->''"I'm not going to rock the boat. Rocking the boat is a drag. I'm going to sink the boat. And there's no point in sinking the boat if you can't salvage with stock options."''
-->-- '''Putney Swope'''
''Putney Swope'' is a 1969 film satirizing the advertising industry (one of the earliest), directed by Robert Downey Sr.
When the CEO of an advertising company dies during a meeting, the board of directors are forced to hold an election for the new chairmen. Since they can't vote for themselves, and are unwilling to vote for each other, all of them vote for the least likely member: music producer and [[TokenMinority Token Black Man]] Putney Swope (Arnold Johnson). Swope fires almost everyone, renames the company "Truth and Soul, Inc." and brings on a crew of stereotypical Black Muslims to run the business. HilarityEnsues.
The movie is notable for its cast (which is almost entirely black and well developed), its hilarious lampshading of real-life advertising practices, and its psychedelic (but only slightly over the top) fake commercials.
!!This film contains examples of:
* AsideGlance: A couple of times when Bissinger is announcing the ballot results.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Virtually all of the white cast.
** So much so, that when the chairman dies in the middle of a meeting, they actually go through his pockets and loot his valuables.
* DarkestAfrica: To support their brothers and sisters in Africa, Putney wants to dispense with telecommunications and send office correspondence entirely by "the drum." Even his associates think this would be insane. Until...
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: Greedy white administration is thrown out only for the black people who replace them to wind up being equally nasty. Truth and Soul Inc. or post-colonial Africa?
* EnsembleCast: Surprising for the sixties/seventies. Even the white people and punchline characters get a decent amount of screen-time.
* FlippingTheBird: The film's poster (seen above) features this, with a model representing the "finger".
* GrayAndGreyMorality: The closest thing to a good character in the entire film is Elias, the guy whose father dies. Even then, its hinted at that he's an incompetent mooch. The new black administration is just as corrupt as the old one, just corrupt in different ways.
* HeelFaceTurn: Putney [[spoiler: Subverted]]
* TheHero: Averted/Played With. Putney is thrust into a position where he needs to be the archetypal hero in order to make the world right. Unfortunately, he's just some guy who was in the right place at the right time. Everyone seems to acknowledge that if African-Americans had been given the chance to choose their own leader, it wouldn't have been Swope.
* TheLancer: Almost a deconstruction. There's a character identified only as "The Arab" who, all throughout the movie, complains about how Putney does things and how he can do it better. As Putney becomes more corrupt, the Arab's complaints go from petty arguments to legitimate criticisms, [[CassandraTruth not that anybody listens to him]].
* PrecisionFStrike: One of the commercials the agency produces features an offstage announcer telling a man all the nutritious things about the cereal he's eating. When he finishes, the man smiles and says, "No shit!"
* TokenWhite: The character's name is "Mr. Token."