Down 259 this week

Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie (2012)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.8/10 from 586 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 10 user | 25 critic | 14 from

Before entire networks were built on populist personalities; before reality morphed into a TV genre; the masses fixated on a single, sociopathic star: controversial talk-show host Morton Downey, Jr.

Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

IMDb Picks: April

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in April.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 941 titles
created 19 Dec 2011
a list of 126 titles
created 06 Jan 2013
a list of 1114 titles
created 22 Jan 2013
a list of 10 titles
created 04 Sep 2013
a list of 122 titles
created 02 Jan 2014

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie (2012)

Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie (2012) on IMDb 6.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie.
1 nomination. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Profiles a battalion of aspiring social entrepreneurs who use their business acumen to change conditions in the world's most volatile, impoverished regions.

Directors: Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Rainn Wilson
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me is a feature-length documentary film about the dismal commercial failure, subsequent massive critical acclaim, and enduring legacy of pop music's greatest cult phenomenon, Big Star.

Directors: Drew DeNicola, Olivia Mori
Stars: Jon Auer, Chris Bell, Alex Chilton
The Linguists (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

David and Greg are "The Linguists," who document languages on the verge of extinction. In the rugged landscapes of Siberia, India, and Bolivia, their resolve is tested by institutionalized racism and violent economic unrest.

Directors: Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Gregory D.S. Anderson, K. David Harrison
Documentary | Biography | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

When two friends tape-recorded the fights of their violently noisy neighbors, they accidentally created one of the world's first 'viral' pop-culture sensations.

Director: Matthew Bate
Stars: Eddie Lee Sausage, Mitch Deprey, Daniel Clowes
Documentary | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A cave exploration in Ukraine leads to the unearthing of a story of World War II survivors who once found shelter in the same cave.

Director: Janet Tobias
Stars: Chris Nicola, Fruzsina Pelikán, Saul Stermer
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A look at the history of fame in the world through the eyes of pop star impresario, Rodney Bingenheimer

Director: George Hickenlooper
Stars: Rodney Bingenheimer, David Bowie, Joey Ramone
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A documentary on the 1970s punk trio Death, and their new-found popularity decades after they disbanded.

Directors: Mark Christopher Covino, Jeff Howlett
Stars: Bobby Hackney, David Hackney, Dannis Hackney
Milius (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A look at the life of filmmaker,John Milius.

Directors: Joey Figueroa, Zak Knutson
Stars: John Milius, Dennis Aaberg, Peter Bart
Salinger (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An unprecedented look inside the private world of J.D. Salinger, the reclusive author of The Catcher in the Rye.

Director: Shane Salerno
Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Edward Norton, Judd Apatow
Night Tide (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

On leave in a shore side town, Johnny becomes interested in a young dark haired woman. They meet and he learns that she plays a mermaid in the local carnival. After strange occurrences, ... See full summary »

Director: Curtis Harrington
Stars: Dennis Hopper, Linda Lawson, Gavin Muir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Morton Downey Jr. moderates a raucous shock-jock talk show.

Stars: Morton Downey Jr., Michael Berryman, Rick Sullivan
Documentary | Adventure | Comedy

Embedded for decades with a Siberian tribe, anthropologist Susie Crate sees sudden changes that threaten its existence. With her half-Siberian teenage daughter in tow, Susie circles the planet to study other Native communities in peril.

Directors: Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Susan Crate, Kathryn Yegorov-Crate


Cast overview, first billed only:
Himself (archive footage)
Glenn Beck ...
Himself - TV Host
Victoria Jackson ...
Herself - Comedian
Bob Pittman ...
Himself - MTV Founder & Media Mogul
Joe Pyne ...
Himself - TV Host (archive footage)
Josh Rothman ...
Himself - History Professor & Fan
Michael Rosen ...
Himself - Advertising Executive & Fan
Pat Buchanan ...
Himself - Conservative Commentator
Ron Paul ...
Himself (archive footage)
Joey Reynolds ...
Himself - Radio Host & Friend
Peter Goldsmith ...
Himself - Senior Producer
Thomas DiBenedetto ...
Himself - Business Owner & Fan
Jim Langan ...
Himself - Writer
Richard Bey ...
Himself - TV Host
Herself - TV Host


Long before O'Reilly and Beck, Morton Downey, Jr., was tearing up the talk-show format with his divisive populism. Between the fistfights, rabid audience, and Mort's cigarette smoke always "in your face," The Morton Downey Jr. Show was billed as "3-D television," "rock and roll without the music." Évocateur meditates on the hysteria that ended the '80s and ultimately its most notorious agitator. Written by Ironbound Films

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some nudity


Official Sites:

| |  »



Release Date:

7 June 2013 (USA)  »

Box Office


$300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,936 (USA) (7 June 2013)


$21,476 (USA) (20 September 2013)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


See  »

Did You Know?


Follows The New Recruits (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Entertaining Documentary That Offers Insight Into Today's Media
8 September 2013 | by See all my reviews

Morton Downey, Jr. was a kind of real-life Howard Beale (the mad-as-hell crazy anchorman from the 1976 classic "Network"), and his meteoric rise and fall parallels that of another fictional populist TV personality: "Lonesome" Rhodes, played by Andy Griffith in Elia Kazan's under-rated 1957 movie "A Face in the Crowd." But this story really happened, and Mort really existed.

Downey's New Jersey-based talk show was only on the air for two years, from 1988 to 1989. So why is he important? Why watch a documentary about a talk show that ran for just two years, 25 years ago? Understanding this story can help us understand how we got the media we have today.

Journalist William Greider called it Rancid Populism. This was the appeal of the Republican Party starting as far back as Nixon. The party posed as the voice of the "Silent Majority," the disaffected common man, while in reality it appealed to the angry, white working class who jumped ship from the Democratic Party following the Civil Rights movement.

White working-class people felt "their" country was going down the tubes, and they were partly right. There was a lot to be unhappy about: de-industrialization leading to the decline of manufacturing and the rise of the Rust Belt (go watch "Detropia" for that); the decline of working peoples' wages and the rapid growth of inequality and creation of a new Gilded Age in America. Politicians like Nixon, Reagan, and Bush Sr. were all better at tapping into this anger than the Democrats, making Republicans seem like the party of Joe Sixpack and Joe the Plumber -- instead of the party of Big Business, Big Money, and Wall Street (which is ultimately what both major parties became).

The Republicans also understood the marketing of this message better than the Democrats: tap into people's hatred of "the Government" and make the Dems synonymous with Big Government. (How many times already have we heard conservative politicians running for office who say they hate government? Then why run?)

The early 90s was when the right-wing Big Media really started up in earnest (what former conservative pundit David Brock has called "The Republican Noise Machine"). Rush Limbaugh, for example, got his start during the Clinton presidency. The Fox News Channel itself also started during the Clinton years, in 1996. Both were part of a generalized conservative backlash against a Democrat in the White House.

And this tactic of right-wing populism continues to work today (especially with another Democratic president to attack), and is bigger business than ever -- with billionaire Rupert Murdoch's Fox News channel going strong, the Koch brothers' successful Tea Party movement, and all those TV and radio hosts like Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity who are paid tens of millions of dollars to tell us they're speaking up for the "little guy."

Morton Downey, Jr. helped lead the way to this kind of TV "news" or "journalism," even if his show appears obvious and amateurish compared to the slick format and presentation we see today. But a figure like Bill O'Reilly, in particular, owes a tremendous debt to Downey's confrontational, damn-the-torpedoes style of doing "news" and interviews. At the same time trash-talk-show hosts like Jerry Springer and Maury Povich also partly owe their style of crazed three-ring-circuses to Mort. Even the Reverend Al Sharpton, perpetual African-American leader and professional racial ambulance-chaser, owes a debt to Mort, appearing on his show frequently during its short run.

The friendship between Sharpton and Downey (briefly shown in the film) offers a clue to the truth behind the image: Mort didn't really believe what he said on the air. Or maybe he did. Anyway, it really didn't matter: it was all just for ratings. Working the crowd into a frenzy, yelling at his guests, having a fight break out in the middle of the show -- Downey knew this was what made for great TV . . . or, at least, it got people's attention. (Most certainly, this is also the case of Bill O'Reilly today: he's a showman who stumbled onto a sure thing; about as authentic as a TV preacher.)

At the time, Downey was hated and judged by the "respectable" media. But give 'em a few years, and they'll come around: trash-talk-shows, "reality" shows like "Jersey Shore," Rush, Billy-O, "To Catch a Predator," etc. It's the race to the bottom, the lowest-common denominator, anything in the name of ratings. Entertainment, Infotainment, "News." Who cares if we believe it? Who cares if it's true? He who yells the loudest wins.

Mort's show was like an (un-)controlled experiment in pushing the TV talk-show format to its absolute limit, right up to the breaking point -- supposedly in the name of some Archie-Bunker, knee-jerk reactionary-conservative populism that Mort himself didn't even really believe in. Yet, people ate it up, it made him a star and a working-class "hero" almost overnight, and it set the stage for a lot what came later in TV "news" and opinion shows. That's why you should watch this movie.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Contribute to This Page