No idea if there is a list for this yet, but I think I will keep this as kind of…
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…
"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.
As Part Of sprizzle's Letterboxd Tag: You're It!
After hearing a lot of great reviews, I went in with great expectations. Unfortunately, it didn't live up to the hype.
Don't get me wrong, I was able to see how people could like it. It just wasn't necessarily my cup of tea; I like a nice Vanilla Oolong and this was more of an Earl Grey.
I think the biggest turnoff for me was the brand of humor -- one I was unable to appreciate. Let me just say, I love satire. But when it feels like an unwelcome and overlong Saturday Night Live skit, that's when I draw the line. And that's just what this felt like; the performances were…
Putney Swope may be Robert Downey Senior's best known film, and for good reason--the movie tackles contemporary race relations through brilliant, absurd comedy from beginning to end. It starts off with a great scene at an elite advertising firm, at a board meeting that turns disastrous when the president collapses and dies. The white members of the board accidentally vote in the sole black member of the board--Putney Swope (Arnold Johnson), who runs the music department and doesn't believe their company should peddle alcohol, cigarettes, or toy weapons. He promptly fires most of the company and hires an all-black staff (save a token white guy on the new board), rechristening the agency "Truth and Soul Inc."
What follows is an…
Una sátira desmadrada y absurda sobre el mundo de la publicidad que multiplica sus dianas a poco que tiene ocasión de lanzar otro dardo. El humor es demencial y faltón y el ritmo no decae ni un segundo. Pierde algo de fuelle en los últimos 20 minutos, pero no le impide apuntarse el mérito de ser una obra maestra del cine underground USA. Ojalá todos los littlesecretfilm fueran así...
One Movie Under a Groove
Your father was a horse's ass!
I'm trudging through college. I'm majoring in political science.
I'm taking a class on political communication. I'm learning the full extent of the media's power.
I'm watching Putney Swope. I'm laughing my ass off.
Putney Swope is obscene. A raunchy dissident's fever-dream, rife with put-downs, send-ups, and enough politically-incorrect humor to make even your racist uncle wince. Well, maybe the uncle thing is a bit of an exaggeration. I don't know your racist uncle. I wouldn't presume to understand what your racist uncle's definition of acceptable entertainment would curtail.
Enough about your bigot of an uncle. Robert Downey Sr.'s Putney Swope is obscene. But I've already said that.
Let me start again:
Putney Swope is obscene. Fuck.
One last try:…
An interesting oddity. I wasn't bowled over right away but I think it might grow on me. A lot of the noise-based humor and weird repetitions of phrases need some time to take effect.
I don't get it. I can appreciate it's anarchic and radical nature, but I tired quickly watching it. Sorry I can't join the cult.
Incredible. This is what I have always waited for. I call for a cage match: Robert Downey Sr. vs. Judd Apatow. There will be nothing left of Apatow.
Dada-ism as film
Though structurally loose and bluntly off the cuff, Putney Swope showcases Robert Downey (a prince) as an impressive director who delivers dark, comedic satire in exciting cinematic form. Featuring a brilliant opening credit sequence, Downey managed to turn people off the street into engaging performers, creating a bizarre atmosphere and loose narrative that allows the totality of the film to cohere yet remain flexible enough to retain its energetic, boundless tone. Reportedly influential on many subsequent films since its summer 1969 release, Putney Swope is an essential comedy from a writer/director with clear talent, capturing a time in history and translating it uniquely to the cinematic screen.
- The Brood
- Winter Light
- The Changeling
- A mort l'arbitre
- À nous la liberté
- À propos de Nice
- ...A Valparaíso
This list is the Letterboxd version of The Oxford History of World Cinema.
The book celebrates and chronicles over one…
- Seven Samurai
- The 400 Blows
I decided to combine the entry-level art house, mid-level art house, and patriciancore images floating around /tv/ into one list...…