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Ragtime (1981)

PG  |   |  Drama  |  8 January 1982 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 6,007 users   Metascore: 57/100
Reviews: 50 user | 26 critic | 8 from Metacritic.com

A young black pianist becomes embroiled in the lives of an upper-class white family set among the racial tensions, infidelity, violence, and other nostalgic events in early 1900s New York City.

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(based on the novel by), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Ragtime (1981)

Ragtime (1981) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Nominated for 8 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Willie Conklin
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Delphin
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...
...
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Houdini (as Jeff Demunn)
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Storyline

The story runs in the 1910's New York. Coalhouse Walker Jr. is a black piano player. He has won fame and fortune playing with a jazz band. Some white men do not like this situation, and one day they assault him and spoil his brand new car. Walker tries by all means to get justice, without an answer... Written by Michel Rudoy <mdrc@hp9000a1.uam.mx>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was Ragtime See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 January 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bir Zamanlar  »

Box Office

Gross:

SEK 3,022,477 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mary Steenburgen was pregnant during filming, but her turn-of-the-century clothes concealed it. See more »

Goofs

While negotiating with Coalhouse Walker Jr., the earpiece hook on the phone hangs in the off position while Conklin is talking. See more »

Quotes

[Coalhouse has just learned that his friends have safely escaped]
Father: [trepidatiously] Well, shouldn't we... uh... tell them... that we're... we're coming?
Coalhouse Walker Jr.: [calmly] Yeah. You go on ahead. Tell 'em I'll be right out.
Father: [hesitates] Well...
Coalhouse Walker Jr.: Just go on. I'll be with you.
Father: [still hesitates] Don't...?
Coalhouse Walker Jr.: [firmly] Go.
Father: [stammering] Don't you think it would be... a better idea if we...?
Coalhouse Walker Jr.: [exploding] GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE! Don't you understand ANYTHING, white man?
Father: [terrified, rushes out of the library]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in James Cagney: Top of the World (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

ONE MORE HOUR
(1981)
Words & Music by Randy Newman
Sung by Jennifer Warnes
See more »

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User Reviews

The book is definitely better .........
1 August 2004 | by (Melbourne, Australia) – See all my reviews

'Ragtime' by E.L. Doctorow was one of those important ground breaking books.

It deserved a better translation to film. Having read the book numerous times over the years, what struck me about the film was that it was largely undecipherable if you had not first read the book. The book is a rich tapestry of American society, its values, behaviour and so on of the day. The film focuses on 2 sub-plots only - Nesbit Thaw and Coalhouse Walker Jr. The character - mother's Younger Brother was largely sacrificed - this introverted complex character - was portrayed only as Nesbit-Thaw's lover and a terrorist - with no development of how he became to be these. The relationship between Father and Mother too was badly handled, especially the Mother's leaving with the Russian film maker (silhouette artist).

The film simply does not even begin to scratch this surface. The film is a major disappointment.


10 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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