MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 103 this week

Ruthless People (1986)

 -  Comedy | Crime  -  27 June 1986 (USA)
6.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.8/10 from 19,689 users  
Reviews: 71 user | 25 critic

A couple, cheated by a vile businessman, kidnap his wife in retaliation, without knowing that their enemy is delighted they did.

Writers:

, (story)
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: February

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in February.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 27 titles
created 29 Apr 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 07 Sep 2011
 
a list of 36 titles
created 27 Jan 2012
 
a list of 46 titles
created 04 Jun 2013
 
a list of 21 titles
created 06 Aug 2013
 

Related Items

Search for "Ruthless People" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Ruthless People (1986)

Ruthless People (1986) on IMDb 6.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Ruthless People.

User Polls

Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Big Business (1988)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In the 1940s in the small town of Jupiter Hollow, two sets of identical twins are born in the same hospital on the same night. One set to a poor local family and the other to a rich family ... See full summary »

Director: Jim Abrahams
Stars: Bette Midler, Lily Tomlin, Fred Ward
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Lauren and Sandy are total opposites who end up in the same acting class and who don't know they are sharing a lover. When he disappears under mysterious circumstances they refuse to ... See full summary »

Director: Arthur Hiller
Stars: Shelley Long, Bette Midler, Peter Coyote
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A bitter ex-husband. A put upon momma's boy. Both want their respective spouse and mother dead, but who will pull it off?

Director: Danny DeVito
Stars: Danny DeVito, Billy Crystal, Kim Greist
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A rich but troubled family find their lives altered by the arrival of a vagrant who tries to drown himself in their swimming pool.

Director: Paul Mazursky
Stars: Nick Nolte, Bette Midler, Richard Dreyfuss
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

An introduction to the Ketogenic Diet, a special high-fat diet used to treat seizures, as a treatment for childhood epilepsy narrated by Meryl Streep. The video provides a step-by-step ... See full summary »

Director: Jim Abrahams
Stars: Meryl Streep
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A talented young man can't get an executive position without rising through the ranks, so he comes up with a shortcut, which also benefits his love life.

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Michael J. Fox, Helen Slater, Richard Jordan
Top Secret! (1984)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Parody of WWII spy movies in which an American rock and roll singer becomes involved in a Resistance plot to rescue a scientist imprisoned in East Germany.

Directors: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Val Kilmer, Omar Sharif, Jeremy Kemp
Head Office (1985)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Upon graduation from college with a business degree, John Issel is promptly hired by Helmes's company I.N.C. At INC, the one who gets ahead, does it by kissing ass, or over someone else's ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Finkleman
Stars: Judge Reinhold, Eddie Albert, Lori-Nan Engler
Beaches (1988)
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A privileged rich debutante and a cynical struggling entertainer share a turbulent, but strong childhood friendship over the years.

Director: Garry Marshall
Stars: Bette Midler, Barbara Hershey, John Heard
Jinxed! (1982)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

Harold, a professional gambler, and his girlfriend Bonita, a lounge singer, follow Willie, a young blackjack dealer, around the western U.S. Harold has a jinx on Willie and can't lose with ... See full summary »

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Bette Midler, Ken Wahl, Rip Torn
Stella (1990)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Stella is determined, courageous, vulgar, unfashionable...and all her daughter has. Through the trials of teenagehood, to the problems of adulthood, Stella will do anything for Jenny...... See full summary »

Director: John Erman
Stars: Bette Midler, John Goodman, Trini Alvarado
Money (1991)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A young man whose father's fortune was stolen by his closest friends sets out to get revenge in this odyssey through the world's major financial centers.

Director: Steven Hilliard Stern
Stars: Eric Stoltz, Maryam d'Abo, Bruno Cremer
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
William G. Schilling ...
...
...
...
...
Phyllis Applegate ...
...
Hooker in Car
J.P. Bumstead ...
Technician
Jon Cutler ...
Edit

Storyline

Sam Stone is a clothing manufacturer, who married his wife Barbara, for the money that she was supposed to inherit from her dying father, but her father didn't die for another fifteen years. He is now planning to kill her and he tells his girlfriend Carol what he is going to do. He then on his way home to do just that but when he gets there, she's not there. He then receives a call from someone claiming to have kidnapped Barbara and threatening to kill her if he informs the police, which he does hoping that they do. What Stone doesn't know is that the kidnappers, Ken and Sandy are a couple whose idea for a garment he stole and made fortune off, are not that lethal, as a matter of fact Barbara's more lethal. And what Stone doesn't know is that Carol, has another boyfriend and they plan to blackmail Sam, by videotaping him disposing of Barbara's body. When her boyfriend, Earl goes there to do that, the person who goes there was not Sam but a guy with a hooker, and the guy instructs the ... Written by <rcs0411@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Sam Stone's wife has just been kidnapped... And he doesn't want her back! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 June 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Y a-t-il quelqu'un pour tuer ma femme?  »

Box Office

Gross:

$71,624,879 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Actor Bill Pullman sports peroxided blond hair in this picture. See more »

Goofs

Ken's first attempt to collect the ransom from Sam Stone happens on a Monday. When Sam fails to show, Ken reschedules the drop for Wednesday. Following the failed attempt, Sandy goes down to the basement to bring Barbara more magazines. Barbara asks how long she's going to be there, and Sandy says, "As soon as Mr. Stone pays the ransom. Should be Monday." The day is Monday, so she should say "today." See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sam Stone: Carol, did I ever tell you why I married her?
Carol: Yes, Sam, you told me many, many...
Sam Stone: Her father was very, very rich, and very, very sick. The doctors assured me he'd be dead any minute. There wasn't a second to lose! I rushed right out and married the boss's daughter. He was so sick, it was like the Angel of Death was sitting in the room with him, watching the clock. They pulled the plug on him... he wheezed and shook for about an hour... and then... he stabilized. The son-of-a-bitch ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Near the end of the credits is the line "I Love Wrong Numbers", referring to a scene earlier in the movie where Sam Stone gets a wrong number on the phone and does a vulgar prank to it. See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Planet Comicon Panel with Helen Slater (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Ruthless People Theme
Performed by Mick Jagger
Written by Daryl Hall, David A. Stewart (as Dave Stewart) and Mick Jagger
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Be Ruthless -- It's Good for You
30 April 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Ruthless People" has one of the best premises in film comedy history.

Spandex miniskirt millionaire Sam Stone (Danny DeVito) plans to kill his battle axe wife (Bette Midler) for her inheritance. However, his plan is put on hold when she is kidnapped and held for ransom. The kidnappers threaten to kill her if Sam doesn't pay, which is a-o.k. with Sam, and means he doesn't have to do his own dirty work. But the kidnappers (Judge Reinhold and Helen Slater) are too kind hearted to follow through with what they start. Meanwhile, Sam's floozy mistress (a smokin' Anita Morris) knows about Sam's plans, and sends her doofus boyfriend (Bill Pullman) out to videotape what he thinks is Sam killing his wife so that they can blackmail him.

This is a lot of plot to cram into a brisk 90 minutes, but this well written film never feels forced or rushed. Every scene conveys something important either for the story or about one of the characters, and not a moment feels wasted. The ensemble is terrific, each actor landing his/her jokes without fail. The standouts, though, are Bette Midler, who gives an outrageously vulgar performance pitched to the third balcony; and Judge Reinhold, who gives the film its heart.

One of the most quotable movies ever, the film also boasts a great opening credits sequence, one more reason to lament the fact that movies hardly ever have opening credits anymore.

Grade: A+


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Favourite 80's Comedy Movies triassicdan
This movie deserves a sequel mentazon
Re-rated PG-13??? webguyorlando-1
furniture, decorations, costumes Dylan_Gilliam
Questions from my 8th viewing bizerta
if you want it you can have it Drikel
Discuss Ruthless People (1986) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?