California Suite/Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice [DVD]

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Overview

Special Features

  • Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice features:
  • Commentary with Robert Culp, Elliott Gould, Dyan Cannon and director Paul Mazursky
  • "Tales of Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice" featurette: filmed at the Lee Strasberg theatre and film institute, Hollywood
  • Closed Captioned

Synopsis

California Suite
Playwright Neil Simon turned to the hotel setting he used so successfully in his stage-play (later a movie) Plaza Suite to explore four more human dramas in his play California Suite, which was adapted into this quite successful movie. In the first episode, the divorced couple of Bill and Hannah Warren (Alan Alda and Jane Fonda) have rented a suite in a posh Beverly Hills hotel in order to have a discussion about who will get the custody of their child. In the next episode, Sidney Cochran and Diana Barrie (Michael Caine and Maggie Smith) are a hilarious pair of Hollywood stars who have rented the suite to await their appearance at the Academy Awards: it is a "date of convenience" which enables the sexually adventurous duo to conduct their other, more unconventional alliances out of the public eye. Drs. Willis Panama and Chauncy Gump (Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor) have brought their families to Beverly Hills for a vacation which takes on nightmarish tone. Finally, Marvin Michaels (Walter Matthau) tries frantically and unsuccessfully to explain the situation to his wife (Elaine May) when she catches him in flagrante delicto with a hooker. Actress Maggie Smith won an Academy Award as "Best Supporting Actress" for her role in this film, in which she plays the actress waiting to win . . . an Academy Award. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi

Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice
"Consider the possibilities," read the ads for Paul Mazursky's 1969 satirical comedy about what happens when the sexual revolution hits affluent bourgeois life. After a weekend of "beautiful" emotional honesty at an Esalen-type retreat, married wannabe hipsters Bob (Robert Culp) and Carol (Natalie Wood) return to their well-heeled Los Angeles life determined to apply the principles of free love and complete openness to their marriage. To the respective curiosity and repulsion of their married best friends, Ted (Elliott Gould) and Alice (Dyan Cannon), Bob and Carol have affairs that they happily reveal to everyone. Inspired by all that openness during the quartet's trip to Vegas, Ted admits an affair of his own, provoking the outraged Alice to demand that this new ethos be taken to its obvious conclusion: a mate-sharing foursome. Once they're bedded down and ready to go, however, they start to have second thoughts. Without sacrificing authenticity for comedy, first-time director Mazursky and co-writer/producer Larry Tucker delve into the confusion of the Eisenhower generation when faced with the temptations of the counterculture. Too old to be hippies and too young to be fogies, the would-be California swingers sincerely attempt to try on the lifestyle, but it never looks quite right. A then-controversial example of the New Permissiveness both onscreen and off, Bob & Carol debuted at the New York Film Festival to great praise, particularly for Gould and Cannon. Whether they wanted to laugh at their elders' faux looseness or see what their peers might be doing, audiences turned Bob & Carol into a substantial hit, and its observations about marriage and sex remain humorously sharp even if the encounter group jargon is past its vogue. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Alan Alda
    Alan Alda - Bill Warren
  • Michael Caine
    Michael Caine - Sidney Cochran
  • Bill Cosby
    Bill Cosby - Dr. Willis Panama
  • Jane Fonda
    Jane Fonda - Hannah Warren
  • Walter Matthau
    Walter Matthau - Marvin Michaels
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