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Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice

68 customer reviews

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(Nov 16, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

After the ultra sophisticated couple, Bob (a filmmaker) and wife, Carol attend a secluded therapy group (only to observe) they become modernized in their sexual thinking and behavior. Can Bob and Carol's new thinking rub off onto best friends, Ted and Alice?

While its particulars remain rooted in the sexual revolution of the late 1960s, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice is remarkably timeless as a classic comedy of manners. Making an impressive, high-profile directorial debut after success as a screenwriter, Paul Mazursky took the pulse of California society better than anyone, especially with this well-cast, sharply observant comedy that begins when sophisticated couple Bob and Carol (Robert Culp, Natalie Wood) attend a weekend retreat that opens their eyes to the possibilities of open marriage and mutual acceptance of extramarital affairs. When they reveal their newfound liberties to straightlaced couple Ted and Alice (Elliott Gould, Dyan Cannon), the subtle, behavioral richness of the largely improvisational screenplay (by Mazursky and Larry Tucker) rises to the surface, conveyed through the kind of natural rhythms and pauses that were dramatically in vogue in the fast-changing Hollywood of 1969. The film hasn't lost any of its punch, perhaps because American sexual politics have returned to the conservatism that existed before Bob and Carol emerged as the signature comedy of the swinging sixties. The absence of the late Natalie Wood is the only drawback to the DVD's excellent commentary, which reunites Mazursky, Culp, Gould, and Cannon in a casual atmosphere of humorous reminiscence. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

  • Remastered in high definition
  • "Tales of Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice": featurette filmed at the Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute, Hollywood
  • Bonus Trailers

Product Details

  • Actors: Dyan Cannon, Elliott Gould, Robert Culp, Natalie Wood
  • Directors: Paul Mazursky
  • Producers: Larry Tucker
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Japanese
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 16, 2004
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00030GPWE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,449 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 19, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
I see I'm going to have to stand up for this film!
This is an
incredibly insightful look at the sexual revolution, filmed even as
the changes happening in our society were still developing!!!
couples struggle with the concept of fulfillment. Treating their each
and every desire for temporal pleasure as an entitlement, they come
face to face with their personal limits, and the dehumanizing aspects
of hedonism.
The end is more evocotive then Leonard Maltin ... would
have you believe.
All of them have woken up (in the evening) to
their collective morning after. They are in the elevator coming down
from their "trip." They are shellshocked. The music
swells..."what the world needs now is love sweet
Love. The part of the equation they had forgotten to
account for.
They exit the elevator and walk out into the Vegas
night. Peoplo from all over the world have come to the same place,
are struggling with the same issues, trying to find someway of making
contact with each other.
Maybe I'm just an old hippie. Maybe it is
pretentious. I also know it is the film truest to that time and what
happened to that generation.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on August 13, 2006
Format: DVD
In my consumer guide mode, I should first mention one very simple way to tell whether you might like Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice--do you like films that are almost all dialogue? If not, you should stay away from this one, because that's 90 percent of it. It's very poignant and often clever dialogue, but dialogue nonetheless.

A dialogue-laden film can't succeed without grand performances, and we get just that from the four principal actors. I was especially impressed with Elliott Gould, partially because I haven't always liked him in other films.

Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice deals with normal, middle class couples in the late 1960s who are trying to deal with and adapt to cultural spillover from the then-popular hippie movement. Bob (Robert Culp) is a filmmaker who wants to do a documentary on something of a "personal exploration retreat". While initially checking the retreat out, he and wife Carol (Natalie Wood) completely forget about the film and become wrapped up in the personal exploration taking place. When they get back home, they introduce their new approach to life and interpersonal communications to best friends Ted (Gould) and Alice (Dyan Cannon), who think that Bob and Carol have gone a bit looney. They really think that when later Carol suddenly announces that Bob had a brief affair with another woman and they're both happy with it. Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice then becomes primarily an exploration of how average middle class folks deal with attempts to incorporate hippie sexual liberation beliefs into their lives.

It's a great idea, handled with aplomb by writer-director Paul Mazursky and co-writer Larry Tucker.
Read more ›
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Galina on February 19, 2007
Format: DVD
Capturing the sexual revolution of the late sixties, this comedy presents two married couples, free-thinking and ready (or so they think) for an open marriage Bob (Robert Culp) and Carol (Natalie Wood) and their best friends, a more traditional couple, Ted (Elliot Gould) and Alice (Dyan Cannon). I love the film and I believe that it has aged very well. Its theme and the way it was presented are definitely not dated. Many scenes are hilarious and superbly acted by all four main characters, Gould and Cannon being outstanding. I also believe that 60s was the best dressed decade for women (don't like pirate shirts for men, though :)) and I enjoyed the beauty of the film. It's got real class that is timeless.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By G. J Wiener on April 7, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Certainly a movie that has publicized the sexual revolution of the sixties and seventies. Very interesting how Bob and Carol's carefree attitude about sex eventually loosens up Ted and Alice's more conservative ways.
Its interesting how Bob and Carol test their relationship with their affairs. Amusing how Carol is quicker to be more accepting of their individual affairs than Bob. Ted and Alice at first are appalled by each of their infidelities. However when they hear the reasons behind their actions, they lighten up their approaches. Bob and Carol truly love each other where their affairs are merely for recreational purposes.
Those who are intrigued by psychology or the free love generation of the late sixties will be specially interested in this video.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David E.Baldwin on May 8, 2006
Format: DVD
Unlike alot of the films rooted in the counterculture of the sixties, "Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice" dates well because essentially it is a film that champions fidelity. How else do you expose the shallow aspects of free love without making a farce of it? Director-writer Paul Mazursky doesn't bludgeon his point home but gently tweaks it. The film is also helped that Bob (Robert Culp) and Carol(Natalie Wood) are fully-fleshed characters and not stereotypical new-agers to be mocked. You may laugh at their foibles but you do not laugh at their characters. The more interesting characters are the staid Ted(Elliott Gould) and Alice(Dyan Cannon) who the audience can probably most identify with. Ted and Alice are conservative Yuppie types who may verbalize horror at their swinging compatriots but subliminally fantasize about their lifestyle. All the principal actors are good here and the laugh quota is extremely high.
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