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Ruthless People
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Reviews & Ratings for
Ruthless People More at IMDbPro »

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29 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

one of my all-time favorites

10/10
Author: (ajdagreat) from USA
9 June 2001

This is one of my favorite movies. I laughed hysterically at every joke, every joke hit its target. But that's not what's so great about this movie. This movie has an all-star cast (Devito, Midler, Reinhold, Pullman) and they do a great job with the script. But that's not what's so great about this movie. The best thing about this movie is the intricately woven plot, which keeps your attention and comes to a hilarious finale. This is one of the funniest movies ever. See this and you won't regret it.

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30 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

Quite possibly one of the funniest movies EVER!!!!

9/10
Author: mattymatt4ever from Jersey City, NJ
19 March 2002

"Ruthless People" is a genuinely original farce that kept me laughing to the point of exhaustion. It's masterful how all these characters interweave, creating more and more hilarious subplots. The cast is a tour de force. Danny DeVito gives quite possibly the best comic performance of his career! Bette Midler is also great as his whiny, obnoxious wife. It's good to see Judge Reinhold, who practically disappeared after finishing the "Beverly Hills Cop" flicks. An early performance by Bill Pullman is also worth checking out. I think he's a real cool actor, but he usually plays the same yuppie roles. Here, he plays a dim-witted, trailer-trash airhead and is a delight to watch. There are so many funny moments that will stick in my mind forever, like when the serial killer invades the house. "You look like my mother, I hate my mother." And the confusion that was created with the sex video was absolutely classic. I haven't seen a good comedy in a while, nor have laughed this hard in a while. That's why I was glad to catch this movie on the Starz Network, because it is one of the funniest comedies I've ever seen and nowadays, you ain't gonna see too many good comedies, nor great ones like this. A MUST-SEE!!!

My score: 9 (out of 10)

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21 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

A comedy of miscommunication

Author: moviegirl16 (guffman@witty.com) from USA
11 June 2004

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!!

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15 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

One of the Funniest Comedies of Errors I Have Ever Seen (and Re-Seen)

8/10
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
1 November 2008

The executive of the clothing industry Sam Stone (Danny DeVito) tells his mistress Carol Dodsworth (Anita Morris) that he can not bear his wealthy wife Barbara (Bette Midler) anymore and that he is going to kill her. When Sam arrives at his mansion in Bel-Air with chloroform, he does not finds Barbara; sooner he receives a phone call telling that Barbara has been kidnapped and asking a five hundred thousand dollar ransom. Further, he is warned that he should not call the press or the police, otherwise Barbara would be murdered. However, forty-five minutes later, his house is surrounded by the police and the press and Sam is celebrating the abduction in his room, without any intention of paying the ransom and expecting that the kidnappers kill Barbara for him. Meanwhile, the clumsy and inexperienced kidnappers Ken Kessler (Judge Reinhold) and his wife and stylist Sandy (Helen Slater) have been lured in a business with Sam in the past, when he stole a design of Sandy an raised a fortune, and they are actually seeking a financial compensation for their loss; however they are having difficulties to handle with Barbara in the basement of their lower medium-class house. When Carol asks her stupid lover Earl Mott (Bill Pullman) to make a videotape of Sam killing Barbara, Earl commits a mistake and records the Chief of Police Henry Benton (William G. Schilling) having kinky and noise sex with a prostitute in his car instead. Carol decides to blackmail Sam with the tape believing he killed Barbara, and she sends a copy to Benton to press him to arrest Sam. Ken reduces the ransom to ten thousand dollars, but Sam refuses to pay while Barbara loses twenty pounds working out while imprisoned and befriends Sandy. When Barbara discovers the intentions of Sam, she decides to help the young couple to take Sam's money.

"Ruthless People" is one of the funniest comedies of errors I have ever seen and re-seen. The plot is excellent, supported by a magnificent screenplay and wonderful performances highlighting Bette Midler and Danny DeVito). Bill Pullman in the beginning of his career is recognizable performing a tacky and stupid character. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Por Favor Matem a Minha Mulher" ("Please Kill My Wife")

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13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Great comedy!

7/10
Author: Agent10 from Tucson, AZ
13 August 2002

Bette Midler, Danny DeVito, Judge Reinhold and Helen Slater all mixed and matched perfectly in this film about one loud and obnoxious woman. Hilarious in its implementation, the way the lives of the characters unfold in a funny and unpredictable manner. If you haven't seen this classic comedy, then get a whiff of this film, just to see the genius of DeVito and Midler in their primes. While the humor may be a little dated, it still offers some fairly clean fun for all to enjoy.

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Laugh Out Loud Funny

Author: bjdogg from Louisiana
24 May 2004

I saw this film in the theatre when it was released in 1986. I have been to a lot of movies, and this is the only one that I HAD to see again--just to hear the lines that had been drowned out by the audience's laughter!

Often a movie's previews will give away all the funny lines of a movie, and I remember that the previews for "Ruthless People" gave away the classic "I've been kidnapped by KMart" line. But for once, there were so many hysterically funny moments in this movie that it didn't matter. It's just that funny.

So if you haven't seen it, you really are missing something. Rent it and be prepared to hurt your sides laughing.

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Midler's Shining Moment.

8/10
Author: phillafella from Nashville, TN
23 May 2003

Brought by the makers of AIRPLANE, RUTHLESS PEOPLE is a laugh riot of a movie. Danny DeVito leads the pack as a greedy millionaire who plans to murder his wife for her money, but becomes rapturous when she is kidnapped. DeVito is hilarious in the lead role. Judge Reinhold delivers a wacky performance as the kidnapper. Helen Slater does a great job – and she's also beautiful – as the kidnapper's fashion designer wife, but the real star of the movie is Bette Midler, as DeVito's kidnapped wife. Though this movie lacks a little bit of the quality that AIRPLANE had, it still has its share of really good performances and hilarious one-liners. Great entertainment!

4 out of 5

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14 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

A scream!

10/10
Author: Progbear from Northern CA, U.S.A.
31 March 2000

This may well be the funniest American film of the 1980's, with nonstop laughs from beginning to end. The pace of the film is almost exhausting, your throat will be sore from laughing yourself silly. It's closer in style to British farce than probably any other American film I can think of. It also sports a great ensemble cast. This was Bette Midler's *real* comeback. And Danny DeVito is delightfully nasty. Probably of best note is an early role for Bill Pullman, who is the brain-dead boy-toy lover of Anita Morris' character. Not to be missed by comedy fans, but make sure you see the uncut version (on cable or video).

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Required viewing for cynics

8/10
Author: FunnyMann from Los Angeles
10 August 2001

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

***POSSIBLE SPOILERS***

"Ruthless People" is wonderfully sardonic piece of work. This film not only suggests the world is filled with horndogs and idiots. It revels in the notion.

Everyone here is well cast, including Helen Slater, and how often can you say that? Danny DeVito cranks up his Napoleon-Complex malevolence several notches, Bette Midler snarls through her role like it's anger-release therapy, and everyone else chips exactly as needed.

When Bill Pullman drives up in a Gremlin and robs Judge Reinhold, who is in the middle of a ransom grab AND wearing a clown mask, I actually had to pause the tape and just laugh for ten solid minutes. That whole exchange is probably still in my top five comedy scenes of all time, and I haven't seen it in years.

I'd recommend this sharp, wicked comedy to anyone, especially those who believe people's actions are governed by lust and avarice. Almost every joke here works, but more than that, the film's entire attitude will make you laugh. Any movie that salutes people's obsession with crotches is OK with me.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Be Ruthless -- It's Good for You

10/10
Author: evanston_dad from United States
30 April 2008

"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+

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