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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:

Hiding out from the Mafia can be an awful drag! 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 Carmine's goon pretends to talk to Abe, Abe takes his earpiece receiver out of his chest pocket and holds it before him. When the camera cuts to the wide shot, it's back in his chest pocket and he takes it out again. See more »

Quotes

Abe Lefkowitz: [announcing Chris's arrival] 340 coming up. That is three-four-oh. She's here, boys!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Silent Night, Deadly Night: Part 2 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Lady of Spain
(uncredited)
Written by Tolchard Evans
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User Reviews

 
Rita Moreno Is Priceless
12 March 2011 | by drednmSee all my reviews

Sweet and hysterically funny film based on a hit Broadway play by Terence McNally,THE RITZ is a 1970s New York City bath house. Into this asylum of loony characters comes Gaetano Proclo (Jack Weston), a man in disguise running from his hateful brother in law (Jerry Stiller).

Weston immediately meets up with several crazy gay men and gets involved in a show. Chris (F. Murray Abraham) decides to show him the ropes but things get manic when a chubby chaser (Paul B. Price) sets his heart on Weston. In the meantime, Stiller has a sent a naive detective (Treat Williams) to find Weston. Amid the confused identities and chases in and out of rooms, we also meet the immensely untalented Googie Gomez (hysterically funny Rita Moreno) who sings at the clubs, hosts the talent show, and is always on the lookout for a big-time producer. Of course Weston and Williams assume she's a male transvestite.

Stiller soon arrives and starts shooting up the place, but he's followed by his wife (Kaye Ballard) who is assumed to be a man! Stiller and Ballard arrive as the talent show opens with Moreno fracturing lyrics in Puerto Rican as she sings "Everything's Coming Up Rose's" and "Begin the Beguine." Moreno specializes in show tunes since she was fired from both "The Sound of Music" and "Camelot" by the infamous producer Seymour Pippin.

Everything comes to a head when Weston, Price, and Abraham disguise themselves as the Andrews Sisters to hide from Stiller. They mime a funny "Gay Caballero" number and bring down the house.

Many of the stars here were in the original Broadway production: Moreno (who won a Tony Award), Weston, Abraham, Stiller, Price, and the chorus boys (John Everson and Christopher J. Brown). And along with Williams and Ballard, we also have Bessie Love (Maurine) and Dave King (as Abe) co-starring. And look for John Ratzenberger (TV's "Cheers") and Peter Butterworth and Leon Greene (both from "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum").

Although the film takes place in a gay bath house, the film is extremely funny and not offensive. This is a sweet, pre-AIDS gay comedy with a terrific cast.


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