Andrew reviews Robert Downey, Sr.'s timelessly incendiary comedy, Putney Swope.
While a critical and commercial smash for an underground independent release in 1969, Robert Downey, Sr. never again attained the same artistic or financial heights he did with Putney Swope. Downey, Sr. has gone on saying Putney Swope just happened to be a lucky find with audiences whereas most of the rest of his work is either difficult to obtain and funding for future projects (which he still hints at today) seems remote at this juncture. Though still active in film today including having directed his son Robert Downey, Jr. in a number of films, Putney Swope remains the cult auteur’s pinnacle which many number of artists today still consider to be the work of an offbeat comedian and brilliantly incendiary filmmaker to learn from and respect. Cited as Louis C.K.’s favorite film, it’s a delightfully subversive and at times piercingly incendiary romp of political incorrectness, corporate satire and gleefully surreal sketch comedy with random vignettes so hilarious they rival most of the so-called edgy comedies gracing cinemas today.
- Andrew Kotwicki