The Loved One

Synopsis: Newly arrived in Hollywood from England, Dennis Barlow finds he has to arrange his uncle's interment at the highly-organised and very profitable Whispering Glades funeral parlour. His fancy is caught by one of their cosmeticians, Aimee Thanatogenos. But he has three problems - the strict rules of owner Blessed Reverand Glenworthy, the rivalry of embalmer Mr Joyboy, and the shame of now working himself at The Happy Hunting Ground pets' memorial home.
Genre: Comedy
Director(s): Tony Richardson
Production: MGM Home Entertainment
  1 win & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
122 min

We are now about to land in

the world-famous city of Los Angeles.

Its name, translated from the ancient

Spanish, means "City of the Angels."

It is also the home of the

American motion-picture industry.

The City is of Night, perchance of Death

Twenty-thousand people arrive

here to settle every week.

They leave all hope behind who enter here

One certitude while sane they cannot leave

One anodyne for torture and despair

The certitude of Death

There, I'll get it, then. Would you look after

my little girl? Please, just for a moment.

But, madam.

That's all right. That's all right.

That's all right.

Mama will be right back.

Mama will be right back.

Kindly fasten your seat belts

and refrain from smoking, please.

Here, sit. Sit down.

Welcome back to the U.S.A.

Right through that door there.

Thank you.

Your passport, please.

"Dennis Barlow. Profession..."

A.I.D., huh?

Yes, Artificial Insemination Donor.

It was just a job I had for a while.

Actually, I'm a poet.

- Poet? An English poet?

- Well, yes, I am English.

- One of them beatnik poets, huh?

- Oh, beatnik? No. No, I'm not a beatnik.

You got them Beatle haircuts,

haven't you?

A Beatle haircut? No, I don't s...

It's an ordinary English haircut.

What do you do for a living,

Mr. Barton?

Barlow. I haven't decided

on anything specifically.

Haven't decided?

Just how did you get to this country, then?

Well, that's rather an amusing story.

You see, what happened, I was...

I was seeing my girlfriend off

at the London airport.

Then they said that I was the

5-millionth person to see... No, wait.

It was the 10-millionth person

to see someone off on a plane.

And they...

Well, they gave me this ticket,

so I thought I'd come here.

It was either Los Angeles or Calcutta,

and I thought, well, what the hell?

Just how long do you plan to stay

in our country, Mr. Burton?

- Barlow. Oh, that depends.

- Depends? Depends on what?

Well, I'll be staying with...

...Sir Francis Hinsley, the artist.

He's my uncle.

Megalopolitan Pictures,

that's where he works.

Now, D.J. Jr., we wanna get a piece

of this James Bond audience.

- Fine.

- And we're gonna give them that package...

...but with a brand-new ribbon on it.

We give him the one thing that

Jim Bond don't have:

Human warmth.

Are you still with me, D.J. Jr?

Now, he's still English,

he's still aristocratic...

...but he's got human warmth.

He's a human James Bond.

Do you think you can handle that

English accent, Dusty?

Oh, shucks, I reckon I could,

if I just sort of snuck up on it.

Well, I think Frank here could

straighten him out on the accent bit.

Is that right, Frank?

Do you think you can?

Oh, yes. I daresay I could.

Yes. I think I can.

You're sure you think

you're sure you can, right?

Yes, I think I can.

What do you say, Dust?

You think you'll feel at home with this?

You feel it's right for you?

You just turn him loose, D.J. Jr.,

and I'll try to ride him.

Okay. Harry, look, this is your baby. I'll tell

you what I want you to do. Hold it, fellas.


Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah. Just a minute.

Frank, it's for you.

For me? How very embarrassing.

I can't imagine who.

Hello? Yes, speaking. Who? Barlow?

Who? You mean you're Emily's boy?

Good heavens.

What on earth are you doing out here?

Very well. I'll be down in a few moments,

quick as I can.

Yes. See you in a moment. Goodbye.

You'll excuse me, won't you, gentlemen?

I seem to have inherited a nephew.

- Go ahead, Frank. Go right ahead.

- So long, Harry.

As I was saying, my dear Dennis,

mine was only a gradual decline.

Most of my fellow relics have been

discarded years ago.

I think I'll just have my usual

Deep Dish Lolita...

...and iced tea with a sprig of mint,


I'll have Breast of Squab Brigitte...

...and the Goldwater Nut Flip.

Actually, I never quite knew why

they ever gave me a knighthood.

I suppose it may have been because

I always painted important people.

But here there are only

the dregs of the dregs, so to speak.

- Hello, Frank, baby.

- Oh, hello, Harry.

- This is my nephew.

- Pleasure to meet you, kid.

You just take it easy, you hear?

- That wasn't the Dusty Acres, was it?

- It was indeed.

About to undergo a major operation

on his image.

So, to continue,

the climate here suits me admirably...

...the people here are so kind and generous.

They talk entirely for their own pleasure.

And they never expect you to listen.

Remember that, dear boy.

It's the secret of social ease

in this country.

By the way, where do you propose to live

while you're out here?

- Well, I hadn't quite decided.

- Why not come and stay with me, then?

Thank you, Uncle Francis.

That's very kind of you.

If you don't mind taking potluck.

That reminds me, there's dinner tonight

at the English Club.

Not grand, of course,

but they might give us a decent meal.

It'll give you the opportunity

to meet some of the chaps.

Oh, there's Sir Ambrose Abercrombie,

one of our most ardent thespians.

You've probably seen him, Dennis.

He usually plays prime ministers or butlers.

- Ambrose.

- My dear Francis, how good to see you.

The trouble with this place is, one is so

confoundedly busy, one loses touch.

You'd better pick up Her Ladyship,

come back for me at 11 sharp.

Ambrose, I would like to introduce

to you my nephew, Dennis Barlow.

Sir Ambrose Abercrombie.

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Terry Southern

Terry Southern (May 1, 1924 – October 29, 1995) was an American novelist, essayist, screenwriter, and university lecturer, noted for his distinctive satirical style. Part of the Paris postwar literary movement in the 1950s and a companion to Beat writers in Greenwich Village, Southern was also at the center of Swinging London in the 1960s and helped to change the style and substance of American films in the 1970s. He briefly wrote for Saturday Night Live in the 1980s. Southern's dark and often absurdist style of satire helped to define the sensibilities of several generations of writers, readers, directors and film goers. He is credited by journalist Tom Wolfe as having invented New Journalism with the publication of "Twirling at Ole Miss" in Esquire in February 1963. Southern's reputation was established with the publication of his comic novels Candy and The Magic Christian and through his gift for writing memorable film dialogue as evident in Dr. Strangelove, The Loved One, The Cincinnati Kid, and The Magic Christian. His work on Easy Rider helped create the independent film movement of the 1970s. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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