Bluebeard (1972 film)

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Bluebeard (1972 film).jpg
Directed byEdward Dmytryk
Produced byAlexander Salkind[1]
Story by
Music byEnnio Morricone[1]
CinematographyGábor Pogány[1]
Edited byJean Pavel[1]
  • Gloria Film S.r.l.
  • Barnabé Productions S.a.r.l.
  • Geiselgasteig Film GmbH[2]
Release date
  • 15 August 1972 (1972-08-15) (Pantages Theatre, Hollywood)[3]
  • 15 December 1972 (1972-12-15) (West Germany)
Running time
115 minutes[2]
  • Italy
  • France
  • West Germany[2]

Bluebeard is a 1972 film directed by Edward Dmytryk. It stars Richard Burton, Raquel Welch, Joey Heatherton and Sybil Danning. Set in Austria in the postwar 1920s, Bluebeard is a World War I pilot with a reputation as a "ladykiller" and a frightening blue tinged beard. Honoured as hero by the Austrian public, the Baron's freezer holds a terrible secret that is discovered by his current wife (Joey Heatherton). noted that some sources claim that Luciano Sacripanti also directed the film.[2]



Bluebeard had its world premiere at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood on August 15, 1972. It was released in West Germany on December 15, 1972.[2]


Roger Ebert gave the film two stars out of four and wrote, "There is no longer any novelty in watching the sad disintegration of Richard Burton's acting career."[4] Roger Greenspun of The New York Times wrote, "I have rarely seen a horror film so coyly aware of its own camp potential. But it is better at being foolishly serious than at being slyly humorous, and its few good moments come before it admits that its spook lightning and its maybe 3,000 pounds of phony cobwebs are essentially a joke."[5] Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune gave the film one star out of four and wrote that the scenes of sadism "are designed to pander to people who enjoy seeing women abused."[6] He put the film on a year-end list he made of the sickest films of 1972.[7] Variety called it "high camp."[8] Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times panned the film as "123 minutes of unrelieved boredom and morbidity," adding, "Heavily made up and dyed and speaking in a post-synched German accent, Burton seems to be sleepwalking."[9] Gary Arnold of The Washington Post wrote, "'Bluebeard' is so lacking in both style and conviction that it's often more muddled and ineffective than actively offensive." He wrote of Burton that "unless he's contemplating a permanent career in exploitation movies, it would be difficult to sink below this credit ... his final words are, "This is ridiculous,' but he's done nothing to convince us that he's superior to the material, that he's just doing some good-humored slumming and ought to be indulged his bad judgment."[10] of the Monthly Film Bulletin Clyde Jeavons of The Monthly Film Bulletin faulted "Dmytryk's indecision over whether to plump for black comedy or straight-faced horror, and it demonstrates his overall failure to find either a style or a formula sturdy enough to carry the film's heavy burden of absurdities and plain bad acting."[11]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Blaubart" (in German and English). Retrieved August 11, 2017.
  2. ^ "World Premiere for 'Bluebeard' Slated". Los Angeles Times. August 9, 1972. Part IV, p. 8.
  3. ^ Ebert, Roger (September 13, 1972). "Bluebeard". Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  4. ^ Greenspun, Roger (August 19, 1972). "Screen: Richard Burton as Bluebeard". The New York Times. 28.
  5. ^ Siskel, Gene (September 11, 1972). "Bluebeard". Chicago Tribune. Section 2, p. 16.
  6. ^ Siskel, Gene (January 14, 1973). "The sickest of '72...... to a healthier '73". Chicago Tribune. Section 6, p. 6.
  7. ^ "Film Reviews: Bluebeard". Variety. August 23, 1972. 6.
  8. ^ Thomas, Kevin (August 17, 1972). "'Bluebeard,' Burton, Budapest: Boredom". Los Angeles Times. Part IV, p. 15.
  9. ^ Arnold, Gary (September 22, 1972). "Tales of Horror and Sexploitation". The Washington Post. B15.
  10. ^ Jeavons, Clyde (April 1973). "Bluebeard". The Monthly Film Bulletin. 40 (471): 72.

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