5.2/10
13,213
52 user 16 critic

King Ralph (1991)

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

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Phipps
...
Gordon
James Villiers ...
Hale
...
Princess Anna
Niall O'Brien ...
...
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Queen Katherine
Ed Stobart ...
Dysentery
Gedren Heller ...
Punk Girl
...
King Mulambon
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:

When Ralph becomes royalty, laughter reigns! 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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to an interview with John Goodman in the article "'No Leading Man,' 'King Ralph' Insists" published in the 12th February 1991 edition of the 'Los Angeles Times', Goodman denied his new leading man status in this movie and said he was still just a character actor. Goodman said: "Don't call me a leading man. This is just another part, with a lot more lines. The only difference for me this time was that I didn't have time to fool around when I wasn't working. When you're the leading man, your meter's running all the time and you're always working. There's no goof-off time. But that still doesn't make me a leading man. I'm still just a character actor. Nobody's ready to call me Mel Gibson Jr., and I don't think anybody's ready to pay good money to see me get the girl in the movie. I know I wouldn't go see something like that". See more »

Goofs

While the film states that the entire British Royal family has been killed and an heir cannot be located, the actual line of succession to the United Kingdom monarchy extends to hundreds of nobles throughout all the nations of Central and Western Europe. An even longer extended list, tracing to links with the royal family as far back as 1800, extends into the thousands. Thus, even if all of the immediate British family were to die, there would be plenty of people left to take their place. See more »

Quotes

Sir Cedric Willingham: It's not enough simply to be the king. You must look and act like one.
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Connections

References Man of La Mancha (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Good Golly Miss Molly
Written by Robert 'Bumps' Blackwell (as Robert Blackwell) and John Marascalco
Performed by John Goodman
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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.


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