Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice


Action / Comedy / Drama / Romance

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh82%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright65%
IMDb Rating6.7106762


Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Natalie Wood Photo
Natalie Wood as Carol Sanders
Dyan Cannon Photo
Dyan Cannon as Alice Henderson
Elliott Gould Photo
Elliott Gould as Ted Henderson
Lynn Borden Photo
Lynn Borden as Cutter
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
969.67 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 45 min
P/S 1 / 3
1.76 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 45 min
P/S 0 / 9

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by EUyeshima8 / 10

Still Sharp Comedy Resonates as a Provocative Time Capsule of the Sexual Revolution

It's tempting to call this archetypical 1969 comedy severely dated, but that would be too superficial a judgment. Taken as a period piece when the sexual revolution was completely redefining the country's moral code, the film is a shrewdly observed, sharply comic character study among the Southern California bourgeoisie. It also marks the auspicious directorial debut of Paul Mazursky, a former actor who ended up making two decades' worth of insightful films focused on personal foibles and sympathetic satire ("An Unmarried Woman", "Down and Out in Beverly Hills"). He cleverly uses the "Hallelujah" chorus of Handel's "Messiah" to open the film as documentary filmmaker Bob Sanders and his wife Carol drive through the canyons outside LA to an Esalen-like couples' retreat where narcissism runs rampant with participants encouraged to express how they "feel" through group hugs, crying, mutual staring, even pillow punching.

The experience transforms Bob and Carol into a touchy-feely couple so intent on being completely honest with each other that they accept each other's acts of adultery. This level of supposed enlightenment initially appalls their best friends, Ted and Alice Henderson, who hold on tenuously to their more traditional values. However, a weekend in Vegas becomes a cathartic showdown among the two couples, and the outrageous brashness of their liberated behavior comes to a crescendo that manages to be unexpected and predictable at the same time. Mazursky ends things on a surreal note with Jackie DeShannon's classic rendition of Burt Bacharach and Hal David's "What the World Needs Now Is Love". Through it all, the four principal actors give sharp performances that wisely leave the motivations for their characters ambiguous enough for the audience to draw their own conclusions.

Coming off his hit TV series "I Spy", Robert Culp effectively plays Bob as a hippie-wannabe closing in on middle age and recognizing an innate need to give in to the new moral order to belong. As Carol, Natalie Wood at thirty never looked so sexy nor come across so relaxed on screen. She brings such an alluring knowingness to the role that it becomes difficult to believe why Bob would want to cheat on her in the first place. In his first major role, Elliott Gould keeps Ted as an amusing, sympathetic figure who keeps dancing between disgust and envy with increasing alacrity. Dyan Cannon comes closest to stealing the picture since she carries the biggest character arc as Alice. It is her character who does the abrupt about-face that spurs the climax (…you should pardon the expression). The 2004 DVD contains a sometimes entertaining, sometimes too self-conscious commentary track featuring Mazursky, Culp, Gould, and Cannon, as well as a twenty-minute interview with Mazursky from 2003.

Reviewed by Sylviastel8 / 10

That's gorgeous, man. The truth is always beautiful.

This film was quite revolutionary for the time period of 1969 about sexuality, marriage and fidelity. Two Los Angeles professional couples are Bob (Robert Culp) and Carol (Natalie Wood in a surprising role) and Ted (Elliott Gould) and Dyan Cannon (Alice) who spend the entire movie discussing sexuality and monogamy. The two couples are both attractive and successful and best friends with each other as well. The build-up scene for the foursome is quite developed and realistic. Both husbands have flings or one night stands while Alice is still a holdout for being faithful. The film begins with Bob and Carol at a new age institute common for the era. The film showed Los Angeles in the sixties as an up and coming city. They lead comfortable, successful lives but something seems missing . The surprise performance was Natalie Wood in her role.

Reviewed by ElMaruecan829 / 10

When the person we spend the most of our life with is perhaps the one we talk the least to...

"Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice" is a fabulous movie, a double-faced mirror projecting our own frustrations while allowing us to project our personal insecurities... it pretends to make fun of a certain "hip" attitude toward sex and couple but underneath the little comedic quips, it reveals the stuff we hide because it's the right thing to do though we feel it's not. It doesn't cheat with reality but through humor and an edgy je-ne-sais-quoi, it reveals the ultimate paradox of marriage: the person we spend the most of our life with is perhaps the one we talk the least to.

I guess it takes a married man to spot these nuances; when I first saw the film, I couldn't finish it because the DVD stopped working. I was 28, I laughed a lot but I don't think I could respond to it as strongly as I did today, after seven marital years. Paul Mazurksy's film didn't teach me any lesson about marriage because I've learned enough (though not enough to avoid divorce),but the film caught me off guard because I was stuck in a secrecy-phase: keeping my feelings for myself and stop opening up as easily as I used to. And the film opens with a memorable 24-hour to some seminary camp where people learn to deal with the expression of their feelings.

I wish I could be in that camp. Hell, I wish the DVD had worked ten years ago.

The opening sequence alone is an indication that the film isn't venturing in the usual territories, it's close in topic with "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" but you couldn't have more opposite treatments: from the first scenes, the film dares you to challenge every rule of modesty and intimacy, showing people indulging to acts of collective hugging, crying and kissing. It looks like orgies' preliminaries but these are the climaxes to more emotional outings of anger, frustrations, coming directly from the heart. While movies allowed us to penetrate the intimacy of characters with the power of the camera, this time, we deal with characters who are much aware that their intimacy is being occupied and don't mind about it, that's what Bob (Robert Culp) and Carol (Natalie Wood) learn during their journey.

So their behavior is an invitation for spontaneity, honesty, acceptance and on the field of cinematic storytelling a novelty and a great canvas for unpredictable and funny situations. Indeed, "How do you feel?" "What are you thinking about?" aren't these the kind of awkward questions couples exchange when they feel someone is keeping a deep thought inside and they have to 'dig it'. So the film exposes us to two couples that are extremely similar, belonging to these yuppie intermediary categories of Americas (too old for the flower power but too young for conservatism) and see how the two 'digging' approaches work.

Bob and Carol operate a real "perestroika" and "glasnost" (restructuration and transparency) going as far as having affairs and telling about them, much to the disbelief of their friends Ted (Elliot Gould) and Carol (Dyan Cannon),much to the latter's disgust actually. Yet Ted and Carol, an easily aroused man and a borderline frigid woman, don't form an ideal couple either. We suspect their marriage is the sum of too many unspoken things, likely to shake their love edifice. Bob and Carol might be weird but within their insanity, they find a platform of sanity allowing their couple to last and it's interesting to see how their odd patterns of behavior end up spewing out on Ted and Carol's marriage.

Now, back to my situation. I said I wanted to keep my feelings to me, to protect myself, but deep inside, I knew I was playing a game. The film doesn't make me feel guilty about it because everybody does, and Carol while turned off by the seemingly decadence of these open relationships, as the only supposedly sane person of the quarter, confronts everyone to the predictable conclusion we all longed for as soon as we saw the film's poster. And Mazurky's script obviously agrees that truth never emerges from hiding, no matter what. Without spoiling the ending, I can say I loved the way it both managed to show the limits of the open-relationships (through a "let's try" scenario) without denying its cathartic effect. After all, what did Oscar Wilde say about the best way to resist temptation?

This is a film about people experimenting new approaches to life, testing their own limits, and thus taking the viewer to a fantastic journey into his own psyche. Once my wife said she didn't feel attracted, I took it as an offense but the same day I was thinking maybe she's respecting me enough to tell me the truth, or maybe she had enough esteem to know I woudn't take it defensively. The film also reminded me the way I used to fantasize about my best friend's girlfriend because she had more voluptuous curves, the question is "why should I feel guilty?. "Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice" deals with guilt in a different way than a Scorsese movie but it feels incredibly real and still relevant, it's outspoken, amused, confused, expressed though a palette of reactions from Gould's bewildered infantile eyes or Cannon's incomparable talent to have that disgusted face on her look (both would be nominated for Best Supporting roles).

Now, the film is 50 years old, and open relationship are as banal as veggie sandwiches or uber taxis and Mazurksy should be commanded to have formed that perfect cast (Wood is just too irresistible for words) and made a movie that predicted a relevant evolution to society. All Youtubers and personal development gurus exercise the same influences in our lives, inviting us to stop copping-out and speak the truth, nothing but the truth, as any of the quartet would say "Insight!".

"Insights!". Yes, the film is full of them.

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