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>
According to the autobiography of Elsa Lanchester, Charles Laughton's wife, Paramount bought the story and appointed Leo McCarey as director at Laughton's request. Before the film began shooting, Lanchester states, Laughton worked with McCarey and the film's writers on the script, and hired an old friend, 'Arthur MacRae', who later became a playwright in England, to add the "necessary Englishness" of 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 »
"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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