Movies that are slightly off.
Don't Rock the boat… Sink it.
Swope is the only black man on the executive board of an advertising firm, and is accidentally put in charge after the death of the chairman of the board.
Absurdist satire of the highest order, Putney Swope is painfully funny, ludicrous, and jarringly incongruous. Among the subjects that find themselves under its scathing gaze are commercialism, ideological extremism, and racial and gender rights. Nothing is sacred, nothing is safe. From today's viewpoint, it's easy for the viewer to distance themselves from the issues thanks to the film's dated language and delivery, but Swope's power lies in the increasingly prescient presentation of those issues. Advertising that relies on sex and crudity, the government's role in corporate dealings, and the cult-of-personality applied to nearly anyone in show business; to think that we were warned of these things in 1969 makes their reality today all the more sadly hilarious.
It's a bit…
"The Pimple Song" should have topped the charts in '69.
Putney Swope is an adventure in, "What can we get away with?"
This is a film from Robert Downey Sr. the man who gave us such treasures as Robert Downey Jr. The latter has obviously garnered more fame than the former, but who was given more to the world of film? Sr. has influenced such filmmakers as Paul Thomas Anderson and Louis C.K., making some of the most controversial films of the 1960s and 70s. Putney Swope is his most well known and most borrowed from. It's a movie that puts laughter first, with style following closely behind. A movie that simultaneous makes you a better and a worse person for having watched it.
Putney Swope is about a black…
"Rockin' the boat's a drag. You gotta sink the boat!"
Paul Thomas Anderson always talks about Putney Swope and the Influence Robert Downey Sr. had on him. He spends a lot of the time on his Boogie Nights commentary talking about it and working with RDS on the film (he played the record label guy who wouldn't let Dirk take his album). I was listening to an incredible two hour interview with him and Marc Maron on the WTF podcast (I would really reccomend listening to it, he goes into depth about all of his movies. It even shaped where I want to go for college), and again this movie came up. It seems to come up in many interviews…
Putney Swope is one of the most offensive comedies I've ever seen. It's jokes consist mainly of racist, sexist, and ableist humour, but since the movie is such an obvious satire it's content doesn't become problematic. The supporting characters are little more than stereotypes, and this helps the films interpretation of 1960s America and its many cultural problems.
Downey Sr. is being critical of both the radicals and the reactionaries, taking no side of his own and pointing towards a type of anarchism. None of Putney's behaviour makes any logical sense; he fires employees on a whim, protests against marketing certain items while using obscene methods of advertising his products, and he attempts to keep a code of ethics despite…
If it could only have kept up the quality of the introductory scene. That is one hilarious way to open a film.
The film as a whole feels like a bunch of guys sat in a room and came up with one-liners and they just threw them haphazardly into the script.
It is perhaps unfair to judge this harshly in 2014, as it is very much set in its' time, and probably was a way more raunchy experience in 1969.
I still managed a few laughs throughout, but it's too disjointed to be categorized as a success.
Antonio Fargas is my spirit animal.
So Robert Downey Jr's father, Robert Downey, directed this insane madcap comedy which has been cited by Louis C.K and Paul Thomas Anderson as a huge influence on their work, that also being the reason I sought out this film in the first place.
Now that I've watched it, I don't know exactly what to think. This racist, homophobic, sexist film is both hilarious and tedious, in my mind it bounced between a one star and a five star rating at times. It's definitely an obtuse film with some of the most unorthodox yet original editing I've seen in a film from that period and even now.
You can see this film's DNA in C.K's television show 'Louie', as well…
What a wonderfully bizarre yet utterly hilarious film. The film reeks of underground with its cinematography, themes, and issues, yet it manages to be wittier and punchier than many comedies even today.
"My man uses Face Off, he's really out of sight. And so are his pimples."
Under a very hit & miss comedy with a very absurd tale lies an interesting tale about change, and how it can both be a good thing and not so much.
This movie definitely feels like a product of its time, and I think because I'm watching it nearly a half century later, much of the shock really didn't make it through. I don't know if that's always the case, or if the comedy just genuinely isn't all that strong most of the time or what, but something's happening.
The best parts to me were definitely the brief commercial segments. I was first introduced to this…
"are you for surreal?!"
Before you start yelling at me or planning my demise with some sort of razor wire/mousetrap/big stick concoction, I’m not giving this 1.5 stars because I think it’s a terrible film. I’m sure in it’s time it was groundbreaking and essential, but personally I couldn’t get into this at all. I saw a review which described the film as one big long SNL sketch and that’s pretty spot-on. Unfortunately it’s a big long unfunny SNL sketch. I get the satire on corruption, race, advertising etc, and in fact the opening scene was hilarious and I was hoping for great things from there. But I guess my funny bone and Downey Sr’s funny bone are from different species or something, since…
Subversive AF. Not quite as funny as I had hoped and I would have loved more commercials. It may be a little over-hyped by those who love it but the appeal and influence is undeniable.
Give me your top 10 favorite comedies!
recommend shit to me, please! esp. little known sleazy stuff