Lawrence and Freddie are con-men; big-time and small time respectively. They unsuccessfully attempt to work together only to find that this town (on the French Mediterranean coast) aint big... See full summary »
Two New Yorkers are accused of murder in rural Alabama while on their way back to college, and one of their cousins--an inexperienced, loudmouth lawyer not accustomed to Southern rules and manners--comes in to defend them.
Clark Kellogg is a young man starting his first year at film school in New York City. After a small time crook steals all his belongings, Clark meets Carmine "Jimmy the Toucan" Sabatini, an... See full summary »
Skip and Harry are framed for a bank robbery and end up in a western prison. The two eastern boys are having difficulty adjusting to the new life until the warden finds that Skip has a ... See full summary »
Georg Stanford Brown
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
The film was released under Disney's Touchstone Pictures label, which was created so the studio could release more adult-oriented fare. See more »
When Ken, Sandy and Barbara are sitting at the dining room table discussing possible punishments for Sam Stone's infidelity, Barbara sets a glass of milk in front of Ken. In the next shot, it turns into a mug. See more »
Carol, did I ever tell you why I married her?
Yes, Sam, you told me many, many...
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 »
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 »
My only regret, Carol, is that the plan isn't more violent.
Did I like Ruthless People? That is a tough question and just like every good story, there are two sides. On the positive side, I miss this type of comedy in cinema today. I miss the physical humor, the goofiness, and the instant creativity that could be seen behind the camera. In today's movie world, this is normally cluttered with 'fart' jokes and sexual innuendo. I miss the comedies of the 80s; there was some innocence to them. Perhaps it was that warm fuzzy feeling that they always left you with (no matter if you were rooting for the bad guy or the good guy) or maybe it was the actors of that era. The youth of today do not have actors like Danny DeVito (who can now be found most of the time producing films), Bette Midler, Bill Pullman (pre-Independence Day), and especially the infamous Judge Reinhold. What would my generation be like without the shenanigans of Judge? His humor was so perfect that if I were going to make a movie today, he would be cast no matter what. I would also like to add that Danny DeVito was superb in this film. His ability to play the ruthless, soulless, anti-hero was amazing. He had me grinning from ear to ear whenever he was on screen.
Another great aspect was the stories. They were simple, yet imaginative. They were stupid, yet somewhat funny. They were incoherent, yet always ended on a happy note. Look at the story behind Ruthless People and look at the stories in today's modern cinema see any similarities? I surely do not. There was something just plain 80s about the standoff scene with Reinhold, DeVito, and Pullman that could not be done the same today. There would be CGI or unmasking, or anything that would detract from the main focus of this film the actors. Films of this era were focused on the actors, that is what sold the movie and made it popular. Today, I wish we could say the same. Now it is all about the CGI and the explosions. It is very rare that you find a very actor centered comedy and for this I will forever be sad.
As I stated above, there are two sides to every story. While I did enjoy the actors in this film and the imagination, there was something that tugged me the wrong way and that was story overloading. There was too much happening in this film. I totally disliked the side story with the Bedroom killer. I honestly felt as if this could have (and should have) been left out of this film. In a 93 minute film, there was just too much happening. I didn't feel as if everything had a conclusion. There were parts still floating up in the air when the final credits rolled. Carol and Pullman's scenes were important in moving the story, but I didn't feel they ever finalized anything. The problem that you run into when you try to push this much into 93 minutes is under developing some possible funny parts. I could have used some pre-story on the Kesslers and even some more information on the random killer. The quickness of this film also lead to a quick ending for DeVito when I was finally starting to see the brilliance behind his character.
I say this, but perhaps this is what the 80s comedy was all about. An undeveloped story coupled with amazing comedic actors make for a decent film. Possibly, but it still doesn't make Ruthless People rank up there with the likes of Ghostbusters and Quick Change.
Overall, this was a decent film. I first thought that it wasn't the greatest, but the ending knocked it up a notch. The DVD quality really wasn't the best, but I guess we are more concerned about the extra 50 minutes on LoTR instead of refurbishing some of our classics.
Grade: *** out of *****
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