The Loved One Named in Best-of-Century Film List

The filmblog Zekefilm has compiled a list of notable films from the past hundred years dating back to 1915.  It names a film released in the mid year of each decade. The idea seems to be to offer a representative and interesting example from each decade. The selection for 1965 is Tony Richardson’s adaptation of Waugh’s The Loved One. Since that film was, to say the least, given a decidedly mixed critical and box office reception, the blogger’s rationale for its selection makes thoughtful reading:

first because it failed so miserably by whatever standards one judges the relative merit of a movie, whether it be critical reputation or box office, and second because the film anticipates the sort of radical narrative and stylistic experimentation filmmakers would increasingly take during the latter part of the decade.

Does it go too far? Well, one’s litmus test for these matters may differ from my own, but as the disgustingly gluttonous character of “Mrs. Joyboy” is credited to an actual performer (Ayllenne Gibbons) – rather than a hideously overstuffed animatronic meat puppet made by some perverse mechanical engineer from Disneyland– indicates that the film still succeeds in offending the sensibilities of its audience even 50 years later. By its own standards, then – or lack of them – The Loved One remains a deathless work of art.

The list starts with Charlie Chaplin’s 1915 film The Tramp. The Loved One is bracketed in 1955 by Max Ophuls’ Lola Montes and in 1975 by Robert Altman’s Nashville. The list is posted in two parts. Part I (1915-1955); Part II (1965-2015). A reproduction of the poster  is provided for each selected film.

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