Art House Theater Day: Putney Swope

The most popular film by Robert Downey Sr. is this offbeat classic about the antics that ensue after Putney Swope, the token black man on the board of a Madison Avenue advertising agency, is inadvertently elected chairman.
September 2019

This film is no longer showing. Click here to see what's playing at the Parkway

Ticket Prices

$11 regular admission
$9 matinees (before 6pm)
$9 students/seniors/active military with valid ID
$8 MdFF Members
Art House Theater Day: Putney Swope
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Director: Robert Downey Sr.


1969, USA, 84 minutes, Digital 4K Restoration, R

Language: English

Distributor: American Genre Film Archive

Program Notes

Join us in celebrating Art House Theater Day as we bring the 2014 Maryland Film Festival selection Putney Swope back to Baltimore with this 50th anniversary 4k restoration. On this special occasion, our member price is available to everyone, meaning tickets are just $8!

An unforgettable masterpiece of late-’60s counterculture, Robert Downey Sr.’s Putney Swope remains a vital provocation on race, pop culture, and America.

Putney Swope, the only African-American exec at his advertising firm, is unexpectedly elected its president and turns the industry on its ear through a series of outrageous, taboo-busting TV commercials (strewn throughout the film like comedic landmines.) As Swope becomes the Generalissimo of Madison Avenue, Downey takes no prisoners and skewers the entire political spectrum. Essential viewing.

Restoration by the Academy Film Archive and The Film Foundation, with funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation.

Selected for inclusion on the National Film Registry

Critics' Praise

“Funny, sophomoric, brilliant, obscene, disjointed, marvelous, unintelligible and relevant. If anybody tries to improve it, they should be sentenced.”
— Vincent Canby, The New York Times

“A freewheeling sociopolitical satire… a cult classic that has gone from midnight-movie sensation to rental standby.”
— Michael Koresky, Criterion Collection

“I just think [Downey’s] one of our great American directors.”
— Paul Thomas Anderson

Visit Film Website

Directions to the Parkway Theatre
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Parkway is located at 5 W. North Avenue (at the intersection of North Avenue and Charles St.) in Baltimore's Station North Arts and Entertainment District
Parkway Map
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