On his deathbed Carmine Vespucci's father tells him to "get Proclo". With "the hit" on, Gaetano tells a cab driver to take him where Carmine can't find him. He arrives at the Ritz, a gay ...
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On his deathbed Carmine Vespucci's father tells him to "get Proclo". With "the hit" on, Gaetano tells a cab driver to take him where Carmine can't find him. He arrives at the Ritz, a gay bathhouse where he is pursued amorously by "chubby chaser" Paul B. Price and by entertainer Googie Gomez who believes him to be a broadway producer. His guides through the Ritz are gatekeeper Abe, habitue Chris, and bellhop/go-go-boys Tiger and Duff. Squeaky-voiced detective Michael Brick and his employer Carmine do locate Gateano at the Ritz, as does his wife Vivian. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
It was 1976, Tehran Iran. Terry, also American, and I were bored at work and on the spur of the moment decided to skip out and check out the Tehran Film Festival. Boy, did we have no idea what we were getting in for.
It just so happened that the next film on the bill was The Ritz. We knew nothing about it, but we hailed our driver, raced downtown to the theater, and made it in just in time.
Before long, we were rolling on the floor. Truly, we couldn't hold on to our seats, I can't speak for Terry but the tears were just pouring down my face from laughter. And what made this worse was that, in a mostly packed theater, it seemed that most of the time the two of us near the back were the only ones laughing. Oh, every once and while the Farsi sub-titles would catch-up and the rest of the theater would let out a good laugh, I guess they were having a good time, but it was amazing to us how much was being missed, even some of the visual humor.
I suppose we were both just overdo for some comic relief, but I've watched this film again through the years and it remains one of the funniest films I have ever seen. Jack Weston as the everyman-victim is perfect, as is Rita Morena as a never-quite-been, trying with varying degrees of success, to retain her dignity, her temper, and her dreams. And the rest of the cast -- who can you fault?
Yes, from the dark opening deathbed scene, to all the madcap mistakes that follow, this is farce that at times sinks almost as low as the Three Stooges, but keeps sailing from floor to floor with surprise laughs at every turn.
Some folks can't seem to get past the subject matter, I guess. But if you can find this movie, and you can open your mind beyond the lifestyle to just enjoy all the zaniness that happens, then hang on to your towel!
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