7.3/10
7,589
55 user 38 critic

Ragtime (1981)

A young black pianist becomes embroiled in the lives of an upper-class white family set among the racial tensions, infidelity, violence, and other nostalgic events in early 1900s New York City.

Director:

Milos Forman

Writers:

E.L. Doctorow (based on the novel by), Michael Weller (screenplay)

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Nominated for 8 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Cagney ... New York Police Commissioner Rhinelander Waldo
Brad Dourif ... Younger Brother
Moses Gunn ... Booker T. Washington
Elizabeth McGovern ... Evelyn Nesbit
Kenneth McMillan ... Willie Conklin
Pat O'Brien ... Delphin
Donald O'Connor ... Evelyn's Dance Instructor
James Olson ... Father
Mandy Patinkin ... Tateh
Howard E. Rollins Jr. ... Coalhouse Walker Jr.
Mary Steenburgen ... Mother
Debbie Allen ... Sarah
Jeffrey DeMunn ... Houdini (as Jeff Demunn)
Robert Joy ... Henry Thaw
Norman Mailer ... Stanford White
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Storyline

The story runs in the 1910's New York. Coalhouse Walker Jr. is a black piano player. He has won fame and fortune playing with a jazz band. Some white men do not like this situation, and one day they assault him and spoil his brand new car. Walker tries by all means to get justice, without an answer... Written by Michel Rudoy <mdrc@hp9000a1.uam.mx>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Good Time ... Bad Time ... Ragtime See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bir Zamanlar See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$151,351, 22 November 1981, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$21,015,710
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Milos Forman hired Donald O'Connor at the request of James Cagney. O'Connor had been having personal and professional problems, and Cagney wanted to help him. See more »

Goofs

Charles W. Fairbanks was not Vice President when he ran with Theodore Roosevelt in 1904. He was a Senator from Indiana, chosen as Roosevelt's running mate that year. Roosevelt was William McKinley's Vice President; he became president when McKinley was assassinated, and had no Vice President for his first term. See more »

Quotes

Younger Brother: I design fireworks. That's my job.
[the black anarchists laugh in derision]
Younger Brother: . I can make bombs.
[They stop laughing and take him seriously]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

ONE MORE HOUR
(1981)
Words & Music by Randy Newman
Sung by Jennifer Warnes
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Wonderful Panel of Racism, Intolerance, Violence, Greed and Hypocrisy, Showing the Formation of the American Society
22 January 2004 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

In the beginning of the Twentieth Century, many dramas cross in a wonderful panel, showing the formation of the American society. Evelyn Nesbit Thaw (Elizabeth McGovern) is the wife of a millionaire, and pivot of a crime committed by her jealous husband. Her mother-in-law is a hypocrite old lady, who convinces Evelyn to lie in court for money, to avoid her son to go to the electric chair. Evelyn commits perjury, but the mother-in-law does not pay her the promised amount. Mary Steenburgen is a correct woman, having a very moralist husband. Her brother (Brad Dourif) is honest and idealist. The family hires Sarah, a black and single mother, with her baby. The father is the pianist Coalhouse Walker Jr. (Howard E. Rollins Jr.), who progresses in his career and comes back to Sarah, proposing her to get married with him. An incident with a group of racists makes him fighting for justice in a racist society. Rheinlander Waldo (James Cagney) is the chief of police, who is involved in the incident. This movie is another wonderful film of Milos Forman. Amazing the quantity of marvelous movies made by this fantastic director. The reconstitution of the period is magnificent. The cast is stunning. Elizabeth McGovern looks like a doll wearing those costumes. Her nude scene is also great. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): `Na Época do Ragtime' (`In the Age of the Ragtime')


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