Fellow Film Club Members & Movie Buffs:
October, so far, has been so mild, this is like an extended Indian Summer; with Halloween on the eve just before our first screening, on Friday, November 1, 2013.
This Friday the Tacoma Film Club is excited about showing a landmark Indie film, Robert Downey, Sr.’s PUTNEY SWOPE (1969).
Downey, Sr. has mostly been known as an outrageous underground filmmaker, often compared to John Waters. By the time he was 22 he had been a Golden Gloves champion boxer, and had written a Broadway play. While he was in the Army, he pitched against Yogi Berra, and struck him out. In 1960 he began writing & directing basement-budgeted absurdist films, and has earned an underground following.
He is, of course, the father of Robert Downey, Jr., and it is said that he introduced his son to drugs when little Bobby was 8 years old. He has directed 18 films since 1960. PUTNEY SWOPE was his first mainstream hit. He also directed POUND (1970), in which R. Downey, Jr, at 5 years old, made his film debut, GREASER’S PALACE (1973), & UP THE ACADEMY (1980). He’s been an actor in 13 films, likeTO LIVE & DIE IN LA (1985), BOOGIE NIGHTS (1997), & MAGNOLIA (1999).
The musical score for P. SWOPE was done by Charley Cuva, who has only written two films scores, the other for POUND (1970)
The cinematography was done by Gerald Cotts, who was mostly known as a TV series lensman; he’s shot 13 films, and has won an Emmy. He directed three TV films.
PUTNEY SWOPE (1969)
Written & Directed by Robert Downey, Sr. @ 84 minutes.
The film stars Arnold Johnson, Allen Garfield, Stan Gottlieb, Bert Lawrence & Arnold Johnson, Antonio Fargas & a cameo by Mel Brooks.
Synopsis: This is a dark satire with a token black man in a good old boy’s Ad Agency Executive Board who gets accidently appointed the CEO. He immediately fires all the white ad men, and hires his militant friends, changing the name of the firm to Truth & Soul, Inc. But in a short time, Putney discovers that being the one in charge is not what he had visualized.
Tagline: “Don’t rock the boat–sink it!”
The is a Member Pick from Lyn Swanson.
Rotten Tomatoes rated the film with 64% Critic’s approval, and 74% audience approval.
Christopher Long (MOVIE METROPOLIS) wrote: “The fabricated commercials were absolutely brilliant, and the sheer Gonzo tenacity of the whole film make everything work, even the bad stuff.”
Joseph Rosenbaum (CHICAGO READER) wrote: “If you are in a silly enough mood, you will have a good time, & fully enjoy this off-beat hit-or-miss dadaist relic comedy.”
TV GUIDE: “A cliched comedy, yes, but the commercial parodies ( all shot in color with the film in B&W) are devastatingly funny–right on the money.”
Cole Smithey wrote: “This is a great drug-fueled, but flawed social commentary.”
So mark your calendars for this Friday, November 1, 2013, and join the Tacoma Film Club for our screening of Robert Downey, Sr.’s PUTNEY SWOPE (1969). It will screen at the Center for Spiritual Living, located at 206 North J Street, on the corner of Division & J Street, across from the Group Healthy hospital. Arrive early, about 6:15 p.m., and join some of us for fellowship downstairs in the kitchen area. It is permitted to bring snacks & beverages, including wine, to share with others–but please keep in mind that no food or drink is permitted upstairs in the sanctuary. Please clean up after yourself in the kitchen area before coming upstairs to view the movie. PUTNEY SWOPE runs for only 84 minutes. The screening will happen at 7:15 p.m. and the movie will be over before 9 p.m. See you at the movies!