PUTNEY SWOPE
1969, AGFA, 84 min, USA, Dir: Robert Downey Sr.

Putney Swope (Arnold Johnson), the only African-American exec at his advertising firm, is unexpectedly elected its president and turns the industry on its ear through a series of outrageous, taboo-busting TV commercials (strewn throughout the film like comedic landmines). As Swope becomes the Generalissimo of Madison Avenue, Downey takes no prisoners and skewers the entire political spectrum. An unforgettable masterpiece of late-’60s counterculture, it remains a vital provocation on race, pop culture and America. “Funny, sophomoric, brilliant, obscene, disjointed, marvelous, unintelligible and relevant. If anybody tries to improve it, they should be sentenced.” - Vincent Canby, New York Times.


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