While visiting Paris in 1908, upper class Lord Burnstead loses his butler playing poker. Egbert and Effie Floud bring Ruggles back to Red Gap, Washington. Effie wants to take advantage of Ruggles' upper class background to influence Egbert's hick lifestyle. However, Egbert is more interested in partying and he takes Ruggles to the local 'beer bust'. When word gets out that "Colonel Ruggles is staying with his close friends" in the local paper, the butler becomes a town celebrity. After befriending Mrs. Judson, a widow who he impresses with his culinary skills, Ruggles decides to strike out on his own and open a restaurant. His transition from servant to independent man will depend on its success. Written by
Gary Jackson <email@example.com>
Filmed twice before; by Essanay in 1918, and by Paramount in 1923, with Edward Everett Horton as Ruggles. See more »
[Ruggles and Prunella are looking at the rough and cluttered store space that Ruggles will use for his restaurant]
It's a mess isn't it?
Well, I don't see anything wonderful about it.
You don't? My father was a gentleman's gentleman... and his father before him. And from that heritage of service miraculously there comes a man. A person of importance, however small. A man whose decisions and whose future are in his own hands.
It's wonderful, isn't it?
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"Ruggles of Red Gap" is one of Leo McCarey's greatest masterpieces, a witty and trenchant commedia dell'arte, based on a 1915 play by Harry Leon Wilson. It stars the charismatic Charles Laughton as the well-mannered, eccentric English manservant Marmaduke Ruggles who is hilariously Americanized in an American Wild West town of Red Gap, Washington. Ruggles is the devoted servant of the Earl of Burnstead, George Van Bassingwell (Roland Young), who unfortunately loses his efficient servant in a poker game to a wealthy American cattle baron Egbert Floud (Charles Ruggles). Marmaduke leaves his master and moves to Red Gap, where he opens a restaurant and learns to admire the wild west and American mannerisms.
Charles Laughton is nothing short of perfection in one of his wittiest and warmest roles. His extraordinary recital of Lincoln's Gettysburg address to a barroom of speechless cowboys, along with Roland Young and Leila Hyams hysterical rendering of "Pretty Baby," is unforgettable. A must-see!
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