Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice is a 1969 comedy-drama film directed by Paul Mazursky. It starred Natalie Wood, Robert Culp, Elliott Gould and Dyan Cannon. The screenplay was written by Paul Mazursky and Larry Tucker (who also produced the film). The original music score was composed by Quincy Jones. The original soundtrack album was released on Bell Records and featured Merrilee Rush performing a cover of the Burt Bacharach classic "What the World Needs Now Is Love". The cinematography for the film was by Charles Lang. The film was marketed with the tag line "Consider the possibilities."

Plot summary

After a weekend of emotional honesty at an Esalen-style retreat, Los Angeles sophisticates Bob and Carol Sanders (played by Robert Culp and Natalie Wood) return to their life determined to embrace free love and complete openness. Bob and Carol happily reveal their ensuing love affairs to everyone, sparking both the curiosity and repulsion of their more conservative close friends Ted and Alice Henderson (Elliott Gould and Dyan Cannon).

When the two couples travel together to Las Vegas, Ted admits to an affair of his own. An outraged Alice demands that this new ethos be taken to its obvious conclusion: a mate-sharing foursome. But when they're actually ready to begin the deed, something unexplained within them prevents it.

TV version

A sitcom based on the film appeared on ABC during the 1973-74 season, starring Anita Gillette, Robert Urich, David Spielberg, and Anne Archer. A 10-year-old Jodie Foster also appeared as Ted and Alice's daughter (this differed from the film version, where Ted and Alice had a son).

Because of the overt sexual nature of the film (when it was released it was rated R), much of the humor could not be translated into a network TV project. Thus the characters needed to be substantially "toned down", losing much of the film's edge. The series did poorly and was canceled at the end of the season.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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