Putney Swope

Synopsis: Dark satire in which the token black man on the executive board of an advertising firm is accidentally put in charge. Renaming the business "Truth and Soul, Inc.", he replaces the tight regime of monied white ad men with his militant brothers. Soon afterwards, however, the power that comes with its position takes its toll on Putney...
Genre: Comedy
Director(s): Robert Downey Sr.
Production: Rhino Home Video
  1 win.
Rotten Tomatoes:
84 min

Gentlemen, I'd like you to meet

Dr. Alvin Weasely.

Dr. Weasely is one of the most respected

motivational researchers in the country.

Harveys Beer has dropped 84%.

So Dr. Weasely will tell us how the

American public really feels about beer.

Dr. Weasely.

Beer is for men who doubt

their masculinity.

That's why it's so popular

at sporting events and poker games.

On a superficial level...

a glass of beer is a cool,

soothing beverage.

But in reality...

a glass of beer is pee-pee dickey.

- That's it.

- Beautiful.





"Pee-pee dickey?"

- We paid for that?

- $28,000, and we got off easy.

The man made some

very perceptive statements.

I got it.

"Make it big with Harveys Beer."

Big foam.

You get a big bang out of it.

Big, proud head.

It's big and it lasts long--

You know, you're about as subtle

as an elephant in heat.

That's great. We'll show an elephant

sipping Harveys Beer at the circus.

- It's obscene.

- Don't moralize, Elias.

- We're committed to Harveys Beer.

- I'm committed to myself.

Harveys Beer is

the worst beer in the market.

It's a loser. Get rid of it.

There are no losers.

Every product has potential--

It's a stiff.

No, no don't say that.

There's no such thing.

You're a stiff.

I'll not tolerate

your self-indulgence.

When your father comes in...

I'm gonna tell him

exactly what you've said.

Just because you were here

when my old man started this agency...

you know,

that doesn't alter the facts.

You've played so many sides of the fence

you don't know where the fence is anymore.

- I know my job.

- Oh, that's beautiful.

If it weren't for your father,

you'd be on welfare.

$60,000 a year,

and all you can do is wreck the joint.

He's right. He's not creative,

but he knows the rules.

And you gotta know the rules

before you can break the rules.

- Right.

- There's no respect anymore.

He's right, Nathan.

You did your tango 30 years ago.


Duck hunter loses his rifle...

walks seven miles to a cathouse,

knocks on the door.

The door opens, the madam says,

"Who sent you?"

He says, "In the '40s,

it was Judy Canova and Victor Mature.

"In the '50s, it was Christine Jorgensen

and James Dean.

"In the '60s,

it was Smith & Wesson."

That's it.

He was a nice guy.

Can you lend me five?

Our job is to manipulate the consumer

by arousing his desires...

and then we satisfy those desires

for a fixed price.

- Sounds familiar.

- It sounds familiar.

It's called advertising.


Thank you.

Elias Sr.

just went through the lobby.

Well, let's go.

Let's go, Bissinger.

Our war toy account

is up 23% and a third.

Hey, Bissinger,

you better get hip to reality.

By advertising toy guns, you're

encouraging kids to enjoy violence.

You're only Music Director

around here, Swope.

What do you know about

the total spectrum?

- I know what I feel.

- What's that got to do with it?

- I think we should drop the account.

- How dare you!

Drop the account and show

the business community and the public...

that we're morally

and socially responsible.

- Groovy, let's do it.

- Thank you.


I've been supervising the war

toy account for 1 2 years.

And let me tell you something.

Deny a young boy

the right to have a toy gun...

and you'll suppress his

destructive urges...

and he'll turn out

to be a homosexual...

- or worse:

- I'd rather have my son be a fag than a killer.

Your son is a fag!

You took him on the picnic hike,

I didn't.

Last year at Malibu,

only Jim was a fag.

Two weeks ago,

Steve and Ralph came over.

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Robert Downey Sr.

Robert John Downey Sr. (born Robert Elias Jr.; June 24, 1936) is an American filmmaker and the father of actor Robert Downey Jr.. He is best known for writing and directing the underground film Putney Swope, a satire on the New York Madison Avenue advertising world. According to film scholar Wheeler Winston Dixon, the elder Downey's films during the 1960s were "strictly take-no-prisoners affairs, with minimal budgets and outrageous satire, effectively pushing forward the countercultural agenda of the day". more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Putney Swope" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 3 Dec. 2020. <https://www.scripts.com/script/putney_swope_16405>.

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