FILM: Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie
Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie is a great documentary ride. In the light of our current spate of reality T.V. shows you might not recall, know or even care about, there was a time during the late 80’s early 90’s when T.V. rabble-rousers like Morton Downey, Jr. pushed the limits of what is acceptable on TV, a time when Downey Jr. held local New York, TV, then the national networks in the palm of his cigarette-ash laden hand.
Basing his approach (some would call attack) on an early TV provocateur Joe Pyne (who fancied himself a crooner like this dad, and who actually was a professional singer), the chain-smoking Downey Jr. (and more on that smoking in a moment) fell into the crazy position of riling-up his audiences, yelling at his “pabulum spewing guests” and somehow becoming the man of the hour, for a few years actually, with a devout audience who lived for and loved Downey’s right-wing rants.
With tons of never-before-seen cameras-still-rolling-cut-to-commercial moments, uncensored aired clips, video of Downey at live dates and interviews with the likes of Pat Buchanan, Chris Elliott, Gloria Allred, Sally Jessy Raphael, Alan Dershowitz, and others, plus the controversial unseemly 1988 Tawana Brawley case being played out on Downey’s show with Reverend Al Sharpton in attendance often (and throwing down in these clips) and an exclusive interview for this movie with Steven Pagones, the white assistant district attorney accused of raping Brawley (we all later learned Tawana and people close to her faked the entire incident) we get lots of great stuff here.
I also have to mention the stunning animation by Murray John, Stefan Nadelman and Amy Sutton (see the pic here). You get a real insight into Morton Downey, Jr. the man who was, until his death from lung cancer (where that smoking rears its ugly head) a true ÉVOCATEUR.
Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie opens in theaters nationwide June 7, 2013.