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King Ralph (1991)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  15 February 1991 (USA)
5.1
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Ratings: 5.1/10 from 11,573 users  
Reviews: 44 user | 12 critic

As the only relative to take over the Royal throne, a down on his luck American slob must learn the ways of the English.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Duncan Phipps
...
Gordon Halliwell
James Villiers ...
Prime Minister Geoffrey Hale
...
Princess Anna of Finland
Niall O'Brien ...
...
...
Queen Katherine of Finland
Ed Stobart ...
Dysentery
Gedren Heller ...
Punk Girl
Rudolph Walker ...
King Mulambon of Zambezi
Michael Johnson ...
Hamilton
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Storyline

When an accident obliterates the British royal family and most of its branches, a desperate geneological search discovers the next king: Ralph, a sleazy American lounge singer. Can Ralph measure up to the job, even with the help of loyal aristocrat Willingham? Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A comedy of majestic proportions See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 February 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kung Ralph  »

Box Office

Gross:

$34,002,045 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was made and released about eleven years after its source novel "Headlong' by Emlyn Williams' had been first published in 1980. See more »

Goofs

When in the Portrait Gallery the painting of the 2nd Duke of Warren reverses between close-ups and distance shots. See more »

Quotes

Phipps: Sir Cedric! Sir Cedric! Good news. We've finally found an heir!
Sir Cedric Willingham: That's wonderful, Duncan. Who is he?
Phipps: His name is Jones. Ralph Jones.
Sir Cedric Willingham: Is he everything we've hoped for?
Phipps: [embarrassed] Well. He has his strengths and his weaknesses. You see, he's
[uncomfortable pause]
Phipps: American.
Sir Cedric Willingham: Quickly, Duncan! The strengths!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: John Goodman/Everclear (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

National Anthem of Finland
(uncredited)
Music by Fredrik Pacius
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Royally Amusing
18 February 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Though this film got trashed in a lot of circles, I rather like it if for no other reasons than it gives Americans some notion of the function of the monarchy in Great Britain.

Sometimes having the head of state and the head of government does have its bad points. Watergate for instance might have not been the gut wrenching experience if in America we were a parliamentary democracy with a royal head of state. Richard Nixon would have been put up for a "no confidence" vote and out he would have been without all the drama.

Drama on the other side of the Atlantic is saved for the Royals. This film might give an American some idea of what the abdication crisis was all about. John Goodman as the American born King has his own Mrs. Simpson.

In fact how he got to the throne is quite the tale. On some grand occasion the extended royal family got together for what looks like a team picture like they take in spring training of the various baseball rosters. Someone left a loose electrical cable dangling on the metal bleachers and the whole lot of them were electrocuted.

Genealogists poured through the Windham family tree and found some member had renounced it all and gone to America. The heir of that forgotten branch is John Goodman, Ralph Jones who does a lounge act in Las Vegas and not in classier joints in Las Vegas.

Of course the free and easy and thoroughly American Goodman doesn't take readily to his new found job. He can't quite comprehend that he has to serve as well as be served. And he has the same problem the Duke of Windsor had when he was briefly Edward VIII. With a lot more excuse since Windsor was brought up in the tradition.

Peter O'Toole as the lord who tries to give him some on the job training and John Hurt who has his own reasons for wanting Goodman to flop both give stand out performances. Best scene the palace ball for Goodman's prospective bride when Goodman does his lounge act.

It's a funny film and in its own way educational. The Duke of Windsor should have seen it. His duty would have been clear.


18 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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