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Terry O. Morse
Eddie Foy Jr.
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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>
Charles Laughton was an incomparable actor (did anyone else ever go over the top as much as he did, yet still give brilliant performances?), and he's at the peak of his form in this classic. Laughton is just right as the staid butler who is won in a poker game by a couple from the Old West, circa 1908. Everyone is excellent--Mary Boland and Charlie Ruggles were one of the more popular screen couples of the day, and you'll see why--but it is Laughton who steals the film. His recitation of the Gettysburg Address is a demonstration of his mastery. It should fall flat, but it plays beautifully. See it.
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