Evocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie (R)

Documentary 90 June 7, 2013

Before entire networks were built on populist personalities; before reality morphed into a TV genre; the masses fixated on a single, sociopathic star: controversial talk-show host Morton Downey, Jr.

In the late '80s, Downey tore apart the traditional talk format by turning debate of current issues into a gladiator pit. His blow-smoke-in-your-face style drew a rabid cult following, but also the title "Father of Trash Television." Was his show a platform for the working man or an incubator for Snooki and The Situation? Ironbound Films' ÉVOCATEUR: THE MORTON DOWNEY JR. MOVIE dissects the mind and motivation of television's most notorious agitator.

Lower the safety bar for a rollercoaster ride through Downey's euphoric ascent to fame and nauseating plummet to infamy. ÉVOCATEUR features interviews with Herman Cain, Pat Buchanan, Chris Elliott, Gloria Allred, Sally Jessy Raphael, Alan Dershowitz, Curtis Sliwa, and Richard Bey. Never-before-seen footage reveals Downey's behind-the-scenes fistfights and foibles. Animation recreates the legends of Downey that bounce between executive nightmare and schoolboy fantasy.

Seth Kramer Chris Elliott, Victoria Jackson, Gloria Allred, Morton Downey Jr., Al Sharpton, Ron Paul, Sally Jessy Raphael, Glenn Beck, Wally George, Michele Bachmann Daniel A. Miller Magnolia Pictures

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