Blu-ray Review: Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice

Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice was directed by Paul Mazursky from a screenplay by Larry Tucker and Paul Mazursky and stars Natalie Wood, Robert Culp, Elliott Gould, Dyan Cannon, Horst Ebersberg, Greg Mullavey and Lee Bergere. The score is by Quincy Jones.

Paul Mazursky’s directorial début, co-written with Larry Tucker, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969) is a satiric comedy of manners focusing on two Eisenhower-era couples (Robert Culp, Natalie Wood, Elliott Gould, Dyan Cannon) who must confront the sexual revolution of the 1960s. They do this with varying levels of timidity and gusto, and the result is a sharp yet generous-spirited send-up of social mores, spectacularly acted by its quartet of anxious protagonists.

The movie follows these two couples that are best friends but complete opposites when it comes to certain things.  After Bob (Robert Culp) and Carol (Natalie Wood) return home from a strange therapy session they think they’ve become experts at counseling and their best friends Ted (Elliott Gould) and Alice (Dyan Cannon) become their focus. Bob and Carol are more on the adventurous side while Ted and Alice lean more towards the conservative nature but they don’t want to be rude so they play along for a while. What happens is, as the sexual tension builds, things get really weird between these friends until they reach a breaking point of giving in. Just when the two couples begin to take their relationship to the next level, they’re overcome with this sense of uncomfortableness and realize they’ve taken things too far so they quickly get their friendship back on track. Needless to say, this is an awkward experience that Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice will definitely want to forget.

The 60’s and 70’s are two decades that appear to have been a really strange period for a number of reasons. The craziest thing about this time frame to me is the terrible fashion because there were some bad tastes and horrible looks going on back then and whoever cranked out this trash should be backhanded. Come to think, they probably were! Something else weird was the dancing because I just don’t get it. Moving on, the music on the other hand I dig and there were also some cool movies that came along and this is one of them. Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice features four legendary names from Hollywood that includes Robert Culp, Elliott Gould, Dyan Cannon and the late Natalie Wood. This is a quirky comedy drama that features some great performances by these actors and actresses who were in their prime here. As silly as it gets at times, there’s also some sex appeal courtesy of the two beautiful leading ladies. Watching these two couples deal with their relationships and how they handle drama is what makes this movie such a fun watch and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to experience it.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, an image, a few quotes, and list of special features. The reverse sleeve includes some minimalist artwork featuring the movie title. The Blu-ray disc also features some artwork that matches the front cover. Inside is a booklet from Twilight Time that includes more images from the movie, some nice words about Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice by Julie Kirgo and more original artwork on the front and back. You can see the front cover of the booklet down below. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Bob & Carol & ted & Alice was another first time watch for me and it was also my introduction to the late Natalie Wood. It’s true, I’ve never watched the holiday classic Miracle on 34th Street or any other movie that she starred in but this ended up being a grand starting point for me because I really enjoyed it. I’ve heard so much about this beautiful actress over the years including her mysterious death and it’s unfortunate we lost her at such a young age. I like the story here and these four quirky characters were so much fun to follow. These two couples are such close friends but they’re also polar opposites when it comes to their relationships and extracurricular activities but by the end of the movie they try something a little risque together and realize that maybe some things should be left alone. This movie is a silly character study that deals with love and relationships and how some people handle certain situations differently than others. I’ve watched several of Paul Mazursky’s comedies over the years and he was always able to deliver something that I really enjoyed and now I can add this 1969 gem to my list. Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice is now available on Blu-ray and has a limited edition run of just 3,000 units from Twilight Time.

Distributor: Twilight Time

Run Time: 105 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1) / Color / Region Free

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 (2.0 on some players)

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features: The extras include Twilight Time’s trademark isolated music track, two audio commentaries and a featurette about the movie.

  • Isolated Music Track
  • Audio Commentary with Film Historians Julie Kirgo and Nick Redman
  • Audio Commentary with Director/Co-Writer Paul Mazursky, and Actors Robert Culp, Elliott Gould, and Dyan Cannon
  • Tales of Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (17:45)

 

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