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The American Ruling Class (2005)

Unrated  |   |  Comedy, Music  |  1 March 2007 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 303 users  
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In this first of its kind "dramatic-documentary-musical", Lewis Lapham takes two young Ivy-League graduates on a tour of the corridors of power. The novice careerists must decide: should they seek to rule the world, or to save it?



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In this first of its kind "dramatic-documentary-musical", Lewis Lapham takes two young Ivy-League graduates on a tour of the corridors of power. The novice careerists must decide: should they seek to rule the world, or to save it?

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


America Rules the World! But Who Rules America?


Comedy | Music







Release Date:

1 March 2007 (USA)  »

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[first lines]
Man: [singing] Here we are a sailing, adrift without a dream. We live for God and country, and yes our God is green. So put your arms around me, until the break of dawn. 'Cause late at night the great and mighty Wurlitzer plays on.
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User Reviews

An essay on the state of things in The States.
1 July 2007 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

If you are familiar with the writing of Lewis Lapham you will find him surprisingly gentle in this film. Here he guides two recent Yale graduates trying to resolve whether it it better to be good or to be successful. This premise is used to introduce us to some of the most powerful men in America, to hear what a few of them have to say about the elite of that country and to hear some of them lie about there being no elite. Although we know the graduates are actors speaking Lapham's words, the technique works, because these two young men genuinely represent the newer generation who, faced with the existing state of power, have to decide whether to join the status quo or try to change it. The Washington Post accused the film of being preachy and condescending, but I disagree. In any case if anyone ever earned the right to preach it is Lapham, who has used his own privileged position to check the excesses of his class, rather than to defend them.

The news in the movie, that anyone may be invited to join the elite, if it helps the elite retain power; that anyone who wants to fight this had better have a trust fund; should leave us feeling cynical and depressed, but the story is surprisingly charming. Perhaps it is from seeing Pete Seeger, alive and well at 86 still singing for freedom, walking in a country lane, encouraging all of us to tip the balance towards a more decent life for all.

7 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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