George is a middle-aged songwriter who feels that his life has become boring. He becomes obsessed with a girl called Jenny, and follows her to Mexico without her knowledge. In Mexico, George saves the life of Jenny's fiancee and is able to finally meet her. However, he realises that he is too shy and set in his ways to have an affair with her, and that Jenny is not exactly who he thought she was.
J Victor Lopez
Walter George Alton
Sam J. Jones
Dee Wallace Stone
William N Clark
Ben Nye Jr.
Carole Bayer Sager
Ralph E. Winters
Edwards wrote the script fairly quickly and was excited about it; the Hollywood studios were not. Edwards had not made a successful film without the words "Pink Panther" in the title for many years, and it was not easy to find studio backing. Ultimately, to secure funding he had to agree with the newly formed Orion Pictures, a subsidiary of United Artists, to follow 10 with a caper comedy in the vein of The Pink Panther.
The screenplay at this point centered on a 42-year-old dentist named George who spies a knockout woman -- a "10" -- on her way to her wedding, triggering a midlife crisis that drives him to pursue her on her Mexican honeymoon. To play George, Edwards cast the veteran George Segal. To play George's girlfriend Samantha, Edwards cast his own real-life wife, Julie Andrews, in her first screen role in five years. And to play Jenny, the movie's "10," Edwards tested countless pretty young women -- fruitlessly -- until he overheard someone talking about actor John Derek's beautiful wife, 22-year-old Bo Derek. She had only acted in two films. As author Sam Wasson has recounted, "He arranged to meet her, and when she arrived at the office he took one look and gave her the part. The phrase he used was 'skidding halt.' He never even tested her."
On the eve of production, George Segal withdrew from the movie, allegedly because Edwards refused to cut certain scenes from the script. Some have suggested it was because Segal felt the script favored Bo Derek's character too much. In any event, he and Edwards sued each other, and later settled out of court.
Two weeks later, Dudley Moore had the role. Edwards was acquainted with the British actor from group therapy sessions they both attended, but he was a virtual unknown to everyone else. To take advantage of Moore's proficiency at the piano, Edwards changed the character's occupation from dentist to songwriter. One potential problem was Moore's height; he was 5'2", and Julie Andrews was concerned about their height difference. "I thought it would be very unflattering to Dudley," she later said. "And then Blake reminded me that Dudley always went out with giant ladies without thinking anything about it -- and nor, presumably, did they. That was before I met Dudley. Then once we met there was no problem at all, because he's so damned attractive anyway that I completely forgot all about the height difference." Nonetheless, Edwards still had Moore wear platform shoes to lessen the difference a little.
Moore proved utterly perfect as George, bringing not just uncanny physical comedy and timing, but also a great deal of sensitivity and vulnerability to the part. Edwards said, "He gave an extraordinary quality to the film -- his charm, manner, warmth." Moore reflected, "In 10, I'm really just playing myself. The dilemma that George Webber finds himself in is something that I've struggled with, in one way or another, forever: coming to the reality of things and people."
10 was also a significant film for Julie Andrews, demonstrating that she could pull off a sexy role in an adult comedy -- a complete turnaround from her good-girl image. Edwards would help her shed that image even further in the subsequent films S.O.B. (1981), Victor/Victoria (1982) and The Man Who Loved Women (1983).
Andrews got along swimmingly with Moore, who said, "There's a marvelous English ice about Julie, and you don't have to chip very hard to get at the fire." Andrews and Edwards worked just fine together, too, and the actress later mused, "It's very difficult, when you're doing a love scene with someone and your husband says, 'I'd like you to do it better' -- and you wonder whether he really means it."
An opening scene of a surprise birthday party was originally shot with an array of celebrities making cameos, including Peter Sellers, Jon Voight, Dyan Cannon and Henry Mancini. But they all had trouble staying in character, with Sellers repeatedly calling Moore "Dudley" instead of "George." Edwards had to scrap the original scene and re-shoot it without the celebrities. But for the most part, filming in Los Angeles, Mexico, and Hawaii went well, though the company faced torrential rains in Hawaii.
10 was received brilliantly by critics. The New York Times called it "frequently hilarious... The movie belongs very much to Mr. Moore, who manages to be funny without ever having to appear stupid... George is most funny when most in peril, which is psychological as often as it's physical. His principal failing is to embark on an endeavor that, for one reason or another, he cannot complete. Success through failure, though, is the way comedies like 10 operate... The Edwards gags are almost non-stop and often as funny as anything is his 'Clouzot' movies."
The trade paper Variety deemed the movie "a shrewdly observed and beautifully executed comedy of manners and morals. Edwards has come up with his best film in many years."
Upon its release in October 1979, 10 became a huge and unexpected hit, grossing a then-startling $75 million. Many moviegoers returned to see it several times. And two Oscar nominations followed, for Best Original Score and Best Song ("It's Easy to Say"). Bo Derek became a major sex symbol, but so did an unlikely Dudley Moore. And Blake Edwards' career was rejuvenated. The director made a fortune off the film because when the unknown Dudley Moore replaced the well-known George Segal, Edwards had to take a much lower upfront fee and settle for a percentage of the gross instead -- a move that ultimately paid off handsomely. It was a fitting coda to a filmmaking experience of which Edwards later said: "I have never been so happy in my whole life."
By Jeremy Arnold
Barbara Paskin, Dudley Moore
Leo Spindle, Julie Andrews: A Bio-Bibliography
Richard Stirling, Julie Andrews: An Intimate Biography
Sam Wasson, A Splurch in the Kisser: The Movies of Blake Edwards
TCM Remembers - Dudley Moore
Award-winning actor, comedian and musician Dudley Moore died on March 27th at the age of 66. Moore first gained notice in his native England for ground-breaking stage and TV comedy before later building a Hollywood career. Like many of his peers, he had an amiable, open appeal that was balanced against a sharply satiric edge. Moore could play the confused innocent as well as the crafty schemer and tended to command attention wherever he appeared. Among his four marriages were two actresses: Tuesday Weld and Suzy Kendall.
Moore was born April 19, 1935 in London. As a child, he had a club foot later corrected by years of surgery that often left him recuperating in the hospital alongside critically wounded soldiers. Moore attended Oxford where he earned a degree in musical composition and met future collaborators Peter Cook, Jonathan Miller and Alan Bennett. The four formed the landmark comedy ensemble Beyond the Fringe. Though often merely labelled as a precursor to Monty Python's Flying Circus, Beyond the Fringe was instrumental in the marriage of the piercing, highly educated sense of humor cultivated by Oxbridge graduates to the modern mass media. In this case it was the revue stage and television where Beyond the Fringe first assaulted the astonished minds of Britons. Moore supplied the music and such songs as "The Sadder and Wiser Beaver," "Man Bites God" and "One Leg Too Few." (You can pick up a CD set with much of the stage show. Unfortunately for future historians the BBC commonly erased tapes at this period - why? - so many of the TV episodes are apparently gone forever.)
Moore's first feature film was the 1966 farce The Wrong Box (a Robert Louis Stevenson adaptation) but it was his collaboration with Peter Cook on Bedazzled (1967) that's endured. Unlike its tepid 2000 remake, the original Bedazzled is a wolverine-tough satire of mid-60s culture that hasn't aged a bit: viewers are still as likely to be appalled and entertained at the same time. Moore not only co-wrote the story with Cook but composed the score. Moore appeared in a few more films until starring in 10 (1979). Written and directed by Blake Edwards, this amiable comedy featured Moore (a last-minute replacement for George Segal) caught in a middle-aged crisis and proved popular with both audiences and critics. Moore's career took another turn when his role as a wealthy alcoholic who falls for the proverbial shop girl in Arthur (1981) snagged him an Oscar nomination as Best Actor and a Golden Globe win.
However Moore was never able to build on these successes. He starred in a passable remake of Preston Sturges' Unfaithfully Yours (1984), did another Blake Edwards romantic comedy of moderate interest called Micki + Maude (1984, also a Golden Globe winner for Moore), a misfired sequel to Arthur in 1988 and a few other little-seen films. The highlight of this period must certainly be the 1991 series Orchestra where Moore spars with the wonderfully crusty conductor Georg Solti and leads an orchestra of students in what's certainly some of the most delightful television ever made.
By Lang Thompson
A FOND FAREWELL TO ONE OF HOLLYWOOD'S MOST GIFTED DIRECTORS - BILLY WILDER, 11906-2002
Billy Wilder had the most deliciously dirty mind in Hollywood. The director dug into racy, controversial subjects with cynical wit and rare candor; he set new standards for film noir, sex comedies and the buddy film and his movies continue to inspire new generations of filmmakers.
Cameron Crowe, screenwriter and director of contemporary hit films such as Jerry Maguire(1996), was one of those moved by Wilder's film sense. The struggling filmmaker struck up a friendship with the 93-year old veteran and found a friend and a mentor. Their conversations were recently chronicled in a book by Cameron Crowe entitled Conversations with Wilder(published by Knoft).
Billy Wilder might have been born in Vienna, but American culture influenced him from the earliest days. Given the name Samuel, Wilder's mother called her son 'Billy' in honor of Buffalo Bill Cody. The name stuck.
Billy was as restless as his namesake and left law school to become a journalist. While grinding out articles for a Berlin newspaper, Wilder joined with future film directors Fred Zinnemann, Robert Sidomak and Edgar G. Ulmer to make a short film, Menschen Am Sonntag (1929). By the mid-1930s, he had written seven scenarios and even tried his hand at directing. After Hitler's rise to power in 1934, Wilder fled his homeland. Once in Hollywood, Wilder and roommate Peter Lorre had to learn English quickly if they wanted to join the American film industry. Together the German expatriates learned the language and began staking their territory in the Dream Factory.
As a writer, Wilder could craft realistic relationships with sharp dialogue; he proved this in his scripts for Ninotchka (1939) with Greta Garbo and Howard Hawks' Ball of Fire(1941). As a filmmaker, Wilder was well acquainted with the shadowy, brooding style of German Expressionism. He brought these two gifts together to create a landmark film noir - DOUBLE INDEMNITY(1944). He followed this cinematic triumph with a risky project, the story of an alcoholic on a three-day binge. Not the usual subject matter for a Hollywood studio, THE LOST WEEKEND (1945) nevertheless claimed the Academy Award for Best Picture. By the end of the decade, Wilder dared even to paint a portrait of Hollywood stardom gone awry in Sunset Boulevard (1950).
Each of these films is an undisputed classic today, but even at the time, his films were lauded. Six of his screenplays were nominated for Oscars between 1941-1950. Three of his eight Best Director nominations also came during this period. Billy Wilder claimed the American Dream; he was successfully playing by his own rules.
By the end of the '50s, as censorship guidelines were easing, Wilder's projects became even more daring. Sex was central to Wilder's world and Hollywood celebrated his candor. He directed Marilyn Monroe in two of her most sensuous roles, The Seven Year Itch (1955) and SOME LIKE IT HOT(1959). More often than not, Wilder liked pointing his finger at the hyprocrisy of people's sexual mores. In THE APARTMENT(1960), Wilder took an incisive look at corrupt businessmen exploiting their employees for sexual favors. In IRMA LA DOUCE (1963), the world of a Parisian prostitute was lovingly painted in Technicolor tones. In Kiss Me, Stupid (1964), Wilder finally stepped over the line with the story of a struggling composer willing to offer his wife to sell a song.The film, which seems so innocent today, was scandalous in its own day. Critics called Kiss Me, Stupid pornographic smut and buried the picture. Audiences ignored it. Today, the film is a risque farce with great performances by Dean Martin and Kim Novak. The critical lambast deeply affected Wilder; this would be his last sex comedy.
In 1966 Wilder brought together the dynamic combination of Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau with THE FORTUNE COOKIE. Director and stars teamed again for The Front Page (1974), a remake of the newspaper classic; and Buddy, Buddy (1981), the story of an assassin and a sad sack ready to commit suicide.
Wilder's many years in Hollywood produced an amazing string of hits. From sarcastic and cynical social commentary to outrageous sex farce, Wilder pushed his audiences to look at their own values and morals. He was an outsider who wasn't afraid to point out the follies of his fellow man or the worst aspects of American culture. He will be sorely missed.
By Jeremy Geltzer
TCM Remembers - Dudley Moore
Whenever Mrs. Kissel breaks wind, we beat the dog.- Reverend
If you were dancing with your wife, or girlfriend you knew in high school, and you said to her, Darling, they're playing our song, do you know what they'd be playing?- George
Why Don't We Do It In The Road. Fuckin' hell kind of era is that?- George
By what name are you known, sir?- George
Donald. Don, to my friends and paying customers.- Don
In that case, I'll have another double Don. Double Don, God, that's going to be difficult to say by the shank of the evening. Better make that one a single.- George
Be careful sir, you shouldn't mix drugs and alcohol.- Police Officer
You could have fooled me.- George Webber
Doesn't he do anything except swim and jog on the beach?- George Webber
Oh yes! He makes me happy. So I let him swim and jog on the beach.- Hugh Fallon
I was in the Royal Air Force as a matter of fact.- George Webber
I thought you had to be English to be in that.- Bill Collins
You do.- George
You an English fella, huh?- Bill
That's all right.- Bill
George Segal was originally cast in the lead role but walked off the set shortly after filming began.
The song being played while Dudley Moore and Bo Derek are making love is Ravel's "Bolero". Bo Derek later starred in a movie called Bolero (1984).
Peter Sellers claimed to have turned down the lead role "many, many times. I just didn't feel I was right for the part."
Although this movie's title was widely understood to say that Bo Derek's looks rated 10 out of 10, the rating actually given to her character's looks in the scene where the subject arises is 11 out of 10.
Released in United States October 1979
Released in United States Fall October 5, 1979
Released in United States October 1979
Released in United States Fall October 5, 1979