Comedy about how New Yorkers are coping with pervasive urban violence, obscene phone calls, rusty water pipes, electrical blackouts, paranoia and ethnic-racial conflict during a typical summer of the 1970s.
Newly arrived in Hollywood from England, Dennis Barlow finds he has to arrange his uncle's interment at the highly-organised and very profitable Whispering Glades funeral parlour. His fancy is caught by one of their cosmeticians, Aimee Thanatogenos. But he has three problems - the strict rules of owner Blessed Reverand Glenworthy, the rivalry of embalmer Mr Joyboy, and the shame of now working himself at The Happy Hunting Ground pets' memorial home.Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
Bizarre, outlandish, well-cast and performed...but it runs out of gas too soon
Colorful cast ends up flailing about in this pushy mishmash of darkly comic ideas, written by Christopher Isherwood and Terry Southern from Evelyn Waugh's novel. Slim plot concerns young Robert Morse, newly arrived in Los Angeles to live with his uncle, suddenly faced with burying the man after his uncle unexpectedly commits suicide. What begins as a savage satire on the movie industry turns too soon into a spoof of the mortuary business, with all the pungency and bitter wit left behind in the story's first-act. Despite some smashing performances (particularly by John Gielgud and Liberace) and many offbeat ideas, the film fails to hang together. Director Tony Richardson, perhaps attempting to replant mod British irreverence in '60s California, gets an early rhythm going that is quite wonderful, but that promise continually leaks away until the film becomes ugly and ungainly. ** from ****
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