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The Ruling Class (1972)

A member of the House of Lords dies, leaving his estate to his son. Unfortunately, his son thinks he is Jesus Christ. The other, somewhat more respectable, members of their family plot to steal the estate from him. Murder and mayhem ensue.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (play)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hugh Owens ...
...
...
William Mervyn ...
Coral Browne ...
...
Dinsdale Gurney
...
Bishop Lampton
Hugh Burden ...
Matthew Peake
...
Michael Bryant ...
Henry Woolf ...
Inmate
Griffith Davies ...
Inmate
Oliver MacGreevy ...
Inmate (as Oliver McGreevy)
Kay Walsh ...
Patsy Byrne ...
Mrs. Pamela Treadwell
Edit

Storyline

A member of the House of Lords dies in a shockingly silly way, leaving his estate to his son. Unfortunately, his son is insane: he thinks he is Jesus Christ. The other somewhat-more respectable members of their family plot to steal the estate from him. Murder and mayhem ensues. Written by Mark Logan <marklo@west.sun.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Musical

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | | |

Release Date:

25 May 1972 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A Classe Dominante  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alastair Sim modeled his characterization of Bishop Lampton on the Primate of All England (chief religious figure in the Church of England), Michael Ramsey (subsequently Baron Ramsay of Canterbury). Portraits of Ramsay in the National Gallery bear a likeness to the physical aspects of Sim's character. See more »

Goofs

When the 13th Earl says, "Lord what will you do" to Claire, his right hand changes positions. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Toastmaster: My Lords. Gentlemen. Pray silence for Ralph Douglas Christopher Alexander Gurney, the thirteenth Earl of Gurney.
13th Earl of Gurney: The aim of the Society of Saint George is to keep Gurney a memory of England. We were once the rulers of the greatest empire the world has ever known. Ruled not by superior force or skill, but by sheer presence.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 75th Annual Academy Awards (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

The Varsity Drag
(uncredited)
Written by Buddy G. DeSylva, Lew Brown and Ray Henderson
Sung by Peter O'Toole, Kay Walsh, and Patsy Byrne
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Classic British Black Comedy At It's Best......

From the first time I saw the film on it's initial cinema run it has remained one of my "desert island" films.O'Toole and Sim at their truly wackiest best.The great problem these days appears being able to view an intact version of the film.Contrary to various published version's running times I seem to be in possession of a 153mins videotape version lifted from a TV print in 1981.(This beggars the question just what was the original running time).The chequered path of Avco-Embassy product falling virtually into the public domain and the ready availability of the original negative hasn't helped anybody issuing a definitive print.But if ever a film cried out for the Criterion Collection treatment and a cinema re-release in a remastered print it is this.I hope somebody does something before O'Toole & director Peter Medak are not around to contribute.(Most of the remaining cast have unfortunately left us in the intervening years).


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