Saturday, January 11, 2014

THE LOVED ONE - "The Moition Picture With Something To Offend Everyone!" (1965)

Tonight we've got a very special movie for you from 1965 called "The Loved One!" I honestly don't have anything to compare "The Loved One" to, it's that unique!

"The Loved One" is ridiculous! "The Loved One" is hilarious! "The Loved One" is whatever you want it to be!!

I could write a whole blog just dedicated to the ins and outs of "The Loved One!" The star is a chap named Robert Morse! Robert might deserve some kind award for being in movies with the longest titles: "Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Momma's Hung You In The Closet and I'm Feeling So Sad," "How To Succeed In Business Without Even Trying," "Where Were You When The Lights Went Out," and "The Man Who Shook The Hand Of Vicente Fernadez," might be some pretty good examples! Robert is still working today and has a regular gig on the TV series "Mad Men!"

"The Loved One" is a 1960's Pop Culture addict's dream come true! There's an amazing array of talent, and many of them like James Coburn are probably on screen for two minutes or less!

Sir John Gielgud was more prone to characters like "Becket," Hamlet," and "Richard The III!" In fact, Sir John was such a classical actor, he was in two versions of movies called "Julius Caesar," one in 1970 where he played Julius himself, and one in 1953 where he had the role of Cassius! In his role here, he works for a movie studio, and it's his job to teach cowboy actor Robert Easton how to speak with an English accent! In real life Robert Easton was a  Hollywood voice coach himself! That's how twisted this film is!

Tab Hunter has a small role as The Whispering Glades cemetery tour guide! Tab always seem to look good, no matter what he's doing!

There's a whole lot of eye candy and attention to details in "The Loved One!" The basic premise is that it's a skewering of the funeral business, but it's a lot deeper than that! I love this shot! In white is Anjanette Comer as Aimee Thanatogenous! Aimee works at the cemetery and is one cold fish, but everyone has a tendency to fall in love with her!
Who else but Liberace would you want as funeral director? George?

It's 1965! Tab Hunter and Liberace had not yet come out of the closet and play odd, but basically straight characters, and the normally macho Rod Steiger has the role of the very effeminate Mr. Joyboy, but he's not gay and is in love with his co-worker Aimee!

Everything's backasswards in this film, so funny man, comedian extraordinare Milton Berle has a role that isn't funny!

The only person Aimee can confide in is the Guru Brahmin! she writes him constantly seeking advice on her love life, or on where her love life should be, if she had one!

On the receiving end of those letters is the great Lionel Stander as con man Guru supreme drunken louse Brahmin! Not exactly the kind of guy you want giving you advice!  In the 30's, Lionel was in shorts with Shemp Howard, Fatty Arbuckle, and Bob Hope, and he was the voice of bad bird Buzz Buzzard in Woody Woodpecker cartoons! In 1972 he was in a Spanish-Italian movie called "Tedeum" (Father Jackleg), where he played a character named Stinky Manure! He was also Max in 111 episodes of a TV show called "Hart To Hart" in the early 80's!

The real star of "The Loved One" is one of my favourite 60's comedians, Jonathan Winters! He does double duty in this film as brothers Henry Glenworthy and the honourable Reverend Wilbur Glenworthy! Jonathan was a seriously funny man! His comedy records will always remain as some of the best!

Mr. Joyboy invites Aimee over to his house for dinner! He lives with his Mother and waits on her hand and foot!

Not offended yet? Ayllene (House Of The Damned, Chamber Of Horrors) Gibbons as Mr. Joyboy's very large Mom, nearly has an orgasm watching fried chicken commercials on the boob tube!
After all of that, what really creeped me out was the place where Aimee was residing! She lives in a partially constructed home that has been abandoned because it's built on an ever shifting cliff! Straight out weirdsville! Robert finds it pretty unsettling too!

A 15 year old Paul (Phantom Of The Paradise) Williams has the role of  the rocket surgeon egghead kid!
There are a lot of sexual innuendos in "The Loved One," and a lot of outmestartuno moments too!

Reverend Glenworthy needs to reclaim the land that he owns that is presently a cemetery so he can build an old folks home, so he has devised a plan to shoot all the bodies into space, but to do that, he needs the approval of the Air Force, so he throws a little COFFIN PARTY for the fly boys! The spunky music was written by award winning classical composer John (The Hour Of 13) Addison!

Let's see, what am I going to try and do? Explain the rest of this thing or show you a cool shot of the Zomba Café? Let's go with Zomba!!

The first body they want to exhume and shoot off into space is the husband of the grieving Miss Dill Pickle herself, Barbara Nichols on the right, so they have to go to the Zomba Café to try and convince her! Barbara was in the classic "Twilight Zone " episode "Twenty-Two" and was also in "The Human Duplicators!" On the left is the manager of the joint as played by Reta Shaw! Name a 60's TV show, and Reta was in it, "Dobie Gillis," Andy Griffith," "My Three Sons," "Lost In Space," "I Spy," "The Monkees" etc. etc.

I couldn't pack all the talent in this movie into this few fotos! There are also appearances by Dana Andrews, Roddy (Planet Of The Apes) McDowell, Robert Morley, Bernie (The Love Boat) Kopell, Asa (Manbeast) Maynor, Jamie Farr, and Joy Harmon! Simply amazing!

                                 As well it should be, Jonathan Winters has the last laugh!


Randall Landers said...

Behind Sir John Gielgud, to the left, appears to be David McCallum from the OUTER LIMITS episode "The Sixth Finger."

TABONGA! said...

I agree..

CavedogRob said...

Like it or not there's no other movie like THE LOVED ONE...thank god!

A Man Called Da-da said...

Da-da has been in that very house on the cliff. He almost rented it, but it was so disconcerting that he chickened out. Now he wishes he had.

Douglas McEwan said...

I've had the pleasure, and pleasure it was, of working with Robert Morse myself, and a nicer gentleman, a bigger talent, and a more sterling human being you will not find in Hollywood. Robert Morse is a prince, caring and considerate, most un-movie-starish. That said, and though he's very good in the film, he was miscast. It's essential to the plot that his character is English and Bobby is no more English than Robert Easton was.

There's another layer of irony to Robert Easton's role: while he was playing the worst possible choice to play James Bond and trying to be coached into an English dialect, offscreen Robert Easton was coaching Morse on his very-fake English accent for the movie, an accent that comes and goes and is never convincing. I love Robert Morse on every level, but they should have gone with Roddy McDowell, who was also right for the part and had the accent for real, and is in the movie anyway, as an American studio head (with an actual British accent).

Morse and Easton were both friends of mine, Easton right up to his death, and I still hear from from Morse on Facebook, 40 years after we worked together.

I disagree with a couple points you made: Milton Berle's scene in the movie is, I think, one of the funniest scenes in the movie. Milton is funny in it; he's just not playing his usual style, but rather plays straight-man for his loony wife carrying on as though the world has ended because her dog died.

The other point I disagree on is when you said that Ayllene Gibbons "nearly has an orgasm watching fried chicken commercials on the boob tube!"

There's no "Nearly" about it. Food ads on TV make her cum her brains out. That's the great, glorious dirty joke of her scenes, her wildly abandoned erotic relationship with food.

All in all, though there is much wrong with it (It's really a mess as a movie, a badly structured script, edited with a butcher's cleaver, Often badly shot, and even ugly-looking, points made with sledgehammers that would play better made with ice picks), it remains a movie I very much love. When Tony Richardson died, that was the movie of his I slid off my DVD shelf and watched. And frankly, I'd sit through most anything for Jonathon Winters and Robert Morse.

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

Thanx Doug, If that's all I got wrong, I feel pretty damn good about it!

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