Release Date: October 5, 1979
Director: Blake Edwards
Starring: Dudley Moore, Julie Andrews, Bo Derek, Robert Webber.
Tag Lines: “A temptingly tasteful comedy for adults who can count.”
“Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…”
Awards: Academy Award for Best Music, Original Song, “Song From 10 (It’s Easy to Say),” Henry Mancini, Robert Wells (nomination), Academy Award for Best Music, Original Score, Henry Mancini (nomination), Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical (nomination), Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical, Julie Andrews (nomination), Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical, Dudley Moore, Golden Globe for New Star of the Year in a Motion Picture – Female, Bo Derek (nomination), Golden Globe for Best Original Score, Henry Mancini, National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Film (4th Place), National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Director, Blake Edwards (nomination), National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Screenplay, Blake Edwards (nomination), Writers Guild of America Award for Best Comedy Written Directly for the Screen, Blake Edwards (nomination).
Relevance: In the 1980’s, HBO was my very good friend. I watched many a movie for the first time on the network and it aided in making me the huge movie fan I am today. Because of HBO, I spent many hours with my family enjoying the “approved” movies as well as many hours alone sneaking the “unapproved” movies. Back in the day, HBO only played R-rated movies after 8pm. So I spent countless late nights and very early mornings alone with only the glow of the television and the volume very low.
My parents were pretty liberal as far as what my sister and I were allowed to watch on television. But there were always those few movies playing on HBO that I knew I would never get a chance to see if I didn’t get creative. And by creative I mean sneaky. The movies that were especially interesting to me and the ones most likely to be nixed by my mom were the R-rated films with the ‘N’ and ‘SC’ listed after the rating. The handy HBO guide would always list why the movie was rated as such. ‘N’ stood for nudity and ‘SC’ stood for strong sexual content. And those were the movies that this preteen and teenage boy needed to see the most.
Not only would HBO show newer movies, they also cycled through older or classic movies to fill in their schedule. Because of this, I don’t remember exactly what year I finally got to see ’10.’ I am guessing that it was before 1985 as I was definitely still in grade school. When it was in theaters, ’10’ was very popular as was one of its stars Bo Derek, especially with every straight man with a pulse. That included my dad. Now he was also a fan of Dudley Moore, but it was Bo Derek that made him talk up this movie so much. The iconic scene of Ms. Derek running the shoreline in the light tan one piece bathing suit with beaded hair was a part of every male fantasy. Even mine.
My family was pretty predictable and each member had their own set schedule, so watching movies late at night wasn’t too difficult. I would scope out the HBO guide, pick the day, the time and then plan my strategy. The time I watched ’10’ was definitely during the summer. My mom would always watch television until 11:00 pm and then go to bed after the local news’ weather. My dad was usually listening to the Phillies baseball game on the radio in our back room, but by the snores wafting out from his vicinity, there wasn’t much listening going on. My sister was most likely in her room with her door closed. So at about 11:20, the TV was all mine. I’d watch whatever I wanted. I sat very close to the TV because if it was something deemed inappropriate and I heard someone moving around, I had to flip the channel pretty quickly as we didn’t have a remote control at that particular time. So with the lights off, the volume low and my seat a few inches from the television, I watched ’10’ for the very first time.
Dudley Moore was someone that I was familiar with and someone that my family found very entertaining. He appears on this list four times and has always been one of my favorite comedic actors. Not surprisingly, the character of George Webber was played perfectly. No one plays the bumbling, usually drinking, butt of the joke better than Mr. Moore. Julie Andrews, who I only knew as Maria Von Trapp and Mary Poppins, was also very good in an extremely different role. It was shocking to hear her swear and see her flip someone the bird. Directed by her husband Blake Edwards, this comedy was named appropriately. It was a 10. Nudity and laughs, what more can a boy ask for, and ’10’ had a lot of both.
After watching the movie for the first time, I knew it wouldn’t be my last. That type of comedy has always been my favorite and I knew I’d have to watch it over and over again. And I did just that. I have watched it numerous times since, although I am happy to report always with light, at a better distance and with higher volume levels.
Today’s Thoughts: I probably haven’t watched ’10’ since my college days when it was one of my go to movies. Because of that, I was curious to see how well the movie stood up to time when I watched it today. But most of all, I was ready to laugh.
And laugh I did. It’s simply a funny movie with a very ridiculous and wonderful performance by Dudley Moore. Mr. Moore knew his strengths and perfected them. Both his comic timing and physical slap stick are unparalleled. Blake Edwards was probably the best director for him and this film. He simply knew comedy. I love most of his films. In fact, this is the first of three of his movies to make my list. Bo Derek was not the greatest of actresses, but she was beautiful and fit the part perfectly. She was an eleven.
It’s interesting to re-watch this film in the #metoo movement. A tad sexist at times, but not cringe-worthy as that was its point. A theme of the movie is men versus women as well as man’s obsession with looks and sex is going to cross lines. But when crossing those lines to make a point, it doesn’t translate as inappropriate. It still holds up respectably.
Ways to Watch: YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, Amazon Prime, DVD Availability.