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Bedtime Story

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When will TCM ever show Bedtime Story?  It's the only Brando film I've never seen.  I've heard it's very funny with Brando, Niven and Shirley Jones.   Can TCM please show this film?

This film was remade as "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" with Steve Martin in the Brando role and Michael Caine in David Niven's role Glenne Headly  in the Shirley Jones part...Didn't know if you was aware of this. Also you can watch "Bedtime Story" on YouTube..

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I find it curious that you call yourself "classicfilmfan" and yet THAT one is the only Brando film you've seen!


It's not bad really.  Brando's role WAS quite a departure for him, while in the remake, it was just Steve Martin being Steve Martin, and not all that much of a stretch.


I hope TCM does get around to showing it sometime.




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It's a delightful film, of which I wrote this review a year ago:


BEDTIME STORY (1964), or, as it may be better known to some modern filmgoers, the original version of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, a 1988 comedy. I just saw the original again for the first time in years and found this tale of two competitive French Riviera con artists fleecing rich women a charming, polished delight.


David Niven is perfectly cast, bringing his charm and droll humour, to the role of the wealthy, well established con artist, working in collaboration with the corrupt captain of police, to suavely pluck the rich female tourists arriving in his affluent but small Mediterranean town, without their ever knowing that they have been plucked.


Along, though, comes a brash American con artist interloper (Marlon Brando), threatening to spoil the pickings for Niven. From there the story takes off. 


The films looks like parts of it may have been filmed in the Riviera, adding considerably to the sunshine kissed affluent atmosphere of this handsome production. And there is often some rather clever dialogue. 


At one point Brando, in talking to the French town police officer, says, "She caught me with another woman. You're French. You understand."


"To be with another woman, that is French," replies the Frenchman, "To be caught, that is American.” 


That same line of dialogue, by the way, would re-appear in the remake (Stanley Shapiro has writing credit on both films). 


Niven brings his expected aplomb to his role. Did any actor ever look more at home in a white tuxedo? But Brando is an unexpected pleasure to watch in this film, as well, gleefully leaping into the role of the lower class brash Yankee ready to exploit the gullibility of innocent women. 


At one point Niven says to him, "By no stretch of the imagination would I associate myself with someone like you. You're crude."


"Well, so is oil until you refine it into high octane gasoline," says Brando, wanting to be taught all the tricks of sophisticated flip flammery at the hands of an old master like Niven. 


Both Bedtime Story and its Dirty Rotten Scoundrels remake (reviewed on this thread just a day ago or so, this one featuring Steve Martin and Michael Caine as the con artists) are well worth viewing. Where the remake has an edge over the original, though, is in the casting of Martin, who has a few sequences of physical comedy brilliance when he poses as "Ruprecht," Caine's brain addled "brother," who acts, at times, like he's almost half monkey. These scenes are hysterically funny, thanks to Martin.


The remake also changes the ending of the original and, for the better, in a clever twist that I, for one, didn't see coming.


However, while the remake is available on DVD, Bedtime Story is strangely missing in action for home theatre viewing. And that's a shame, for the script is clever and the performances of Niven and Brando definitely worth viewing. (Brando's own scenes as simple minded "Ruprecht" are very funny, as well).



I just checked, and there is still an okay quality copy of Bedtime Story available on You Tube, the one upon which I based this review last year.

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Thank you Tom for the wonderful description of this film.


Sepiatone - if you read my original post again - you will see I said that Bedtime Story is the only Brando film I HAVE NOT SEEN.....I have seen all the other Brando films.

When I originally joined the Boards many years ago - I was a "newclassicfilmfan"....but now over the years, I've seen many, many classic films....they are so much better than the current films.

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