Putney Swope

Director: Robert Downey Sr.
USA / 1969 / 84 min

Available through Oct 29

When a Madison Avenue advertising firm accidentally elects their first black chairman of the board, the new fearless leader Putney Swope (Arnold Johnson, speaking with director Downey’s overdubbed voice) wastes no time getting rid of the firm’s overpaid dinosaurs, inviting in young, black talent, and leading the newly renamed Truth & Soul, Inc. to launch a series of campaigns so outrageous and offensive that they of course become smashing successes—as in fact was this unlikely counterculture hit, made with a free hand and a comfortable budget after Downey’s 1966 Chafed Elbows had been an underground phenom. Fearless, funny, and filled of gleeful affront. Remember: “Rockin’ the boat’s a drag. You gotta sink the boat!”

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