Ruggles of Red Gap

1935

Comedy / Romance

0
IMDb Rating 7.7

Synopsis


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1.73G
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English
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90 min
P/S 45 / 29
1.10G
Normal
English
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90 min
P/S 35 / 46

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by telegonus 10

Director Leo McCarey, in his heyday a famous director and rival of Frank Capra&#39;s, and now largely forgotten, made one of his best films, Ruggles Of Red Gap, adapted from Harry Leon Wilson&#39;s novel, in 1935. It tells the story of a meek English butler named Ruggles, who is &quot;lost&quot; in a poker game by his boss, an English earl. Living out west, in Washington state, he is gradually assimilated into American life, makes himself somewhat of a local celebrity, and falls in love along the way. That&#39;s about all there is to the story, and it&#39;s more than enough in director McCarey&#39;s capable hands.<br/><br/>As Ruggles, Charles Laughton is more restrained than he&#39;s ever been, and gives a fine comedic performance of rare delicacy. There&#39;s none of the usual hamming one expects of him. As his new &quot;bosses&quot;, Egbert and Effie Floud, Charlie Ruggles and Mary Boland are wonderful as middle-aged denizens of the Pacific northwest. As Ruggles&#39; girl, Prunella, Zasu Pitts is at her dithering best; while Roland Young is sly and stylish as the earl. The actors interact with exquisite timing, with no one missing a beat, as was nearly always the case with McCarey, who had a rare feeling for the way people actually behave,--as opposed to the way movie people do--which makes his films, when good, a special treat.<br/><br/>This movie is a classic, if a quiet one, and used to be far better known than it is today, which is a pity. Capra&#39;s films are shown all the time, while McCarey&#39;, aside from his two &quot;Catholic&quot; films of the mid-forties, Going My Way and Bells Of St. Mary&#39;s, tend by be neglected. There are no &quot;big scenes&quot; in this one, but an awful lot of brilliant little ones, as when Roland Young learns how to play the drums; or when Charle Laughton recites the Gettysburg Address, the latter the high point of the film, and its most famous moment. One can&#39;t help but think, after seeing this movie, that all&#39;s right with the world. It isn&#39;t, of course, and never has been, but it&#39;s awfully nice to feel that way without having to resort to drugs or alcohol. For that one can think Mr. McCarey.

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Reviewed by zetes 9

American comedy was at its strongest in the 1930s and &#39;40s. Ruggles of Red Gap is a great representative of that era. There hasn&#39;t been an American movie in the past two, maybe three decades that&#39;s as funny as this one. Ruggles of Red Gap begins with one of the funniest premises imaginable: a British butler, Marmaduke Ruggles (Charles Laughton), is won from his lord (Roland Young) in a poker game by a wily American (Charlie Ruggles) whose pretentious wife (Mary Boland, Ruggles&#39; constant co-star) wants the butler to teach him some manners. The first half-hour is easily the strongest section in the film, with Ruggles (I&#39;ll be referring to the actors) the fish-out-of-water in Paris, trying to sidestep his conniving wife and teach Laughton, steeped in the servant tradition, to let himself go and have some fun. When the two men are supposed to be at the Louvre, Ruggles drags his new manservant to a sidewalk establishment and orders them some beers. A fellow resident of Red Gap (the town in Washington State where Ruggles and Boland live, and to where they will later take Laughton) sees Ruggles there and they cause a huge scene with their Wild West antics. They even get poor Laughton drunk, for perhaps the first time in his life, and he learns the most useful of American phrases: &quot;Yippee!&quot; He also learns how to smile. Boland is at her strongest in the first section, as well. Her attempts to speak French are hilarious. &quot;Trays amazing!&quot; she bungles.<br/><br/>When the crew arrives in America, the film loses a bit of its steam, but not much. It has a great story, unlike many of the other great comedies being made at the time (which relied on caricatures like W.C. Fields and the Marx Brothers), and that keeps it entertaining. Laughton is such a delight to behold, and he meets up with a lovely woman played by the undervalued character actress Zasu Pitts, best remembered for her neurotic wife role in Erich von Stroheim&#39;s 1925 masterpiece Greed. I have only seen her in two non-Greed movies, counting Ruggles of Red Gap, but she&#39;s obviously a huge comic talent. Laughton may be the star, but Charlie Ruggles, also a semi-forgotten comic master, steals the movie from him. Boland is funniest when the film is in Paris, but she&#39;s still pretty good afterwards. Another scene stealer is Roland Young. I love his mumbling way of speaking. He comes back later in the movie and has a great scene where he learns to play the drums. Leo McCarey is one of comedy&#39;s finest directors in comedy&#39;s finest era. What a wonderful film this is! 9/10.

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Reviewed by jayjerry 7

It&#39;s my favorite movie. I love it beyond all reason. I have it on VHS (need DVD NOW!) as well as a still reproduction of Charles Laughton in the title role. I named one of my cats Ruggles. In other words, my recommendation is high! That said, I don&#39;t want to oversell it. While it contains some admirable themes about throwing off tradition and becoming your own person, it&#39;s above all a charming character comedy distinguished by Leo McCarey&#39;s signature style of improvisatory naturalism (particularly in comparison to the usual run of mainstream fare). Jean Renoir&#39;s famous quote about McCarey being one of the few directors who understood human beings (or words to that effect) is made clear here.<br/><br/>While there&#39;s plenty of broad humor, my favorite scenes involve smaller, character-centered moments, such as the sly little courtship scene in which a piano-playing Leila Hyams coaches a smitten Roland Young as he attempts to accompany her on drums.<br/><br/>It&#39;s full of colorful characters, priceless dialogue and emotionally involving story arcs. Seek it out -- if you like it one-tenth as much as I do, you&#39;ll consider your time well spent.

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