Ruthless People (1986) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot Summary

  • 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 goes there to do that, the person who goes there was not Sam but a man with a hooker (Jeannine Bisignano), and he instructs the hooker to scream her head off, Earl mistakenly believes that Barbara's not dead and that Sam was killing her there, and was so freaked out that he didn't bother to see if it was Sam. Carol tries to put her plan in operation by sending Sam a copy of the tape, Sam thinks that it's for something kinky that Carol wants and when Sam tells her that he is going to do what was done on the tape to her, she assumes that he is going to kill her. So she sends another copy of the tape to the Chief of Police (William G. Schilling), and tells him that she wants him to arrest Sam for murdering Barbara, and the Chief is happy to oblige cause he is the man who is on the tape. The Chief manages to find the instruments that Sam was going to use to kill Barbara and arrests him. Sam now has to get Barbara, alive, so that he can prove that he didn't kill her. And Barbara starts to bond with Sandy.

    - Written by <rcs0411@yahoo.com>
  • When millionaire businessman Sam Stone (Danny DeVito) returns home one day to find his wife Barbara (Bette Midler) missing, with a ransom demand following not long after, he is surprisingly happy -- for Sam hated Barbara, and was in fact planning to kill her himself. Now that she's been kidnapped, all he has to do is put off paying the ransom for as long as it take for the kidnappers to lose patience and kill her themselves. Unfortunately for Sam, however Barbara's kidnappers are sweet-natured Ken (Judge Reinhold) and Sandy Kessler (Helen Slater), who are not particularly inclined to resort to murder, nor are fully prepared for Barbara's volatile, spoiled nature. Sam must therefore juggle the police, who are growing increasingly suspicious of Sam himself, and his own mistress Carol Dodsworth (Anita Morris), who has her own plans to get her hands on Sam's fortune. And then there's Barbara herself, who begins to both warm to her captors and wonder why it's taking so long for Sam to get the ransom organized.

    - Written by Scotty
  • Slime ball businessman Sam Stone (Danny DeVito) plots to murder his horrible wife (Bette Midler) for her money, so he can marry his mistress Carol Dodsworth (Anita Morris). He can't believe his luck when she is kidnapped by Ken (Judge Reinhold) and Sandy (Helen Slater) Kessler who wanted revenge from Sam for stealing their savings, and Sandy's money making fashion design, then marketing it as his own. When Barbara learns of what Sam has done to this couple and then realizes that he isn't doing anything to secure her release, she becomes friends with her kidnapper and they plan to teach Sam a lesson.

    - Written by Sami Al-Taher <staher2000@yahoo.com>
  • A couple, cheated by a vile businessman, kidnap his wife in retaliation, without knowing that their enemy is delighted they did.

    - Written by Kenneth Chisholm


Ruthless millionaire Sam Stone (Danny DeVito) tells his mistress, Carol (Anita Morris), whom he is having lunch with at a trendy Los Angeles restaurant...

See full synopsis » (Warning: contains spoilers!)

See also

Taglines | Synopsis | Plot Keywords | Parents Guide

Contribute to This Page