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.” ÉVOCATEUR: THE MORTON DOWNEY JR. MOVIE dissects the mind and motivation of television’s most notorious agitator.
- Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller, Jeremy Newberger
- Morton Downey, Jr.
- Run Time
- 1 hour 30 minutes
What remains of its subject ... is the melancholy image of a onetime poet and liberal who longed to sing but in the end could only talk.Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times, 06.06.2013
This sharp documentary tribute to Downey's bug-eyed, fulminating charisma - he was like a Nixon who'd let out his id - reveals the demons that drove him to fame, then dragged him down.Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly, 10.02.2013
Friends and former colleagues address the lingering question of whether Downey was being sincere or engaging in an elaborate form of performance art. (The answer: By the end of the show's run, Downey himself could scarcely tell the difference anymore.)Scott Foundas, Variety, 06.17.2013
Despite the shrieking Valkyries on the soundtrack, Evocateur is as fair a portrayal as the weak-chinned warrior will get -- and fairer than he deserves.Amy Nicholson, Los Angeles Times, 06.29.2013