6.9/10
25,493
86 user 34 critic

Ruthless People (1986)

R | | Comedy, Crime | 27 June 1986 (USA)
A couple, cheated by a vile businessman, kidnap his wife in retaliation, without knowing that their enemy is delighted they did.

Writer:

Dale Launer
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Danny DeVito ... Sam Stone
Bette Midler ... Barbara Stone
Judge Reinhold ... Ken Kessler
Helen Slater ... Sandy Kessler
Anita Morris ... Carol
Bill Pullman ... Earl
William G. Schilling ... Police Commissioner
Art Evans ... Lt. Bender
Clarence Felder ... Lt. Walters
J.E. Freeman ... Bedroom Killer
Gary Riley ... Heavy Metal Kid
Phyllis Applegate ... Loan Officer
Jeannine Bisignano Jeannine Bisignano ... Hooker in Car
J.P. Bumstead J.P. Bumstead ... Technician
Jon Cutler Jon Cutler ... Stereo Store Customer
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Storyline

Sam Stone (Danny DeVito) is a clothing manufacturer, who married his wife Barbara (Bette Midler), for the money that she was supposed to inherit from her dying father, but her father didn't die for another fifteen years. He is now planning to kill her and he tells his girlfriend Carol Dodsworth (Anita Morris) what he is going to do. He then on his way home to do just that but when he gets there, she's not there. He then receives a call from someone claiming to have kidnapped Barbara and threatening to kill her if he informs the police, which he does hoping that they do. What Stone doesn't know is that the kidnappers, Ken (Judge Reinhold) and Sandy (Helen Slater) Kessler are a couple whose idea for a garment he stole and made fortune off, are not that lethal, as a matter of fact Barbara's more lethal. And what Stone doesn't know is that Carol, has another boyfriend named Earl Mott (Bill Pullman), and they plan to blackmail Sam, by videotaping him disposing of Barbara's body. When Earl ... Written by <rcs0411@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

"The Big Screw" See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Earl Mott (Bill Pullman) named his fish Crockett and Tubbs, after the lead characters from Miami Vice (1984). Earl dresses much in the style of the series. See more »

Goofs

It appears that there may have been a scene deleted, as the ransom jumps from $2 million to $2.2 million without an explanation. After Barbara gives Ken and Sandy the details of Sam's net worth, Ken calls Sam and says, "We're up to $2 million." He proceeds to list the value of each item so far: $1.2M in equity in his store, $350K in his pension, $45K for the Excalibur, and stock options amounting to $175K. This totals $1,770,000. One flawless, 1-carat diamond would be worth approx. $12,500 in 1986, with 4 of them fetching a sum of $50K. The new total is $1,820,000, $400K short of the $2.2 million figure Sam hands to Ken. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sam Stone: Carol, did I ever tell you why I married her?
Carol: Yes, Sam, you told me many, many...
Sam Stone: Her father was very, very rich, and very, very sick. The doctors assured me he'd be dead any minute. There wasn't a second to lose! I rushed right out and married the boss's daughter. He was so sick, it was like the Angel of Death was sitting in the room with him, watching the clock. They pulled the plug on him... he wheezed and shook for about an hour... and then... he stabilized. The son-of-a-bitch ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

Near the end of the credits is the line "I Love Wrong Numbers", referring to a scene earlier in the movie where Sam Stone gets a wrong number on the phone and does a vulgar prank to it. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 44th Annual Golden Globe Awards (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Stand On It
Written and Performed by Bruce Springsteen
See more »

User Reviews

Laugh Out Loud Funny
24 May 2004 | by bjdoggSee all my reviews

I saw this film in the theatre when it was released in 1986. I have been to a lot of movies, and this is the only one that I HAD to see again--just to hear the lines that had been drowned out by the audience's laughter!

Often a movie's previews will give away all the funny lines of a movie, and I remember that the previews for "Ruthless People" gave away the classic "I've been kidnapped by KMart" line. But for once, there were so many hysterically funny moments in this movie that it didn't matter. It's just that funny.

So if you haven't seen it, you really are missing something. Rent it and be prepared to hurt your sides laughing.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 June 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ruthless People See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,274,306, 29 June 1986

Gross USA:

$71,624,879

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$71,624,879
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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