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Great Movie Devils: Peter Cook as George Spiggott in Bedazzled (1967)




However beguiling Elizabeth Hurley might be in the Bedazzled remake, Peter Cook in the original 1967 version is still the definitive dazzling devil. Playing opposite Dudley Moore, Cook’s a well-mannered British Beelzebub. With his debonair ways, Cook is calm, cool and a whiz with the girls–everything the bumbling Moore wishes he could be.

But it turns out being the Devil ain’t easy. For Spiggot, there’s the nasty business of pulling buttons off new shirts, making parking meters expire and sending swarms of bees after flower children. And he gets little help from his Seven Deadly Sins, including Raquel Welch as Lillian Lust. (“What rotten sins I’ve got working for me,” he sighs. “I suppose it’s the wages.”)

Spiggot’s biggest challenge is lost soul Stanley Moon. A hapless cook at a London Wimpy Burger, Moore’s Stanley yearns for Wimpy waitress Margaret Spencer–who doesn’t even know he’s alive. To fulfill Stanley’s fantasies, Spiggott gives him seven wishes in exchange for his soul.

Of course, each wish fails, thanks to loopholes exploited by Spiggott. When Stanley becomes a Tom Jones-like pop star, he finds himself upstaged by a vegged-out version of Spiggott, driving the girls wild with his monotone vocals: “You fill me with inertia.”

Stanley discovers Spiggott’s an angel at heart, and he’s got a scheme to work his way back upstairs. God gets the last laugh, though, and Spiggott remains in this sorry world. Like the rest of us poor devils.