6.9/10
23,490
79 user 27 critic

Ruthless People (1986)

A couple, cheated by a vile businessman, kidnap his wife in retaliation, without knowing that their enemy is delighted they did.

Writer:

Dale Launer
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Popularity
4,514 ( 3,010)

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

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A bitter ex-husband wants his former spouse dead. A put-upon momma's boy wants his mother dead. Who will pull it off?

Director: Danny DeVito
Stars: Danny DeVito, Billy Crystal, Kim Greist
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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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 June 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Por fin me la quité de encima 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
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

"Ruthless People" has an extremely similar plot to the 2013 film "Life of Crime" with Jennifer Aniston. The difference being that the latter is more of a drama. See more »

Goofs

During the Hope Street Plaza establishing shot, there is a bug or other small obstruction on the right side of the camera lens. 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 ...
[...]
See more »

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 »


Soundtracks

Dance Champion
Performed by Kool & The Gang
Written by Ronald Bell, J.T. Taylor (as James Taylor) and Kool & The Gang
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Midler's Shining Moment.
23 May 2003 | by phillafellaSee all my reviews

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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