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Ruggles of Red Gap (1935) Poster

Trivia

Edward Dmytryk, the film's editor, said that Charles Laughton became so emotional during the scene in the saloon where he recites the Gettysburg Address that it took director Leo McCarey 1-1/2 days to complete shooting it. According to Dmytryk, the preview audiences found Laughton's close-ups in the scene embarrassing and tittered through the speech. When substitute shots of Laughton from behind were inserted, the audience found the reaction shots of the other people reacting to him very moving, and the second preview was extremely successful.
The Gettysburg address had great personal significance to Charles Laughton as he was considering taking up American citizenship.
Charles Laughton referred to his reading of the "Gettysburg Address" in the film as "one of the most moving things that ever happened to me" Laughton recited the address to the cast and crew of Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) on the last day of shooting on Catalina Island and again on the set of The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939).
Nazi Germany banned the release of any German-dubbed version of this film because of the Gettysburg Address speech.
Charles Laughton personally chose Leo McCarey to direct the film. He wanted his first comedic role to be in the hands of a master of comedy and, seeing as McCarey had directed the Marx Brothers success, Duck Soup (1933), he was eminently qualified.
Filmed twice before; by Essanay in 1918, and by Paramount in 1923, with Edward Everett Horton as Ruggles.
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.
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"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on July 10, 1939 with Charles Ruggles, Charles Laughton and Zasu Pitts reprising their film roles.
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"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on December 17, 1945 with Charles Laughton and Charles Ruggles reprising their film roles.
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"Academy Award Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on June 8, 1946 with Charles Laughton and Charles Ruggles reprising their film roles.
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One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since.
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The original Broadway production of "Ruggles of Red Gap" by Harrison Rhodes opened at the Fulton Theater on December 25, 1915 and ran for 33 performances.
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Leila Hyams retired from the film business the following year at the age of 31. She still remained active in Hollywood circles thanks to her marriage to leading agent, Phil Berg.
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While rehearsing for this movie, Charles Laughton was hospitalized for several weeks for a rectal abscess.
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Referenced in Barton Fink.
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Charles Laughton's favorite film in which he performed.
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