- Featurette: Trying To Offend Everyone
- Theatrical Trailer
- Subtitles: English, French, Spanish (Feature Film Only)
- Rated: Not Rated
- Closed captioning available
- Run Time: 2 hours, 1 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Released: June 20, 2006
- Originally Released: 1965
- Label: Warner Home Video
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Widescreen - 1.85
- Additional Release Material:
- Featurette: Trying to Offend Everyone
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Entertainment Weekly - 08/05/1994
Description by OLDIES.com:
The funeral business gets a giant raspberry in this wickedly wacky, resplendently ridiculous farce based on Evelyn Waugh's macabre comic masterpiece and directed with inspired verve by Tony Richardson (Tom Jones). But the American way of death isn't the film's only target: sex, greed, religion and mother love are also in the crosshairs of its satirical shots.
Robert Morse plays a bemused would-be poet who gets entangled with an unctuous cemetery entrepreneur (Jonathan Winters), a mom-obsessed mortician (Rod Steiger) and other bizarre characters played by such adept farceurs as John Gielgud, Robert Morley, Tab Hunter, Milton Berle, James Coburn and Liberace. If The Loved One doesn't make you laugh, call the undertaker!
Before John Waters appeared on the scene to explore the idiosyncrasies of American culture, Tony Richardson had already adapted Evelyn Waugh's scabrous black comedy satirizing the U.S. mortuary industry along with American attitudes toward capitalism, sex, religion, Hollywood, and other sacred cows. The film stars Robert Morse as Dennis Barlow, a young British poet who specializes in plagiarism. He arrives in Hollywood at the home of his uncle Sir Frances Hinsley (Sir John Gielgud), a movie art director, hoping to find work. Shortly thereafter, his uncle is fired by his studio and, in despair, commits suicide. Leading British actor Sir Ambrose Abercrombie (Robert Morley) recommends interment at the exlusive Whispering Glades cemetery, and Dennis complies. The "poet" also manages to pick up a job at the affiliated pet cemetery, the Happier Hunting Grounds, and begins to meet some rather unique people, among them embalmer Mr. Joyboy (Rod Steiger) and his 800-pound mother (Allyene Gibbons), coffin salesman Mr. Starker (Liberace), and Wilbur and Harry Glenworthy (Jonathan Winters), twin brothers who own the establishment. Winters and Steiger are particularly brilliant in a film is studded with cameos, including James Coburn, Milton Berle, Dana Andrews, Roddy McDowall, and Margaret Leighton. Camp icons Liberace and a pre-Waters Tab Hunter also add to the festivities.
A clash of cultures is under way when a young British poet must come to California to preside over the burial of his Hollywood star uncle. He encounters a tawdry mortuary business in this wildly black and strange comedy based on Evelyn Waugh's 1948 novel. Watch for a child Paul Williams as the wunderkind rocket scientist.
- Theatrical release: October 11, 1965.
- Shooting location: Greystone Mansion in Los Angeles, CA.
- Tony Richardson fought to cast the long-blacklisted actor Lionel Stander, ultimately succeeding by putting his own job on the line.
- Robert Morley refused to do a scene in which his character was supposed to enter a biker bar in drag.