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Not Even Jonathan Winters Could Save ' The Loved Ones '.


WhyaDuck
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Again, I'm glad TCM is trying to show differerent movies.......

 

This one was just too British dry combined with funeral home and cemetary story.....Jonathan Winters playing two parts delivered what I considered to be the only funny lines. Such as the cemetary owner saying the dead people would soon fill it up, but converting it to a retirement home for people dying and dying and reselling the condos is the way to go. " How do I get these stiffs off of my property ". ...Winters delivers this line and other lines great, as a comic great and at the top of his game in 1965.....but Robert Morse, Roddy McDowell, Rod Steiger and the others just drag in this, it is very slow paced, and strange paced, a strange little 60s flick that Mr Winters just can't save.....

 

Perhaps I also couldn't get into this because it is the start of the Memorial Day Weeekend, and memories flow enough of departed loved ones without this very bleak humor cemetary movie. This is not a nice way to think of them at the cemetary, and perhaps this was a bad weekend to try to watch it, or show it. ....but I don't think another week or month would help this for me. It was just too dry, too weird, too bleak. ......I instead watched the end of a Reds / Cubs game and then the end of the NBA Heat / Pacers game....and I felt less depressed then.....this movie just too bleak.......

 

Jonathan Winters was good for what they let him do.....the other actors and the writer and the director, I just didn't dig their grave movie. Very English, very dry. ....Some may like it, it wasn't my cup of tea. I could even say this cemetary movie starting Memorial Day Weekend is in bad taste, but it's not that.....it's just to dry, other than Mr Winters.

 

Example : ( in black and white mind you, the cemetary is monster movie like, not funny )......Robert Morse and the woman who works for the cemetary stroll the grounds as he looks for a lot......and there are some cemetary stones under water......and she explains these sites are for people who loved the water such as boaters, Admirals, surfers.....and this may be great British comedy, I don't know....to me, theres nothing there...and in black and white, the cemetary is bleak, the dry humor bleak.....

 

Still, I give TCM credit for trying to show different movies lately.....hit or miss.....

 

Edited by: WhyaDuck on May 25, 2013 12:23 AM

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Well put, Dark. Yep, this is my second viewing of this film, and both times I kept thinking that Kubrick might have loved or at least appreciated this film, as it definitely reminds me of "Dr. Strangelove", what with its outlandish premise played by all concerned with total straight faces.

 

And WhyaDuck, yes, just as in "Strangelove", I believe there is an element present in this film which mocks the idea of "American Exceptionalism" and American excess, and which the British can often and so effectively present with their brand of subtle humor....though it appears that particular brand of humor is not your cup of tea.

 

(...though after saying all this, I don't think this Tony Richardson film is quite in the same league as the Kubrick film, but it was especially fun for me to see my old hometown of L.A. and my old location of employment for many years, LAX, circa the mid-1960s shown in all its "glory" in this film)

 

Edited by: Dargo2 on May 24, 2013 10:12 PM

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i don't know if the word "experimental" applies exactly. i look at the style of The Loved One (1965) as more of a response to the awful studio comedies of the 60's such as Under the Yum Yum Tree, Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation or the Bob Hope factory made comedies, I'll Take Sweden and Critic's Choice among Hope's many duds. the attitude would have been "Let's try something different" and see if that works. i think it was a natural fallout from the edgier comedy of the stand-up comedians of the time like Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl or even Bob Newhart. as a group these jokesters were known as "sick comics" since their material was earthy stuff. including Johnny Winters in the cast gave The Loved One "street cred" that the film would be offbeat and would meet the sensibilities of 60's moviegoers who found the offbeat humor of the aforementioned comics along with Bob and Ray "state of the art" and a viable alternative to boring assembly line scripts.

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as someone else pointed out: it's The Loved One not Ones, if you like, you can (I think) fix the typo by editing the title of your original post. (when one is being critical, one is under a moreso of an obligation to be accurate.)

 

But yeah- I get you. It's I film I don't necessarily dislike and I would recommend it to film buffs as one you "need to see," but in the end: *I don't understand what the hell it's all about.*

 

But, I do think a majority of the cast are excellent- with Roddy MacDowell (sp?) and (strangely enough) Liberace really taking the acting honors for me (actually, Steiger's is the only performance that I found a failure, but then again I'm not a fan of his.) It's wonderfully shot and directed- by Tony Richardson who'd won an Oscar the previous year for his great work on Tom Jones ) and it has some great sets, but yeah...

 

I understand anyone who hates it.

(even I though I don't...necessarily)

 

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I agree with you totally darkblue. I love *The Loved One*, a unique satire not only on the funeral business but on America in general. Amazing credits! Script by Christopher Isherwood and Terry Southern! And it's fun to contrast the eating scene (Mr. Joyboy and Mom et. al.) with the eating scene in another film directed by Tony Richardson: the scene between Albert Finney and Joyce Redman in *Tom Jones*.

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Well heck, TB! Wouldn't you EXPECT a person who's choice in a TCM site name has its origins in this classic comedy routine filled with malapropisms delivered by the gentleman on the left here...

 

Why_a_Duck.jpg

 

...would NOT be one inclined to post messages in perfect English???

 

(...I mean THINK about it, dude!) ;)

 

LOL

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> {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}Sometimes the experiments worked, and sometimes they didn't. BLOW UP blew up.

Yeah, not a fan of that one either.

As far as experimental 1960's American/British films go, I kinda like Lord Love a Duck! and that's about it.

(And I'm not even sure why I like it, I just do.)

 

Edited by: AddisonDeWitless on May 25, 2013 1:03 PM

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3 (or should I say "three" ?) points:

 

1) I'm afraid the first thing I noticed when I read this thread title was the error several people have already pointed out, that is, the original poster referred to the film in question as "The Loved Ones", plural, rather than "The Loved One", singular.

I feel kind of mean, drawing attention to this yet again, but the reason I'm doing so is because although people corrected the movie's title, they did not go into why it was called that.

 

"The Loved One" is a phrase the undertaker business uses (at least at that time, and certainly in that film) to refer with what they imagined was delicacy to the dead person they are preparing for burial. They are squeamish about using words such as "body" and "the dead person", and assume their customers feel the same, so they replace "body" with "loved one". It is one of those overly "sensitive" euphemisms people tend to employ when talking about anything connected with death.

 

 

2) I don't understand what "WhyaDuck" means by "dry British humour", as though there's something wrong with that. So-called "dry British humour" is some of the funniest humour in the world. Not all comedy has to be obvious.

 

 

3) The film *The Loved One* is based on the novel by the same name, by Evelyn Waugh. I'm really surprised no one has mentioned that (Swithin?)

It may be that having read the book may enhance one's enjoyment of the film, although I believe the film makes several changes.

 

 

4) Yeah, I know I said "3" comments, but now I want to make a fourth. It relates to point 1.

*The Loved One* parodies the bizarre attitude Westerners, particularly Americans, have towards death. The whole point of the story is how people try to pretend as much as possible that their "loved one" has not died, they try to prettify it, with the help of the morticians. The person is not "dead", heavens no, they've just "passed on".

 

 

Although the film was made in the 60s, our society's attitude around death has, if anything, become even more euphemistic and denying.

The use of the phrase "passed away", and even just "passed", is being used more and more to refer to a person's death. It's gotten to the point where if I say someone "died", I feel as though others will think me rude. ("Please, say "passed away"...")

 

 

My father, whom I loved, died several years ago. I never say he "passed away". He died. The fact that I say he "died", as opposed to "he passed", does not mean I did not care about him. There is a squeamishness around using those words, "died" and "death", that bothers me.

 

Edited by: misswonderly on May 25, 2013 2:51 PM

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I think this was your best post ever. No nonsense. No whimsy. Just a real honest personal point of view. Thanks for sharing.

 

I agree that euphemisms do not help. It's like people deal with death the way children would, not as adults might. It's strange to say the least. And the book and film about this subject is bold and should continue to create a dialogue.

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>I think this was your best post ever. No nonsense. No whimsy. Just a real honest personal point of view. Thanks for sharing.

 

 

HEY now, TB! I LOVE MissW's "nonsense" and "whimsy", and are the very things that caused my havin' a mild crush on her, DUDE!!!

 

(...but then again, I'll bet THAT doesn't surprise ya, huh!) ;)

 

LOL

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Hi Miss W., enjoyed your post. I just assumed everyone knew it was based on Waugh's novel, so didn't mention it. Hardly a novel, actually, I guess one would call it a novella. I read the whole thing on a bus ride from Castlebar to Galway, Ireland, many years ago. Not a very long journey. Btw, the Robert Morley character is said to be based on C. Aubrey Smith.

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I agree that in the majority of the situations shown so far this season Burt isn't involved as a character in those and thus that explains why we don't see him, but I had the same view as you as it relates to the merger. I even remember saying to myself 'we should be seeing Burt now since he was a founder and the merger of companies is a big deal to a founder'. I can't remember if he was even shown but if he was he didn't get more than a line or two.

 

While Burt has always been a minor character, his perspective, even if stated only with a few lines, was always interesting and often a highlight of the show for me. (e.g. when Kennedy beat Nixon).

 

 

 

 

 

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I feel personally blessed to live in an area of the country where hardly anyone

croaks, dies, or passes away. They go home to the Lord and/or into the loving

arms of Jesus, who are often accompanied by numerous late relatives. Sure

beats being cargo on a rocket ship.

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I'm always a year or so behind on MAD MEN. The first 3 seasons, I hadn't even watched it. Got caught up, during Season 4, when Amazon had this incredible one day sale on each season on Blu-ray for $5.00 each. The odd thing is that we never speak about our work. Just our families and what movies we've seen and things like that. I just spoke with him, last week, on his birthday. He's so great. I saw him in HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING when it was originally on Broadway; and he and Michele Lee just blew me away. It became, next to MY FAIR LADY, the best thing I had ever seen. I'm less a fan of the film version, which cut far too many songs, and made too many dialog changes. I ended up appearing in a production of the show, and directing 3 different productions of it; and working with Bobby in a production of SUGAR. It was surreal, when a couple of years ago, he and I went to see the Broadway revival of HOW TO SUCCEED..., with Harry Potter (who's name escapes me) starring in the role Bobby created, 50 years before. So strange to be sitting next to the person who so inspired and impressed me, all those years ago. When I did my first show, in years, last summer, he flew out from LA, to see me. He's a treasure to me. I always wish they would write something substantial for him to do on that show. More than the writing on anything else about it, I appreciate the attention to detail on MAD MEN. They pretty much always get it right.

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johnm, I hope you read my post, and please tell him what I said. I've watched MM from the first and have never missed an episode. I have a group of friends, we discuss the show the following Monday morning and I discuss the show thru pm's with posters on the bds. The show is a TREASURE, and so is Robert Morse. :)

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