Movie Recommendation- The Loved One
THE LOVED ONE (1965)
The sixties were a weird time for American film – while the studio system was falling apart, a few brave, engaged filmmakers found ways to sneak some truly subversive material across the border of distribution. Tony Richardson’s 1965 film The Loved One, billed as “the motion picture with something to offend everyone!”, is certainly in the class. Starring Robert Morse (now known as Bert Cooper on Mad Men) stars as a Brit who sort of stumbles onto American shores and into, of all things, the mortuary industry in Los Angeles. Along the way, he encounters the likes of Roddy McDowell, Rod Steiger (as an embalmer named “Mr. Joyboy”), Paul Williams, Tab Hunter, Dana Andrews, Liberace (as a coffin salesman!), Milton Berle, James Coburn, and in an incredible dual role, Jonathan Winters. Based on a novel by Evelyn Waugh (and based, in turn, on his own experience in Los Angeles as an outsider), and adapted by Christopher Isherwood(!) and Terry Southern(!!), The Loved One is satire as sharp as Network with the surrealist insanity of a classic issue of MAD Magazine. Any movie that contains the line, “there must be some way to get these stiffs off my property” would be an easy recommend, but truth be told, that’s only the beginning of the joys to be found within.