My wife and I love Netflix, and recently we watched Bedazzled on instant view. No, not the Brenden Frasier one, the 1967 original. I didn’t even know that Bedazzled was a remake, but like most remakes, the original was much better. Peter Cook and Dudley Moore wrote and starred in this ’67 classic; which was not only very interesting, but asked many provocative questions about faith and temptation!
Its hard not to top a Brendan Frasier film, but Bedazzled was better than Dudley Moore’s most famous role in Arthur. First off, the original Bedazzled did not have Elizabeth Hurley in it, so that’s a plus, and the writing was amazing.
Dudley Moore played a dense, unassuming fast food worker that sells his soul to the Devil (Peter Cook) for the chance to be with a girl that he likes at work; the rest of the movie goes through a series of different scenarios in which the Devil tricks Moore’s character out of the wishes that he granted him.
The Devil, played by Peter Cook, is a cool, calm, suave manipulator that delights in ruining the human race’s daily activities. In one scene when Moore’s character Stanley Moon tries to get Satan (Peter Cook) to ruin a clergy man’s day, satan responds, “He’s one of ours.” Often we see a concept of Satan being an evil super-villian or a man painted red wearing a Van Dyck beard, but the sly trickster that is portrayed in this Dudley Moore comedy is a more accurate portrayal.
Stanley asks the Devil if he and God are equals, and the Devil confesses that they are not. Now I would not say that this film is the most theologically sound movie, or that it should replace text books at Bible schools, but the fact is this movie potrays two equal, yet opposite misconceptions: One is that the Devil and God are equals and that they are struck in some eternal battle over men’s souls. The other misconception is not to take him seriously at all. In today’s culture, I would have to say that most take the second approach to the Devil: He’s there but he’s a joke or in some Christian circles the Devil does not really exist.
There is a lot of debate over the words hell, heaven, God, and satan now; and though these topics are far too complex to cover in one simple blog post, or by this simple blogger; one thing about the scripture that is often left out of the debate over Hell and the Devil is the simplicity of the gospel message. Jesus told His followers throughout His ministry that unless they gave up their preconceived notions and religiousness, and simply came to Him as children they could not follow Him! Many writers of books and blogs, and many church pastors, and professors of Religious study are leading their congregations and followers down a dark path by making Christianity a faith for intellectuals!