Baron von Sepper (Richard Burton, who seems to sleepwalk through the film), a European aristocrat of vaguely Germanic heritage, marries and murders a succession of international lovelies (among them Raquel Welch, Virna ... more »Lisi, Nathalie Delon, and Marilý Tolo) before his seventh bride, peppy but coy showgirl Joey Heatherton, discovers his secret in a frozen basement museum. Would you believe the Baron is just a nice guy who's a poor judge of character? A man who loves deeply but perhaps not too wisely? Or that he harbors a deep, troubling psychosexual secret? Director Edward Dmytryk (The Caine Mutiny), who also cowrote this Euro-pudding coproduction, tosses in a bit of all three as he barrels through his reign of terror. He even attempts to milk laughs from a few of the executions, but despite its upbeat pace it drags through unnecessary exposition and dull, dead patches of life-size kewpie doll Heatherton padding around his castle. Richard Burton struggles with a hoary stage beard and a dull screenplay that labors under the pretense of wit to deliver a bored performance. This 1972 production gets some mileage from its guest cast (most of whom offer a tantalizing flash of flesh before succumbing to the Baron's homicidal impulses), but winds up as lifeless as Burton's vacant, weary stare. --Sean Axmaker« less
Hearse Queen | northern california, usa | 11/27/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Burton plays Baron Kurt Von Sepper, a wealthy Austrian upper crust aristocrat with a dark blue beard. He marries Greta (Karin Schubert), but she dies in a tragic hunting "accident." He meets street smart American showgirl, Anne (Joey Heatherton, who has a semi nude scene) and marries her after a whirlwind romance. One night alone at the Baron's palace Anne makes the ghastly discovery of a secret freezer chock full of former wives. Smart Anne tries to buy time before she becomes the newest addition to the freezer by convincing Bluebeard to tell her how all the women met their fates. He starts to tell her the tale of how each former wife met her fate.Before I go any further, let me say that this film is overdone, campy, and sometimes, well, bad.But that is what makes it fun.The various ways that Bluebeard got rid of his other wives is absolutely hilarious. Virna Lisi, Nathalie Delon (along with her lesbian lover Sybil Danning), Raquel Welch, Marilu' Tolo, and Agostina Belli all die in some very interesting and campy ways. This is fiendishly fun black comedy at it's over the top best.The color on this copy is gorgeous and rich, and the musical score is perfect for this macabre mischief.If you like campy black comedy, check it out!"
What a hoot! Fun blend of horror and comedy.
Hearse Queen | 06/25/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I was surprised to be entertained by this film since I'd heard it was bad. This dark comedy, dismissed in its initial theatrical release by critics and audiences alike, deserved better. It's a hoot! There is some beautiful cinematography, gorgeous sets, some fine acting, suspense and masterful segues between drama, horror, and comedy. The women, Bluebeard's doomed wives, are gorgeous, especially the lovely Joey Heatherton, who steals the movie from one of my all time favorite actors, Richard Burton. The murder scenes are graphic but so bizarre they both repel and make you laugh at the same time. They illustrate the absurdity at the core of Burton's sexually dysfunctional villain, a man of vast power and wealth who cannot acquire the most important thing in life, the love of any of his wives. Don't take it too seriously, just enjoy it."
Hang on to your seats, a camp classic!
Candace Scott | Lake Arrowhead, CA, USA | 11/11/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Though this wretched movie is not the nadir of Richard Burton's career (check out "The Klansman" for that dubious distinction), it comes mighty darn close. The script, the acting and the general tone of this movie is beyond repulsive, it is tawdry, inane and ultimately, quite pathetic. However, there is one overwhelmingly redeeming feature to "Bluebeard:" it is so bad it is unintentionally hilarious!Burton sleepwalks through this silly film with a cheap, stick-on goatee. As always, he overacts to a ridiculous degree and one eternally wonders why his directors never took him aside and said, "Richard, you don't need to scream every single line." Alas, Burton is magnificently dreadful here, his attempts at lovemaking become bombastically embarrassing to watch, his few, brief attempts at some decent acting are wickedly futile. One real-life moment to ponder: following one love scene with one of the no-name Italian starlets, the director yelled, "cut!" but Burton and the starlet continued kissing and then walked off the set to Burton's waiting limousine. Hmmm, where was Liz?This is a great movie to enjoy with a few beers and a readiness to make fun of every scene and hurl collective invective against Richard Burton. If you are up to the challenge, then "Bluebeard" is your movie."
Punch and Punchier
Hearse Queen | 06/15/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"When Bluebeard was made, its sole intent seemed to be to get an international cadre of actresses out of their clothes while providing an unsettling mixture of sex and death (two elements bound to pack 'em into the theaters). Though pretty hot in its day, nearly 30 years later, it seems fairly tame in terms of exposed flesh, but retains a campy charm that was completely missed in the early 70s. Burton's hammy performance is not to be believed and the (nearly offensive) dizziness of his seven wives will have lovers of low humor chuckling more than watching Vincent Price at his most extreme in similar Roger Corman vehicles. Today, Bluebeard plays like a particularly mean-spirited Punch and Judy Show, and Joey Heatherton's turning the tables on Burton at the end is something you'll never forget. It's even more fun once you realize that semi-respectable director Edward Dmytryk probably took the whole thing seriously--but that doesn't mean you have to. Sure to get a reaction."
Simply the Best.
David C. Maughan | Grantsville, Utah USA | 07/25/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My friends often accuse me of not liking comedy. I think this movie proves them wrong. I think I have now seen Richard Burton at his very best. ( Perhaps "The Wild Geese" could be an exception. ) I loved this move. It made me laugh over and over again. And the women were wonderful and beautiful. Raquel Welch was stunning. She alone was worth the watch. However I have to say that Joey Heatherton made this movie for me. She was never the best actress on the big or small screen. BUT if she is not the sexiest I will eat my hat. Girls today wish they had the sex appeal, even one tenth of the sex appeal that Ms. Heatherton carried with her. WOW! How I miss the days of my youth ogling and drooling over Joey Heatherton. This movie reminded just how twitterpated she got me as a very young man just beginning to notice women. Perhaps I should say just beginning to notice what women like Joey Heatherton could do to me. I didn't understand it then but I sure do now and wish I had many more movies of her.
Anyway. I say buy this movie and watch it over and over again and enjoy every second of it. The could try a remake of this movie and in today's world they may make it seem better with special affects, but they will never improve on the fun and enjoyment one receives form watching this movie with this cast. It is simply the best.