The Ritz (1976) - Plot Summary Poster


Plot Summary

  • 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 <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>
  • Slightly rotund Gaetano Proclo of Cleveland, Ohio long ago married Vivian Vespucci of the New York mob-tied Vespuccis, the marriage which has never sat well with Vivian's father, the controlling patriarch of the family. On his deathbed, old man Vespucci demands his son Carmine Vespucci kill Gaetano so that Gaetano will not inherit half the family garbage business. Knowing that his brother-in-law is going to kill him, Gaetano goes on the run, hopping into a cab, telling the driver to take him to the last place the mob would look for him. Where the driver takes him is the Ritz, a male bath house. What straight Gaetano doesn't know when he checks in to the Ritz is that it is a gay bath house, something he does not truly figure out until he is well ensconced within the goings-on at the facility that evening. Like many of the men who want anonymity while at the Ritz, Gaetano signs in under an assumed name, he using Carmine's. While Chris, one of the regulars with a penchant for screaming, helps Gaetano navigate the bath house, Gaetano tries to steer clear of a few of the other people at the facility that evening: Claude Perkins, a chubby-chaser chasing chubby Gaetano, Claude who Gaetano does not want to get too close to for a reason beyond the gay issue; Googie Gomez, the heavily accented Hispanic floor show performer who may or may not be a transvestite, who believes Gaetano is a Broadway producer and thus her ticket to stardom; and Michael Brick, a good looking but slightly naive private detective hired by Carmine to locate Gaetano, Michael who has only a description of Gaetano to work from, Gaetano's obvious fake mustache and toupee which dim Michael cannot see through. Further complications and misunderstandings ensue when Carmine arrives on the scene. As Carmine and Michael have never met, Michael believes that Gaetano, using Carmine's name, is his boss rather than the man he is supposed to find. The complications grow even further when Vivian arrives on the scene, knowing that her husband is somewhere in the gay facility, with her assuming he is there on his own volition as a gay man.

    - Written by Huggo


Gaetano Proclo (Jack Weston) is present with his wife's (Kay Ballard) family at her father's deathbed...

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