The Loved One

Director: Tony Richardson
Year Released: 1965
Rating: 2.0

Initial half-hour is a send-up of Hollywood, the rest aims at both religion and death. There is a snag, however: the film is not funny (and I tend to enjoy 'black' humor) and Richardson never really knows when to quit. Robert Morse is not exactly the most charismatic or interesting main character in the world (he's a much better supporting player), and, while I really like Terry Southern's offbeat work, his adaptation (of Evelyn Waugh) resorts to excessive silliness, moving things beyond the state of tolerance. It's a shame, really, since Rod Steiger and Jonathan Winters put in genuinely batty performances (Steiger - as a momma's boy mortician - all the more so because he is so completely out of character). Some bits work here and there, but none that really warrant searching out the film.