Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


To kick off my first entry for Todd Mason's forgotten movies, I have picked the most un-PC movie ever made.  This way, my contributions can only go up, right?

     The origins of this movie began in 1976, when then-Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz told a racist joke to singer Pat Boone and former White House counsel John Dean.  Not only was the joke racist and highly offensive, but (IMHO) it was terribly unfunny, as most such jokes are.  The joke -- and its teller -- became publicly known and Butz was forced to resign over the controversy.  (Weep no tears over Butz; he was a prejudiced yahoo with a long track record of offensive statements.  He also ended up convicted of tax evasion.)

     The movie is called Loose Shoes and it was released in 1980, although it was probably filmed three years earlier.  A sketch movie along the lines of Kentucky Fried Movie, it was racially and sexually offensive and mostly unfunny, except...about an hour into the film was a short musical sketch based on Earl Butz's joke that also gave the movie its title.  This sketch is pure offensive genius.  I can't/won't describe it, but its effect is on the order of the "Springtime for Hitler" scene in The Producers

      Loose Shoes was directed by Ira Miller and written by Miller, Ian Praiser, Varley Smith, and Royce Applegate.  Praiser had probably the biggest career of the four, producing and writing for such television shows as Alf, Bosom Buddies, Taxi, Caroline in the City, and Suddenly Susan.  Applegate had a steady acting career and is best known for his supporting role in the television series Seaquest DSV.  Miller and Smith had lesser careers, mainly in television.

     The film is alleged by some to be Bill Murray's first movie (he appeared in one sketch) and the timing of the release coincided with Murray's newly-found Saturday Night Live, Meatballs, and Caddyshack fame.  Others in the long list of actors and comedians who appeared in the film included Tom Baker, Buddy Hackett, Sid Haig, Howard Hesseman, Ed Lauter, Misty Rowe, Avery Schreiber, Betty Thomas, Gary Owens and Harry Shearer.  The most interesting member of the cast, however, is Kinky Friedman.

     For the cast alone, this film is a must for fans of bad movies.  It is also a must-not for anyone easily (or not so easily) offended.  You are going to have to search for this one. I have no idea if it is available on DVD or VHS, and a cursory search of Youtube did not provide any clips for me to imbed.

     For a more tasteful selection of forgotten movies, go to Todd Mason's blog, Sweet Freedom at


  1. Sounds like one of those movies one must see at least once. just for something to laugh about, warn people about(thanks by the way), and generally smirk about.

  2. And, oddly enough, while I've seen perhaps a few minutes of this one on cable decades ago, I can guarantee you that even the most offensive bits here have been trumped by quite a few other films both before and since...though perhaps its telling that more since have actually Tried to be offensive...

    Thanks, Jerry!