Paul Newman plays a jaded disc-jockey who offers his services to WUSA, a right-wing hate station broadcasting from New Orleans. While struggling with his own apathy, he starts spreading hateful messages perpetrated by Pat Hingle, a power-mad master of WUSA.
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Cynical drifter Rheinhardt (Paul Newman) wanders into New Orleans, shacks up with prostitute Geraldine (Newman's spouse Joanne Woodward) and finds work at WUSA, a radio station popular for its reactionary extremist politics. Until 2011, this 1970 film had never been released in any home format--no wonder it was so hard to find! I'd seen it just once on cable, so imagine my joy at finding the DVD; an excellent film.
Newman takes it easy in The Big Easy as he moseys into town and takes up with fellow drifter Woodward before bagging a job at a local right-wing radio station where his path crosses with left-wing activist Perkins and phony preacher Harvey. This huge flop was the second picture the star made with Rosenberg & is a sophisticated political satire and a well-meaning tract on the evils of fascism. Ripe for re-evaluation..
Pretty tedious drama takes a long time to get where its going, only towards the end even touching on some of the complex and compelling issues it raises. A great cynical performance from Paul Newman, but its not enough to make this muddled, snail-paced effort work.