7.5/10
5,315
65 user 41 critic

The Ruling Class (1972)

A member of the House of Lords dies, leaving his estate to his son. Unfortunately, his son thinks he is Jesus Christ. The other, somewhat more respectable, members of their family plot to steal the estate from him. Murder and mayhem ensue.

Director:

Peter Medak

Writers:

Peter Barnes (screenplay), Peter Barnes (play)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

The Stunt Man (1980)
Action | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A fugitive stumbles on a movie set just when they need a new stunt man, takes the job as a way to hide out and falls for the leading lady.

Director: Richard Rush
Stars: Peter O'Toole, Steve Railsback, Barbara Hershey
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A dissolute matinee idol is slated to appear on a live TV variety show.

Director: Richard Benjamin
Stars: Peter O'Toole, Mark Linn-Baker, Jessica Harper
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A shy, withdrawn English schoolteacher falls for a flashy showgirl.

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Peter O'Toole, Petula Clark, Michael Redgrave
Becket (1964)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

King Henry II of England comes to terms with his affection for his close friend and confidant Thomas Becket, who finds his true honor by observing God's divine will rather than the King's.

Director: Peter Glenville
Stars: Richard Burton, Peter O'Toole, John Gielgud
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A couple uses extremely black comedy to survive taking care of a daughter who is nearly completely brain dead. They take turns doing the daughter's voice and stare into the eyes of death ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Medak
Stars: Alan Bates, Janet Suzman, Peter Bowles
Venus I (2006)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Life for a pair of veteran actors gets turned upside down after they meet a brash teenager.

Director: Roger Michell
Stars: Peter O'Toole, Jodie Whittaker, Leslie Phillips
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Controversial tragicomedy about a brother's obsessive love for his sister. Having left her husband, Hilary moves in with her unbalanced brother, Pink, who uses wit and humor to hide his amorous yearnings.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Peter O'Toole, Susannah York, Michael Craig
Documentary | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.3/10 X  

Pastor Estus W. Pirkle preaches about hell, where all non-Christians will suffer eternal torment. He's also visited by two self-professed "Christians" who don't believe in hell.

Director: Ron Ormond
Stars: Jimmy Robbins, Tim Ormond, Robert G. Lee
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hugh Owens Hugh Owens ... Toastmaster
Harry Andrews ... Ralph Gurney - 13th Earl of Gurney
Arthur Lowe ... Daniel Tucker
William Mervyn William Mervyn ... Sir Charles Gurney
Coral Browne ... Lady Claire Gurney
James Villiers James Villiers ... Dinsdale Gurney
Alastair Sim ... Bishop Bertie Lampton
Hugh Burden ... Matthew Peake
Peter O'Toole ... Jack Arnold Alexander Tancred Gurney - 14th Earl of Gurney
Michael Bryant ... Dr. Herder
Henry Woolf ... Inmate
Griffith Davies Griffith Davies ... Inmate
Oliver MacGreevy Oliver MacGreevy ... Inmate (as Oliver McGreevy)
Kay Walsh ... Mrs. Piggott-Jones
Patsy Byrne Patsy Byrne ... Mrs. Pamela Treadwell
Edit

Storyline

A member of the House of Lords dies in a shockingly silly way, leaving his estate to his son. Unfortunately, his son is insane: he thinks he is Jesus Christ. The other somewhat-more respectable members of their family plot to steal the estate from him. Murder and mayhem ensues. Written by Mark Logan <marklo@west.sun.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

How do you know you're... God? Simple when I pray to Him I find I'm talking to myself.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Musical

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French | Italian | German | Latin

Release Date:

15 September 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Classe Dominante See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Keep Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Produced by Jack Hawkins, who doesn't appear in the film. See more »

Goofs

When McKyle positions his hands to shoot lightning from his fingers, his thumbs are level, then towards the floor and back to level. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Toastmaster: My Lords. Gentlemen. Pray silence for Ralph Douglas Christopher Alexander Gurney, the thirteenth Earl of Gurney.
13th Earl of Gurney: The aim of the Society of Saint George is to keep Gurney a memory of England. We were once the rulers of the greatest empire the world has ever known. Ruled not by superior force or skill, but by sheer presence.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The film was trimmed to 148 minutes for US release, and was later cut to 141 minutes in order to fit on one videocassette (the longest available at the time). The Criterion DVD contains the original 154 min. version of the film. See more »

Connections

Featured in Venus (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Largo
(uncredited)
from "Xerxes"
Written by George Frideric Handel
Arranged by John Cameron
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
An Excellent dark comedy with biting social commentary.
24 October 1999 | by Deb.See all my reviews

This is an excellent movie, but don't watch it expecting it to be purely a dark comedy. There is a lot of humor in it--often very bizarre humor--but it is primarily a very powerful statement about what can happen when, for the sake of social acceptability, a human mind is forced into a mold that doesn't fit. In my opinion, the British ruling class was chosen to illustrate this point only because they do have very rigid rules about what kind of behavior is socially acceptable and what is simply "not done." It's statement about the dangers of excessive self-repression apply equally to us all.


32 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 65 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed