Filmmaker Joel Plotch Pulls One Over


It’s the 45th anniversary of Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, and a restored new print of Stanley Kubrick’s nightmare comedy masterpiece starts a run at Film Forum today. But it should be noted that many of the most iconic comedy bits in Kubrick’s film — the running gag about our "precious bodily fluids," for example — came from the mind of the great novelist and journalist Terry Southern. So we figured this was a good time to share Heavy Put-Away (or, a Hustle Not Devoid of a Certain Grossness, Granted), directed by Joel Plotch and based on Southern’s story of the same name, which was apparently first told to him by the legendary producer and studio head John Calley. The story unfolds through a drug-fueled lunch conversation between a young L.A. type (Dallas Roberts, who delivers his monologue with oily brio) and a grizzled reporter figure (the always-awesome Mark Boone Junior), and it concerns what promises to be an elaborate con involving a young stuntman’s wife (Gretchen Mol). But Plotch and Southern deliver something altogether different: The story does end with a final twist of the knife, but it’s far subtler and more haunting than you might expect.