6.9/10
21,438
75 user 23 critic

Ruthless People (1986)

R | | Comedy, Crime | 27 June 1986 (USA)
A couple, cheated by a vile businessman, kidnap his wife in retaliation, without knowing that their enemy is delighted they did.

Writers:

, (story "The Ransom of Red Chief")
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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
    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
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 | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A bitter ex-husband and 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
Beaches (1988)
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 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
The Rose (1979)
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The tragic life of a self-destructive female rock star who struggles to deal with the constant pressures of her career and the demands of her ruthless business manager.

Director: Mark Rydell
Stars: Bette Midler, Alan Bates, Frederic Forrest
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A married couple try everything to get each other to leave the house in a vicious divorce battle.

Director: Danny DeVito
Stars: Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito
Nine to Five (1980)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Three female employees of a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot find a way to turn the tables on him.

Director: Colin Higgins
Stars: Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton
Stella (1990)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 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
For the Boys (1991)
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

With the help of the singer and dancer Dixie Leonhard US-Entertainer Eddie Sparks wants to bring some fun to the soldiers during World War II. Becoming a perfect team they tour from North ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Rydell
Stars: Bette Midler, James Caan, George Segal
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 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
Drowning Mona (2000)
Crime | Mystery | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

When a woman drives a car into the river to her death, everyone in town becomes a suspect.

Director: Nick Gomez
Stars: Danny DeVito, Bette Midler, Neve Campbell
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 (Danny DeVito) is a clothing manufacturer, who married his wife Barbara (Bette Midler), 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 Dodsworth (Anita Morris) 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 (Judge Reinhold) and Sandy (Helen Slater) Kessler 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 named Earl Mott (Bill Pullman), and they plan to blackmail Sam, by videotaping him disposing of Barbara's body. When Earl ... 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

Ruthless People also has a very similar plot to the British movie "Too many crooks" staring the actor Terry Thomas. See more »

Goofs

It appears that there may have been a scene deleted, as the ransom jumps from $2 million to $2.2 million without an explanation. After Barbara gives Ken and Sandy the details of Sam's net worth, Ken calls Sam and says, "We're up to $2 million." He proceeds to list the value of each item so far: $1.2M in equity in his store, $350K in his pension, $45K for the Excalibur, and stock options amounting to $175K. This totals $1,770,000. One flawless, 1-carat diamond would be worth approx. $12,500 in 1986, with 4 of them fetching a sum of $50K. The new total is $1,820,000, $400K short of the $2.2 million figure Sam hands to Ken. 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

Opening credits are shown in neon colors and shapes, in split screen, with the other part of the screen depicting various methods of knocking someone off. See more »

Connections

References Deep Throat (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Modern Woman
Written and Performed by Billy Joel
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A comedy of miscommunication

I thought this movie was hilarious. Almost everything anyone says has a double meaning. (The police chief and the hooker, the big dog, etc) This movie will keep you laughing from beginning to end. Bette Midler is terrific as the kidnapped rich man's wife, and Danny DeVito is also fabulous as the scheming rich man himself. There are thousands of great one-liners that you will keep quoting for years after you see this movie (I know I have) like the unforgettable "I've been kidnapped by K-Mart!" and "You lying @#$*%^!!! Oh, honey, they made me say that!" This is a must see! So go see it! Now! What are you still reading this for, you should be out renting the movie!!


24 of 25 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
furniture, decorations, costumes Dylan_Gilliam
Re-rated PG-13??? webguyorlando-1
if you want it you can have it Drikel
How long was she kidnapped for? krisw
Discuss Ruthless People (1986) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?