn the consequences in the end. It's a great story, and there are great actors in it too. I highly recommend it.
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