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The Ritz (1976)

On his deathbed Carmine Vespucci's father tells him to "get Proclo". With "the hit" on, Gaetano tells a cab driver to take him where Carmine can't find him. He arrives at the Ritz, a gay ... See full summary »

Director:

Richard Lester

Writers:

Terrence McNally (screenplay by), Terrence McNally (based upon the play by)
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Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Weston ... Gaetano Proclo
Rita Moreno ... Googie Gomez
Jerry Stiller ... Carmine Vespucci
Kaye Ballard ... Vivian Proclo
F. Murray Abraham ... Chris
Paul B. Price Paul B. Price ... Claude
Treat Williams ... Michael Brick
John Everson John Everson ... Tiger (as John Everson) (as John Mark Everson)
Christopher J. Brown Christopher J. Brown ... Duff
Dave King ... Abe
Bessie Love ... Maurine
Tony De Santis ... Balloon Man
Ben Aris Ben Aris ... Patron With Bicycle
Peter Butterworth Peter Butterworth ... Patron In Chaps
Ronnie Brody Ronnie Brody ... Small Patron
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Storyline

On his deathbed Carmine Vespucci's father tells him to "get Proclo". With "the hit" on, Gaetano tells a cab driver to take him where Carmine can't find him. He arrives at the Ritz, a gay bathhouse where he is pursued amorously by "chubby chaser" Paul B. Price and by entertainer Googie Gomez who believes him to be a broadway producer. His guides through the Ritz are gatekeeper Abe, habitue Chris, and bellhop/go-go-boys Tiger and Duff. Squeaky-voiced detective Michael Brick and his employer Carmine do locate Gateano at the Ritz, as does his wife Vivian. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

...a hideout for hilarity See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Italian | Spanish | Portuguese

Release Date:

26 December 1976 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

A Sauna das Loucas See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Abe Lefkowitz, the doorman at The Ritz, asks Gaetano Proclo, "You ever been in a place like this?" Proclo replies, "Oh, sure. We have a Jack LaLanne's in Cleveland." Jack LaLanne (1914-2011) was a bodybuilder who founded the American physical fitness movement. He opened America's first health & fitness club in Oakland, CA, in 1936, and had fitness clubs throughout the USA. (The joke is that Proclo thinks he's checking in to a health club, when in fact it's a gay bathhouse.) See more »

Goofs

When the patron with bicycle is signing the register, Abe turns to unlock his locker twice. See more »

Quotes

Gaetano Proclo: We used to have a guy like that back in the army. We called him "Get away from me Claude".
See more »

Connections

Featured in Homo Promo (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Everything's Coming Up Roses
(uncredited)
Music by Jule Styne
Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Performed by Rita Moreno
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I Never Laughed So Hard
5 March 2005 | by DonDanielsSee all my reviews

It was 1976, Tehran Iran. Terry, also American, and I were bored at work and on the spur of the moment decided to skip out and check out the Tehran Film Festival. Boy, did we have no idea what we were getting in for.

It just so happened that the next film on the bill was The Ritz. We knew nothing about it, but we hailed our driver, raced downtown to the theater, and made it in just in time.

Before long, we were rolling on the floor. Truly, we couldn't hold on to our seats, I can't speak for Terry but the tears were just pouring down my face from laughter. And what made this worse was that, in a mostly packed theater, it seemed that most of the time the two of us near the back were the only ones laughing. Oh, every once and while the Farsi sub-titles would catch-up and the rest of the theater would let out a good laugh, I guess they were having a good time, but it was amazing to us how much was being missed, even some of the visual humor.

I suppose we were both just overdo for some comic relief, but I've watched this film again through the years and it remains one of the funniest films I have ever seen. Jack Weston as the everyman-victim is perfect, as is Rita Morena as a never-quite-been, trying with varying degrees of success, to retain her dignity, her temper, and her dreams. And the rest of the cast -- who can you fault?

Yes, from the dark opening deathbed scene, to all the madcap mistakes that follow, this is farce that at times sinks almost as low as the Three Stooges, but keeps sailing from floor to floor with surprise laughs at every turn.

Some folks can't seem to get past the subject matter, I guess. But if you can find this movie, and you can open your mind beyond the lifestyle to just enjoy all the zaniness that happens, then hang on to your towel!


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