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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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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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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Young, beautiful, passionate, and scandalous. She was America in the time of "Ragtime." See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

25 December 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bir Zamanlar  »

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Joseph L. Mankiewicz facilitated the filmmakers' use of Mount Kisco, New York's Mutual Fire Company's station in the filming of the firehouse sequences. Mankiewicz was a local resident. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Sarah is in the back of the crowd at the train station, trying to listen to Vice President Fairbanks, a small 50-star American flag can be seen to the right of her. The 50-star flag was not official until 4 July 1960. See more »

Quotes

Younger Brother: I design fireworks. That's my job.
[the black anarchists laugh in derision]
Younger Brother: . I can make bombs.
[They stop laughing and take him seriously]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Remembering 'Ragtime' (2004) 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.


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