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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Filmed twice before; by Essanay in 1918, and by Paramount in 1923, with Edward Everett Horton as Ruggles. See more »
When Effie tells Ruggles to take her husband to the art museums she shows him a book that he uses to record his impressions of the art he's viewed, when the camera angle changes the book has changed from her hands to her husbands hands without any pause in her lines. See more »
I'm putting out your light grey, my Lord. There is something in the air this morning which calls for light grey, I think.
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Opening credits are shown over various silhouettes of a butler. See more »
Stoic British dignity versus the rambunctious Old West
This certainly is a hilarious study of opposites -- staid British decorum transplanted to America's rough and tumble Old West. Laughton's excursion into comedy is along the buffoonery line at times (said with all due respect, of course) and anyone can see his true talent lies in drama. I'd say the real scene stealer is Charles Ruggles as Egbert who displays a wry wit all his own as he endures his wife's determined efforts to remodel him. His choice of words are so amusing: "Hey cab, give us one with a horse on it," and, to his wife when dining, "Effie, what you need is some of this imprisoned laughter of the pleasant maids of France." Also, it brought back memories to hear the old song, "By the Light of the Silver Moon" sung by Nell in the movie. A very comical film that's enjoyed more each time you see it.
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