Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Loved One (1965)

Directed by Tony Richardson
My rating: 3 stars out of 4
IMDb Wikipedia
(DVD, Warner Bros.)

British poet Robert Morse wins an airline ticket to Los Angeles. He stays with his uncle who works for a film studio as an artist. When his uncle is unexpectedly fired and then commits suicide, he is tasked with arranging the funeral. This leads him to the weird world of "Whispering Glades", an "eternal resting place" for the wealthy and eccentric. He falls in love with Anjanette Comer, who works as a cosmetician on the corpses. However, she is blindly devoted to the chief embalmer, Rod Steiger, and the founder/spiritual leader of the cemetery Jonathan Winters, who has multiple roles. Comer is confused by Morse's advances but agrees to marry him after seeing the home life of Steiger (in particular, his grossly obese mother). His sexual advances send her speeding down the streets of LA and eventually back to Whispering Glades where she decides to take matters into her own hands. One of the most bizarre mainstream movies to come out of the sixties, a biting satire on misplaced American priorities.

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