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Pharaoh Haqq Presents: Putney Swope

Robert Downey, Sr

“I just think he’s one of our great American directors.” — Paul Thomas Anderson

“After being thrown out of the house, four schools and the United States Army, I discovered that I was on the right track.” — Robert Downey, Sr.

The Coen Brothers, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle and P.T. Anderson have all professed their love for it. In 1969, Jane Fonda declared it a masterpiece during a “Tonight Show” appearance. De La Soul has sampled it, and the Beastie Boys have rhymed about it. And it’s the film that made Robert Downey, Sr. famous as an underground icon.

One of the greatest cinematic fuck-yous of all-time, PUTNEY SWOPE is a brazen portrait of the ad world during the height of the counterculture era — and, in modern times, retains 100% of its acidic relevance.

Putney Swope, the only black executive in his ad firm, unexpectedly becomes its president due to an obscure by-law of its charter. As Swope’s new Black Power-driven company churns out outrageous, taboo-breaking TV commercials (strewn throughout the film like comedic landmines), “Truth and Soul, Inc.” becomes the most powerful ad agency in the world, giving Downey a chance to skewer targets across the political spectrum as Swope rises from “token black” to the fascistic “Generalissimo of Madison Avenue.” Essential viewing.


  • 2/13 | 8:30PM
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