Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie (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." ÉVOCATEUR: THE MORTON DOWNEY JR. MOVIE dissects the mind and motivation of television's most notorious agitator. (c) Magnolia … More
Related News & Features
Critics Consensus: The Internship Could Use Some Work
– Rotten Tomatoes
Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie Videos
No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.Login
Critic Reviews for Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie
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.
The film does an excellent job of showing how hate-TV was molded in the image of snarling, chain-smoking, guest-berating Downey.
Assorted celebrities and Downey's producers offer some insights, but the movie dwells too long on a group of worshipful former audience members.
Évocateur is never less than watchable. At the same time, you have to wonder who's going to watch it.
The movie, made by three former teenage fans of the show, is an odd mixture of admiration and repulsion; even his friends and former producers, interviewed for the camera, seemed mixed in their feelings for him.
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.)
The portrait of the controversial media figure, a love him or hate him type, is good enough to give us a somewhat fair portrait, considering the three directors were once fanboys.
This documentary probably raises more questions than it answers, but it does give a fair portrait of a very interesting character.
The film argues that Downey's story is at once banal and outrageous, predictable and (sometimes) surprising.
Without taking his side, "Evocateur" makes us feel genuinely terrible for him.
Using archival footage, including what appears to be home movies, a fascinating picture is painted of this obnoxious opportunist who, in his own way, changed the face of television.
Evocateur is an excellent effort that tries to make sense of a complicated person. It's both highly complimentary and critical, the kind of balanced overview Downey rarely gave those who came under this show business spell.
Chronicles the clamorous rise and fall of its mouthy subject in an engaging and entertaining fashion that also rather purposefully induces a certain queasiness.
A riveting biopic about a rich kid-turned-rabid bully and pathological liar desperate enough for the limelight to sell his soul to the devil.
Audience Reviews for Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie
Son of a successful Irish tenor, Morton Downey, Jr. fails at music but briefly finds notoriety as the "father of trash television" when he reinvents himself an angry, chain-smoking talk show bully. 15 unpleasant minutes of fame are stretched to 90 minutes; the takeaway message is, Downey was a jerk.More
Discuss Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie on our Movie forum!