Wow, the out of this world movies one can run into in mid spring, post film fest lull, an absolute gem called “The Loved One” from 1965. Directed by Tony Richardson, Oscar winner for another that is now on my classic must-see-next list, “Tom Jones”. I knew he was ex-husband of Vanessa Redgrave, but until this morning’s internet rabbit hole did not realize he had fathered not only Natasha (r.i.p.) and Joely, but also a third child by another actress and evidently got around, Jeanne Moreau, etc. A creative genius in many respects, I guess.
But I digress; Terry Southern helped write this beauty, based on an Evelyn Waugh novel. I loved his bio on IMDB, that he added to Edgar Allan Poe stories that he thought ‘didn’t go far enough’, ah the genius pomposity. He also helped write two Oscar nominated films; “Dr. Strangelove” and “Easy Rider”.
I fell in love with one of the main characters in “The Loved One” Robert Morse, still alive and kicking, most recently Emmy nominated for a few Mad Men episodes. In “The Loved One”, he’s an adorably impish bloke from London (redundant?:) who’s vying for the affection of the perfect 60’s brunette with the likes of an effeminate Rod Steiger (who is downright hysterical).
Steiger is so funny (his quick strutting gate, his barbells on the bed, his histrionic relationship with his mother) that he rivals Jonathan Winters, the comic genius who also has a double role in this film. To see Winters in his prime was simply breathtaking. Knowing he won an Oscar for one of my dad’s favorites In the Heat of the Night, I’ll seek one of his oldies out soon as well called Happy Birthday Wanda June and maybe even a more recent film Burton’s Mars Attacks.
For a mere 2.99$ on Itunes, The Loved One is totally worth two hours of giggling. Thanks to Jack Guren for hipping me to this great movie.