10 (film)

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A tiny man in a suit swinging from the necklace of a giant woman
Theatrical release poster by John Alvin
Directed byBlake Edwards
Produced byBlake Edwards
Tony Adams
Written byBlake Edwards
Music byHenry Mancini
CinematographyFrank Stanley
Edited byRalph E. Winters
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • October 5, 1979 (1979-10-05)
Running time
122 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$7 million
Box office$74.8 million[1]

10 is a 1979 American romantic comedy film written, produced, and directed by Blake Edwards and starring Dudley Moore, Julie Andrews, Robert Webber, and Bo Derek. It was considered a trend-setting film at the time and was one of the year's biggest box-office hits. It follows a man in middle age who becomes infatuated with a young woman whom he has never met, leading to a comic chase and an encounter in Mexico.


During a surprise 42nd birthday party for wealthy, well-known composer George Webber (Dudley Moore), thrown by his actress girlfriend Samantha Taylor (Julie Andrews), he finds he is coping badly with incipient middle age. From his car, George glimpses a bride-to-be (Bo Derek) and is instantly obsessed with her beauty, which he rates as "11" on a scale that goes up to 10. Following her to the church, he crashes into a police cruiser, is stung by a bee, and nearly disrupts the wedding ceremony.

George visits the priest, and learns the woman is Jenny Miles, daughter of a prominent Beverly Hills dentist. Later that night, Sam and George have an argument about George's failure to give her the attention she needs, his use of the term "broad", and the fact that he uses a telescope to watch a neighbor (a porn producer) perform carnal acts. The final straw for Sam occurs when George makes a remark subtly impugning her femininity, at which point Sam leaves in a huff.

The following day, George spies on his neighbor again, hits himself with the telescope, and falls down an embankment, causing him to miss Sam's phone call. Still obsessed with the young bride, George schedules a dental appointment with Jenny's father and learns that Jenny and her husband have gone to Mexico for their honeymoon. The examination reveals a mouthful of cavities, requiring fillings. The after-effects of the novocaine, aggravated by his heavy drinking, leave George completely incoherent. Sam finally reaches him on the phone, but mistakes him for an intruder and calls the police, who hold George at gunpoint while trying to understand his gibberish. Unnerved by the day's events, George visits his neighbor's house to take part in an orgy. Sam arrives at George's and spots him through his telescope, widening the rift between them.

While his songwriting partner Hugh (Robert Webber) consoles Sam and says she will need to decide how long to wait for George to grow up, George impulsively boards a plane and follows the newlyweds to their exclusive resort in Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico. In the bar, George becomes acquainted with a friendly bartender, plays the piano, and encounters an old acquaintance, Mary Lewis (Dee Wallace), who suffers from a lack of self-confidence because she blames herself for a series of failed relationships. When they attempt a fling, Mary interprets George's inadequacy in bed as confirmation of her own insecurities.

At the beach, George sees Jenny ― wearing a swimsuit with her hair braided in cornrows ― and is awestruck again by her beauty. He notices that David (Sam J. Jones), her husband, has fallen asleep on his surfboard. George learns that beyond a certain point are powerful currents that can sweep a swimmer or surfer dangerously far from land. He rents a catamaran, clumsily but successfully rescues David, and becomes a hero. Sam sees him on a TV newscast and tries to contact him, but George (unaware that it is Sam) refuses the call. David, badly sunburned, is hospitalized, allowing Jenny and George to spend time alone together. After dinner, in her room, Jenny smokes marijuana and then seduces George to the sounds of Maurice Ravel's Boléro.

Although George is initially elated to find all of his fantasies being fulfilled, he is horrified when Jenny takes a call from her husband while in bed with him and casually informs him of George's presence. He is even more confused when David responds with a complete lack of concern (he had called to thank George for saving his life). When Jenny explains their open relationship and mutual honesty, and that they only got married due to pressure from her conservative father, George is appalled; realizing that in contrast to the complete infatuation he has had with her, Jenny sees him as nothing more than a "casual lay," so George gets dressed and leaves.

After flying back home, George reconciles with Sam by apologizing and demonstrating a new maturity. His neighbor, watching this through his telescope, complains that he has had enough of providing erotic entertainment to George and getting nothing in return. He walks away from the telescope in disgust. George takes an idea from Jenny: he starts Boléro on his phonograph, and he and Sam make love — ironically, in full view of the neighbor's telescope.



Dudley Moore was a last-minute replacement for George Segal.[2] Edwards sued Segal and won $270,000.[3]


10 was released by Warner Bros. October 5, 1979, opening in 706 theaters.[1] It was released on DVD through Warner Home Video May 21, 1997, and a Blu-ray edition was released February 1, 2011. The supplemental material consists of the original theatrical trailer and a four-minute promotional documentary, present on both media.


10 opened at number one in the United States, earning $3,526,692 ($12.6 million today) its opening weekend. The film went on to make a total of $74,865,517 ($267 million today) in United States, making it one of the top-grossing films of 1979.[1] It received mostly positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an approval rating of 68% based on 25 reviews.[4] On Metacritic it has a score of 68% based on reviews from 7 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[5]

Vincent Canby of The New York Times described it as "frequently hilarious", praising the performances of Moore and Andrews, and concluding that 10 "is loaded with odd surprises."[6] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave it a four-star review, calling it "one of the best films Blake Edwards has ever made".[7] He named 10 one of the best films of 1979, ranking it 10th place on his yearly top ten list.[8] Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune called the film "a very funny comedy that couldn't be more serious about the plight of its lead character." He also noted that the film "turns out to be a gentle essay on the problems of male menopause."[9]

The New York Times placed the film on its Best 1000 Movies Ever list.[10]


Award Category Recipients Result
Academy Awards Best Original Score Henry Mancini Nominated
Best Original Song "It's Easy to Say"
Music by Henry Mancini
Lyrics by Robert Wells
Golden Globe Awards Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy 10 Nominated
Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Dudley Moore Nominated
Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Julie Andrews Nominated
Best Original Score – Motion Picture Henry Mancini Nominated
New Star of the Year – Actress Bo Derek Nominated
Jupiter Awards Best International Actress Nominated
National Society of Film Critics Awards Best Film 10 4th Place
Best Director Blake Edwards 4th Place
Best Screenplay 5th Place
Writers Guild of America Awards Best Comedy Written Directly for the Screenplay Nominated

Cultural impact [edit]

Bo Derek's appearance shot her to instant stardom and status as a sex symbol. Her beaded and plaited cornrow hairstyle in the film was much copied.[11][12]

The film also brought renewed fame to the one-movement orchestral piece Boléro by Maurice Ravel and resulted in massive sales of the work. Ravel's music was still under copyright at the time, and sales generated an estimated $1 million in royalties and briefly made him the best-selling classical composer 40 years after his death.[13] Derek appeared in a 1984 film named Bolero, titled to capitalize upon the piece's regenerated popularity.

References [edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Box Office Information for 10". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on November 29, 2020. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
  2. ^ "Blake Edwards 3d One For Orion Co". Variety. May 23, 1979. p. 7.
  3. ^ Meisler, Andy (January 4, 1998). "Television; Out of the Polyester Past, a Comic Rogue Returns". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 7 November 2020. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  4. ^ "10". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on October 6, 2020. Retrieved 4 April 2021.
  5. ^ "10". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 2020-11-29. Retrieved 2020-05-04.
  6. ^ Canby, Vincent (October 5, 1979). "10 (1979) Screen: '10' Spoofs Pursuit of Happiness in L.A.:Success Through Failure". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
  7. ^ Ebert, Roger (January 1, 1979). "10". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on 18 October 2013. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
  8. ^ Ebert, Roger (December 15, 2004). "Ebert's 10 Best Lists: 1967–Present". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on 2 October 2013. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
  9. ^ Siskel, Gene (October 10, 1979). "'10' is not just another pretty film – it's pretty funny". Chicago Tribune. p. B11.
  10. ^ The Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made. The New York Times via Internet Archive. Published April 29, 2003. Retrieved June 12, 2008.
  11. ^ Nicole Singleton. "Cornrows FAQ". Archived from the original on 2009-09-18. Retrieved 2009-09-26.
  12. ^ Parul Solanki (2009-08-28). "Cornrow Braid Styles". Archived from the original on 2009-09-03. Retrieved 2009-09-26.
  13. ^ Andriotakis, Pamela (March 31, 1980). "Bo Derek's 'Bolero' Turn-On Stirs Up a Ravel Revival, Millions in Royalties—and Some Ugly Memories". People. Archived from the original on 18 November 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2013.

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