'Bedazzled' should really be one of the best comedy films ever made. It has a clever and witty script, a comic duo I really like and admire, interesting direction and locations, great music (from Dudley, who also gives several good performances) and some very groovy outfits. But, despite some brilliant individual sequences, it doesn't really work, and it took me a while to work out why. Sadly, it's Peter Cook's fault. Not for his script, a typically brilliant twist on the legend of Faust, but because of he is so stilted and stiff, constantly distracting the viewer by reminding them that these are actors, this is a film, he's not really the Devil.
Peter is very good at some of the other personas he takes on, but his George Spiggot / Mephistopholes / Lucifer / Satan (which is, after all, the central role) simply doesn't convince, and I say that as a Cook fan. Peter never really improved as an actor (if pushed, I'd suggest he was too aloof and unempathetic, if that's a word) but then it wasn't something he did a massive amount of, instead concentrating on his primary talent: being one of the funniest and cleverest men that ever lived.