×

The Loved One

Poor taste is prominent in the Terry Southern-Christopher Isherwood script, based on Evelyn Waugh's scathing 1948 satire of the mortuary business in California.

With:
Robert Morse Anjanette Comer Jonathan Winters Rod Steiger James Coburn John Gielgud

Poor taste is prominent in the Terry Southern-Christopher Isherwood script, based on Evelyn Waugh’s scathing 1948 satire of the mortuary business in California.

Most of the subtlety of Waugh’s approach is lost in an episodic screenplay bearing only a wavering story line and given often to sight gags.

Story centers around the pomp and ceremony attendant upon the daily operation of a posh mortuary and a climaxing idea (not in the book) by a sanctimonious owner of a Southern California cemetery of orbiting cadavers into space so he can convert to a senior citizens’ paradise for additional profit.

Robert Morse as the poet who falls in love with the lady cosmetician (later promoted to embalmer) while making arrangements for his uncle’s interment, plays it light and airy, like a soul apart. Anjanette Comer, whose life is dedicated to her work and Whispering Glades Memorial Park gives almost ethereal portraiture to her embalmer character.

Jonathan Winters appears in a dual role, shining both as the owner of Whispering Glades and his twin brother, who operates the nearby pet graveyard and is patron of a 13-year-old scientific whiz who invents a rocket capable of projecting bodies into orbit.

Popular on Variety

The Loved One

Production: M-G-M. Director Tony Richardson; Producer Martin Ransohoff, John Calley, Haskell Wexler; Screenplay Christopher Isherwood, Terry Southern; Camera Haskell Wexler; Editor Antony Gibbs, Hal Ashby, Brian Smedley-Aston; Music John Addison; Art Director Rouben Ter-Arutunian

Crew: (B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1965. Running time: 119 MIN.

With: Robert Morse Anjanette Comer Jonathan Winters Rod Steiger James Coburn John Gielgud

More Film

  • 'Bombay Rose,' Venice Premiere, Debuts Trailer

    'Bombay Rose,' Venice Film Festival Premiere, Debuts Trailer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Variety has been given exclusive access to the trailer for animated film “Bombay Rose,” which will have its world premiere opening Venice Critics’ Week on Aug. 28. The film, written and directed by Gitanjali Rao, will also play in the Contemporary World Cinema strand at the Toronto Film Festival on Sept. 7. “Bombay Rose” is [...]

  • Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu speaks during a

    Alejandro G. Inarritu on the Need to Preserve Poetry in Cinema

    Alejandro G. Iñárritu is urging the film industry to guard against the influence of television storytelling in cinema, a looming crisis he said could strip film of the beauty and poetry that make it a unique artistic form of expression. Attending the Sarajevo Film Festival to receive the Honorary Heart of Sarajevo award, the Oscar-winning [...]

  • Levan Akin on the Impact of

    Levan Akin on the Impact of ‘And Then We Danced’

    Georgian-Swedish filmmaker Levan Akin is already enjoying success with “And Then We Danced,” his acclaimed social drama about a young dancer struggling with the confines of tradition and forbidden love. The film, which premiered in Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes, went on to win three top awards at the Odessa Film Festival, including best film and [...]

  • Brian Oliver'Black Mass' Premiere, Toronto International

    'Rocketman' Producer Developing Comedy 'Inward Bound' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Brian Oliver’s New Republic Pictures, the company that co-financed and produced “Rocketman,” is developing a female ensemble comedy “Inward Bound.” The announcement comes on the heels of Universal’s “Good Boys” becoming the first R-rated comedy to open in first place at the North American box office  in three years, as well as the biggest opening [...]

  • Heroic Losers

    Watch Clip from Ricardo Darin’s Toronto-Bound ‘Heroic Losers’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Variety has been given access to an exclusive clip and poster from Toronto Special Presentation “La Odisea de los Giles” (“Heroic Losers”) which, starring Ricardo Darín, has just scored in is native Argentina a standout opening weekend of Peso 58.8 million ($1.1 million) and 316,300 admissions for Warner Bros. Pictures. With “Heroic Losers” having released [...]

  • "The Hunt"

    'The Hunt' Director Breaks Silence on Film's Cancellation (EXCLUSIVE)

    Craig Zobel, director of “The Hunt,” hopes that the controversial political thriller will eventually be seen by audiences, and argues that its message has been misrepresented in media reports. Zobel spoke for the first time since Universal canceled the film’s release on Aug. 10, in the wake of a series of mass shootings and amid [...]

  • Mark Damon, CEO & Chairman, Foresight

    Mark Damon's DCR Finance Receives $150 Million for Financing Georgia Films (EXCLUSIVE)

    Mark Damon’s DCR Finance Corp., co-headed with financer Adi Cohen, has received a $150 million investment from Go Media Productions for Georgia projects, Variety has learned exclusively. Damon, whose credits include “2 Guns” and “Lone Survivor,” made the announcement Monday with Cohen. The deal calls for Atlanta-based Go Media Productions to join a private placement as [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content