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Putney Swope (1969)

R | | Comedy | 10 July 1969 (USA)
Dark satire in which the token black man on the executive board of an advertising firm is accidentally put in charge. Renaming the business "Truth and Soul, Inc.", he replaces the tight ... See full summary »

Director:

(as Robert Downey [a prince])

Writer:

(as Robert Downey [a prince])
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stan Gottlieb ...
Nathan (as Stanley Gottlieb)
...
Elias, Jr.
Archie Russell ...
Joker
Ramon Gordon ...
Bissinger
Bert Lawrence ...
Hawker
Joe Madden ...
Mr. Syllables (as Joe Engler)
Arnold Johnson ...
Putney
David Kirk ...
Elias, Sr.
Don George ...
Mr. Cards
Buddy Butler ...
Putney's Bodyguard
Vincent Hamill ...
Man in White Suit
Tom Odachi ...
Wing Soney
Ching Yeh ...
Wing Soney, Jr.
Spunky-Funk Johnson ...
Mr. Major
Joe Fields ...
Pittsburgh Willie
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Storyline

Dark satire in which the token black man on the executive board of an advertising firm is accidentally put in charge. Renaming the business "Truth and Soul, Inc.", he replaces the tight regime of monied white ad men with his militant brothers. Soon afterwards, however, the power that comes with its position takes its toll on Putney... Written by Doug Mosurak <marumaru@andrew.cmu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He runs it down the flagpole and up the establishment See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 July 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Патни Своуп  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$200,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Downey Sr. redubbed all of Arnold Johnson's lines. According to Downey, he did this because Johnson had trouble remembering his lines and often flubbed them during filming. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Victrola Cola: I got this great window cleaner. Cleans good and doesn't streak. Smells bad, though. Cleans good, but smells bad.
Putney Swope: As a window cleaner, forget it. Put soybeans in it and market it as a soft drink in the ghetto. We'll put a picture of a rhythm and blues singer on the front and call it Victrola Cola.
See more »

Crazy Credits

As the credit for Robert Downey Sr. scrolls up the screen, the words "(a prince)" appear next to his name. See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Decade Under the Influence (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Bend Your Johnson
Written and Performed by Charley Cuva
See more »

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User Reviews

Unforgiving Satire
25 September 1999 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Robert Downey Sr's PUTNEY SWOPE is an outrageous stab in the back of the advertising world. Apparently, Downey had a nose-diving career in the advertising industry, and this film are all his "I hate this job" daydreams while trying to endure it. The opening Boardroom scene is some of the most bizarre, wacky and brilliant satire ever committed to film. It's the story of the accidental voting-in of the Board's token black man as President of the agency (he's their Music Director). From there, Downey's daydreams turn the struggling white-led advertising company upside down and into the successful black-run "Truth And Soul" advertising agency (Complete with what you might call a corporate Intranet: "The Drum" -- see the movie, you'll understand). The movie is refreshingly un-P.C., with dialogue like, "I'm a happy Chink!" and the proposed advertising campaign that has Colombus meeting Indians with "cleft heads." Oh yes, and a pot-smoking midget President of the U.S.A. There's one thing that is really annoying (to me, anyway; others don't seem to mind): that the lead character's voice appears dubbed. WHY did they do that?? Was the actor unintelligible or something? In fact, looking at the credits for this flick, I see that Downey himself provided the voice for Swope. I sure wish he'd email me with the reason why... Also in the cast is actor Alan Arbus, himself a one-time Ad-man. If you like bizarre outrageous humor, this is a definite for you!


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