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|Index||24 reviews in total|
21 out of 23 people found the following review useful:
Hilarious from start to finish !, 24 August 2004
Author: Rod_Z from Birmingham UK
This has got to be one of the funniest films I've seen, Rita Moreno is excellent as Googie Gomez failed Broadway star and now singing in "the pits" at the Gay bathhouse "The Ritz"...Treat Williams had me in stitches with his voice and Jack Weston is superb as the man on the run and hiding "in the last place anyone would look for me"...Although this harks back to a time now gone the comedy is still as fresh as ever. Look out for the "Chubby Chaser" who constantly refuses to have anything to do with Lean muscled Treat because he's too skinny and chases Jack Weston around from start to finish! And the Andrews Sisters skit is a hoot.... If you haven't seen this film what are you waiting for..!
22 out of 26 people found the following review useful:
I Never Laughed So Hard, 5 March 2005
Author: Don Daniels from Long Island, New York
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
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!
20 out of 24 people found the following review useful:
Just possibly the funniest film ever made, 1 June 1999
Author: Mike Resnick from Cincinnati, Ohio
No one shows this since the advent of AIDS. That's a pity, because if it isn't the funniest movie ever made, it's awfully close. Great adaptation of the Broadway hit play, with wonderful performances by Jack Weston, Rita Moreno, Jerry Stiller, F. Murray Abraham, Paul Price, and Treat Williams. I can't praise this one highly enough.
13 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Break Out The Bath Towels: The Ritz Is One Of The Best, 18 May 2005
Author: gftbiloxi (email@example.com) from Biloxi, Mississippi
Chunky, quivering, middle-class ordinary Gaetano Proclo (Jack Weston)
is 'married to the mob' in the form of wife Vivian (Kaye Ballard)--and
his crazy brother-in-law Carmine (Jerry Stiller) hates him. Certain
that Carmine is about to kill him, Gaetana hops a cab, tells the driver
to take him to the last place any one would ever look for him... and
suddenly finds himself hiding out in the middle of a gay bath house.
But this only the first ten or fifteen minutes of the film: there is much, much more to come, and all of it is over the top hilarious. Jack Weston, Jerry Stiller, and Kaye Ballard are perfectly cast in their roles, but would you believe F. Murray Abraham (Oscar winner for AMADEUS) as the screaming queen to end all screaming queens? How about Rita Moreno as a no-talent lounge singer who is busting a gut to become a bath-house star just like Bette Midler? Or Treat Williams as a P.I. with blonde hair and a squeaky voice? My own favorite of the bunch is Paolo Poeti as Claude, a "chubby chaser" who takes one look at Jack Weston and falls in love at first sight--and then proceeds to make his life absolute hell by chasing him all over the bath house. Before it's all over you'll find people hiding under beds, thrown into swimming pools, impersonating the Andrews Sisters, and being pursued by unwanted lovers of the wrong persuasion, all to absolutely hilarious, incredibly giddy effect.
Like most farces, THE RITZ deals in stereotypes--but it is never mean spirited in its portraits, and the cast carries off the eccentric characters (both straight and gay) with considerable aplomb. Filmed long before the AIDS crisis, THE RITZ offers a comic look at a New York gay bath house and a way of life that would soon come to a grinding halt--a fact that gives the film a certain unintended poignancy for gay viewers. Even so, you don't need any specialized background to enjoy this laugh-out-loud movie, which is as much (and really more) for a straight audience as it is for a gay one. Highly, highly recommended... call over some friends, turn up the steam heat, break out some bath towels, and get ready for a true laugh riot.
Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer
13 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
laff riot, 5 March 2004
Author: Robert D. Ruplenas
I had caught this zany gay bathouse farce years ago and remembered it during a recent discussion of the gay subculture with a gay friend of mine. I wondered if the movie would be considered offensive by/to gays. Having seen it again, I would think not, and at least one gay reviewer here agrees with me. With mistaken identities, misunderstood intentions, and straight cluelessness, it is a hilarious comic romp. All the participants put in excellent comic work here. Rita Moreno, as mentioned often here, is particularly wonderful as the hopeless but aspiring singer - the accent is a hoot. Hard to find nowadays, but definitely worth seeing.
9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Great Fun, 14 March 2006
Author: grantch (firstname.lastname@example.org) from United States
Why is this great comedy not available in the US? When I checked the listings, it's only on a PAL VHS tape ... I can view other region DVDs on my computer, but have no way of viewing PAL VHS. This movie which I saw several times when it was new, is one of the funniest films you'll ever see. It's based on a Broadway play but you'd never guess its source as, unlike many movies made from plays, it's not stagebound. The characters and the situation make for nonstop action and absolutely terrific one-liners. Treat Williams is indeed well named for he is a treat as the detective. You'll howl at the predicaments Jack Weston gets in. And you'll love Rita Moreno who proves to be a comedic gem. "The Ritz" is high on the list of best cinematic comedies and whoever owns the rights should release it in a wide-screen DVD version. It's sort of like a Noel Coward play updated to a "modern" bathhouse ... jokes on the screen overflow to keep the viewers happy and having a terrific time.
10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
"Noises Off" in a Gay Bathhouse, 8 February 2003
Author: (tim.halkin) from Munich, Germany
A well crafted, door-slamming comedy ala 'Noises Off' with a wonderful cast. Rita Moreno playing a no-talent bathhouse singer gives the performance of her lifetime (we all know how talented she really is, so seeing her 'off' is a lot of fun). Treat Williams is delicious as the soprano detective. Jack Weston, Paul B. Price, F. Murray Abraham, Kay Ballard and Jerry Stiller add their spices to this wonderful ensemble. It makes you wish that the days of the Continental Baths would come back - at least the wonderfully tacky shows at poolside!
7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Rita Moreno Is Priceless, 12 March 2011
Sweet and hysterically funny film based on a hit Broadway play by
Terence McNally,THE RITZ is a 1970s New York City bath house. Into this
asylum of loony characters comes Gaetano Proclo (Jack Weston), a man in
disguise running from his hateful brother in law (Jerry Stiller).
Weston immediately meets up with several crazy gay men and gets involved in a show. Chris (F. Murray Abraham) decides to show him the ropes but things get manic when a chubby chaser (Paul B. Price) sets his heart on Weston. In the meantime, Stiller has a sent a naive detective (Treat Williams) to find Weston. Amid the confused identities and chases in and out of rooms, we also meet the immensely untalented Googie Gomez (hysterically funny Rita Moreno) who sings at the clubs, hosts the talent show, and is always on the lookout for a big-time producer. Of course Weston and Williams assume she's a male transvestite.
Stiller soon arrives and starts shooting up the place, but he's followed by his wife (Kaye Ballard) who is assumed to be a man! Stiller and Ballard arrive as the talent show opens with Moreno fracturing lyrics in Puerto Rican as she sings "Everything's Coming Up Rose's" and "Begin the Beguine." Moreno specializes in show tunes since she was fired from both "The Sound of Music" and "Camelot" by the infamous producer Seymour Pippin.
Everything comes to a head when Weston, Price, and Abraham disguise themselves as the Andrews Sisters to hide from Stiller. They mime a funny "Gay Caballero" number and bring down the house.
Many of the stars here were in the original Broadway production: Moreno (who won a Tony Award), Weston, Abraham, Stiller, Price, and the chorus boys (John Everson and Christopher J. Brown). And along with Williams and Ballard, we also have Bessie Love (Maurine) and Dave King (as Abe) co-starring. And look for John Ratzenberger (TV's "Cheers") and Peter Butterworth and Leon Greene (both from "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum").
Although the film takes place in a gay bath house, the film is extremely funny and not offensive. This is a sweet, pre-AIDS gay comedy with a terrific cast.
11 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Laughter, 5 December 2002
Author: Paul_Genet from Charleston, SC, USA
There are times when a play is very successfully made into a movie, but not usually a comedy. The Lion In Winter was a very successful transformation form the stage to the big screen by James Goldman, author of both, and brother of William Goldman, a highly well thought of screenwriter. But all of that aside, if you would like to forget your troubles and simply laugh yourself into exhaustion, I highly recommend this movie.
8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Zany., 4 January 2002
Author: Gerald A. DeLuca (email@example.com) from United States
THE RITZ is a zany and broadly played little farce directed by Richard Lester. It is an adaptation of a Broadway play by Terrence McNally, later acclaimed for MASTER CLASS and the hit musical THE FULL MONTY. It is set in a New York club-bath for gays. Dying gang leader George Coulouris tells his son Jerry Stiller and daughter Kaye Ballard that he wants Ballard's husband, Jack Weston, a Cleveland sanitation company owner, to be killed. That's the only plot there is. Weston tells a cabbie to take him to a place where no one will suspect he is hiding. Enter "The Ritz," a seedily elegant gay paradise with its clients that include self-mocking F.Murray Abraham, and chubby-chaser Paul B. Price. The cast is uniformly amusing, especially Rita Moreno as Google Gomez, an untalented Latin singer whom Weston mistakes for a drag queen. She frequently steals the show from everyone. Moreno got a Tony Award for her Broadway portrayal of that role. Also good is the improbably squeaky-voiced detective played by Treat Williams. Some of the resulting mayhem is very funny indeed; some stretches are more ho-hum. Nevertheless, it is a generally successful piece of entertainment regardless of one's sexual orientation.
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