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Sunday June 23rd 2024

Bedazzled | 2000

Disappointing remake of Stanley Donen’s 60s classic, transposing the location to San Francisco. It’s heavy on the FX, and although Brendan Fraser is excellent as the innocent, geeky Elliot Richards, Elizabeth Hurley is an toe-curlingly awful substitute for Peter Cook’s cynically petulant sadist George Spiggott.

The ‘Synedyne Building’, where Elliot works, is the McKesson Building, 600 Market Street at Post Street. He plummets from his first wish onto the bonnet of a car at Washington Square Park, and the subsequent traffic pile-up was filmed at Columbus and Vallejo Street.

After the ‘beach’ wish, Elliot materialises in the Vaillancourt Fountain, a tumble of ruins tastefully resembling San Francisco after the Big One, at Justin Herman Plaza on Embarcadero.

It’s not all the real Bay City, though. Some of the movie was shot in Los Angeles, at the Los Angeles County Arboretum, 301 North Baldwin Avenue, Arcadia.

Elliot becomes a strangely tall, though sadly lacking, pro basketball player at the Forum, 3900 West Manchester Boulevard, Inglewood.

Being San Francisco, it’s hard to avoid the occasional Dirty Harry connection, and Bedazzled features two of the films locations: Elliot wants to dispute his ‘Big Mac and Coke’ wish with God at St Peter and St Paul Church, 666 Filbert Street, and finally gets to keep his soul in San Francisco City Hall.

And, surprisingly, some of the film was even shot in the UK. ‘Ford’s Theatre’, in ‘Washington D.C.’., where Elliot becomes Abe Lincoln, is Richmond Theatre, The Green, Richmond in southwest London. This much-used film location has been seen in films as diverse as 1957 Peter Sellers comedy The Naked Truth, The Krays, Bugsy Malone, Evita, Finding Neverland and – as ‘Ford’s Theatre’ again! – in National Treasure: Book of Secrets.