10 (film)

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10
A tiny man in a suit swinging from the necklace of a giant woman
Theatrical release poster by John Alvin
Directed byBlake Edwards
Written byBlake Edwards
Produced byBlake Edwards
Tony Adams
Starring
CinematographyFrank Stanley
Edited byRalph E. Winters
Music byHenry Mancini
Maurice Ravel
Production
company
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • October 5, 1979 (1979-10-05)
Running time
122 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$5-6 million[1]
Box office$74.8 million[2]

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 trendsetting film at the time of its release and became one of the year's biggest box-office hits. The film follows a middle-aged man who becomes infatuated with a young woman whom he has never met, leading to a comic chase and an encounter in Mexico.

Plot[edit]

During a surprise 42nd birthday party for the wealthy and famous composer George Webber thrown by his actress girlfriend Samantha Taylor, George finds that he is coping badly with his age. From his car, George glimpses a bride on her way to be married and is instantly obsessed with her beauty. Following her to the church, he crashes into a police cruiser, is stung by a bee and nearly disrupts the wedding ceremony.

Later that night, Sam and George argue over his treatment of women and his habit of spying on the intimate acts of a neighbor (which later turns out to be consensual).

George visits the reverend who performed the wedding and learns that the woman is Jenny Miles, daughter of a prominent Beverly Hills dentist.

The following day, while spying on his neighbor, George hits himself with the telescope and falls down an embankment, causing him to miss Sam's phone call. Still obsessed with Jenny, he schedules a dental appointment with her father and learns that Jenny and her husband David have gone to Mexico for their honeymoon. The effects of a comically implausible amount of treatment accompanied by a heavy dose of novocaine, aggravated by immediate 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. George visits his neighbor's house to take part in an ongoing orgy, but Sam spots him through his telescope, widening the rift between them.

George impulsively boards a plane to follow the newlyweds to their exclusive resort in Mexico. In the bar, George encounters old acquaintance Mary Lewis, who lacks self-confidence. When they attempt a fling, Mary interprets George's inadequacy in bed as confirmation of her own insecurities.

At the beach, George sees Jenny in a swimsuit and is awestruck again by her beauty. Noticing that her husband has fallen asleep on a surfboard, George rents a catamaran and rescues David, making him a hero. Sam sees George on a TV newscast and tries to contact him unsuccessfully. David is hospitalized with sunburn, allowing Jenny and George to spend time alone together. Jenny smokes marijuana and seduces George, but he is horrified when Jenny takes a call from David and casually informs him of George's presence. George is even more confused with David's complete lack of concern. Jenny explains their open and honest relationship and reveals that she married David only because of pressure from her conservative father. George leaves after realizing that Jenny sees their tryst as nothing more than a casual fling.

After flying home, George reconciles with Sam by apologizing and demonstrating a new maturity. George takes an idea from Jenny when he starts Boléro on his phonograph (lasting 15+14 minutes, an appropriate duration for lovemaking) and he makes love with Sam in full view of the neighbor's telescope, but the neighbor, frustrated that he provides erotic entertainment for George and gets nothing in return, is by now not watching.

Cast[edit]

Casting[edit]

Dudley Moore was a last-minute replacement for George Segal.[3] Edwards sued Segal and won $270,000.[4]

Release[edit]

10 was released by Warner Bros. on October 5, 1979, opening in 706 theaters.[2] It was released on DVD through Warner Home Video on May 21, 1997, and a Blu-ray edition was released on February 1, 2011. The supplemental material consists of the original theatrical trailer and a four-minute promotional documentary, present on both media.

Reception[edit]

10 opened at number one in the United States, earning $3,526,692 ($13.2 million in 2020) for its opening weekend. The film went on to make a total of $74,865,517 ($201 million in 2020) in the U.S. by the end of 1980, making it one of the top-grossing films released in 1979.[2] It received mostly positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has an approval rating of 68% based on 25 reviews, with an average rating of 6.50/10. The site's consensus states: "Blake Edwards' bawdy comedy may not score a perfect 10, but Dudley Moore's self-deprecating performance makes this midlife crisis persistently funny."[5] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 68% based on reviews from seven critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[6]

Vincent Canby of The New York Times described 10 as "frequently hilarious," praising the performances by Moore and Andrews and concluding that the film "is loaded with odd surprises."[7] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film a four-star review, calling it "one of the best films Blake Edwards has ever made."[8] He named 10 one of the best films of 1979, ranking it 10th on his yearly top-ten list.[9] 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."[10]

The New York Times placed the film on its Best 1000 Movies Ever list.[11]

Accolades[edit]

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
Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy 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 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 role shot her to instant stardom and status as a sex symbol. Her beaded and plaited cornrow hairstyle in the film was widely copied, though her use of the hairstyle was heavily criticized, as some people deemed it to be cultural appropriation. [12][13]

The film also brought renewed fame to the one-movement orchestral piece Boléro by Maurice Ravel, whose music was still under copyright at the time. As a result of the film, sales of Boléro generated an estimated $1 million in royalties and briefly made Ravel the best-selling classical composer 40 years after his death.[14] Derek appeared in a 1984 film named Bolero, titled to capitalize upon the piece's renewed popularity.

In tenpin bowling, broadcaster Rob Stone often refers to a player who scores ten consecutive strikes a Bo Derek, the perfect 10.

Remake[edit]

In 2003, it was announced that Blake Edwards would direct a remake to be titled 10 Again for MDP Worldwide, but the project was abandoned.[15]

References [edit]

  1. ^ "10 (1979)". catalog.afi.com. AFI.
  2. ^ a b c "Box Office Information for 10". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on November 29, 2020. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
  3. ^ "Blake Edwards 3d One For Orion Co". Variety. May 23, 1979. p. 7.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ "10". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on October 6, 2020. Retrieved 4 April 2021.
  6. ^ "10". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 2020-11-29. Retrieved 2021-11-28.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Ebert, Roger (January 1, 1979). "10". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on 18 October 2013. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Siskel, Gene (October 10, 1979). "'10' is not just another pretty film – it's pretty funny". Chicago Tribune. p. B11.
  11. ^ The Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made. The New York Times via Internet Archive. Published April 29, 2003. Retrieved June 12, 2008.
  12. ^ Nicole Singleton. "Cornrows FAQ". Archived from the original on 2009-09-18. Retrieved 2009-09-26.
  13. ^ Parul Solanki (2009-08-28). "Cornrow Braid Styles". Archived from the original on 2009-09-03. Retrieved 2009-09-26.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ "'10' redo adding up". 20 February 2003.

External links[edit]