In the 1940s in the small town of Jupiter Hollow, two sets of identical twins are born in the same hospital on the same night. One set to a poor local family and the other to a rich family ... See full summary »
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
Shares similarities with the O. Henry story, "The Ransom of Red Chief," a turn-of-the century fable about two con men who kidnap the rambunctious 10-year-old son of a widowed businessman for ransom. The businessman refuses to pay the ransom, happy to have his unruly son gone, and the son proves to be a difficult captive. The criminals decide to return the boy to his father, rather than collect the ransom. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, writer Dale Launer stated: "I certainly read O. Henry as a kid, and I don't remember consciously lifting it." See more »
When Ken takes Barbara dinner and she throws a broom at him, she throws it handle side towards Ken, but in the next shot the broom hits Ken bristle side facing him. See more »
Carol, did I ever tell you why I married her?
Yes, Sam, you told me many, many...
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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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 »
Brought by the makers of AIRPLANE, RUTHLESS PEOPLE is a laugh riot of a movie. Danny DeVito leads the pack as a greedy millionaire who plans to murder his wife for her money, but becomes rapturous when she is kidnapped. DeVito is hilarious in the lead role. Judge Reinhold delivers a wacky performance as the kidnapper. Helen Slater does a great job and she's also beautiful as the kidnapper's fashion designer wife, but the real star of the movie is Bette Midler, as DeVito's kidnapped wife. Though this movie lacks a little bit of the quality that AIRPLANE had, it still has its share of really good performances and hilarious one-liners. Great entertainment!
4 out of 5
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