Had someone exercised a little restraint, this one could have been a devastating satire on the British advertising industry and the mores of the 1960s. Reed, a hotshot TV commercials director, walks through London and into his office with a huge axe in his hand. He proceeds to smash
everything in sight, then resigns from his job. He is disgusted with the meaninglessness of his work and his empty relationship with his wife, Craig. He returns to the small literary magazine where he worked just after leaving Cambridge, thinking he can at last achieve intellectual freedom, but
the machinations here are every bit as distasteful to him as those of the advertising world. He has an affair with White, the office secretary, and is at constant odds with his pal, Finlay, who edits the periodical. Welles, who owns the vast corporation where Reed worked, wants him back, so he
buys the magazine. Reed agrees to make one last commercial, thinking he will have the last laugh. He directs a bitter attack on advertising that uses clips from Nazi concentration camps and scenes of nuclear devastation. His plans go awry when the commercial wins the top award at a festival.
Welles is top-lined here but doesn't have that large a part. What he does with it, however, is brilliant. He is the epitome of the "fat cat" both physically and mentally. The film falls apart because Winner, in a mad effort to keep us engaged, directs the film in such a quirky style that we can
never settle back and enjoy the deliciousness of Draper's script. Filmed on location in London and Cambridge, it looks marvelous, but the diffusion of the story causes us ultimately to forget I'LL NEVER FORGET WHAT'S 'IS NAME.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: Had someone exercised a little restraint, this one could have been a devastating satire on the British advertising industry and the mores of the 1960s. Reed, a hotshot TV commercials director, walks through London and into his office with a huge axe in his… (more)