Saturday, 5 November 2011

Southern Delights

Directed by Tony Richardson's madcap satire The Loved One is a 60's gem. A young British poet lands in LA and moves in with his Uncle who works as a vocal coach to the stars, after he passes away the nephew must arrange a tinseltown funeral at a guady, opulent cemetary staffed with some rather curious characters, one of whom attracts his eye. Based on a Evelyn Waugh novel and adapted by the brilliant Terry Southern this pacy nonsense has plenty of laughs as it's rolls around poking fun at everyone and everything with gusto. Sporting a fantastic ensemble of actors including Gielgud, Liberace, Coburn, McDowall and Steiger this is a sadly forgotten 60's masterpiece.

Terry Southern's satirical novel Candy, an updated version of Voltaire's Candide, follows the sexy exploits of a high school ingenue as she attempts to share her love on an epic journey across America. Like The Loved One the film sports a ridiculously talented cast with Burton, Brando, Matthau, Coburn and Ringo all appearing as Candy's lovers in a never ending series of comic vignettes but sadly it's not nearly as amusing. Sure there's laughs but it's a patchy and uneven, with some of the sequences overstaying their welcome and by the end it's tiresomely predictable however despite all it's flaws it's a fine example of psychedelic 60's nonsense and there's nowhere else you're likely to witness Ringo Starr portray a Mexican who ravishes a schoolgirl in front of Richard Burton & Sugar Ray Robinson.

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