6.9/10
23,195
80 user 27 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:

Reviews
Popularity
4,444 ( 3,773)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

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

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A rich but troubled family find their lives altered by the arrival of a vagrant who tries to drown himself in their swimming pool.

Director: Paul Mazursky
Stars: Nick Nolte, Bette Midler, Richard Dreyfuss
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Two women unknowingly share the same man, but when he disappears, both go out looking for him and enter his surprisingly dangerous life.

Director: Arthur Hiller
Stars: Shelley Long, Bette Midler, Peter Coyote
Big Business (1988)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

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 »

Director: Jim Abrahams
Stars: Bette Midler, Lily Tomlin, Fred Ward
Comedy | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A bitter ex-husband and a put-upon momma's boy both want their respective former spouse and mother dead. Who will pull it off?

Director: Danny DeVito
Stars: Danny DeVito, Billy Crystal, Kim Greist
Stakeout (1987)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Two detectives observe an escaped convict's ex-girlfriend, but complications set in when one of them falls for her.

Director: John Badham
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Emilio Estevez, Madeleine Stowe
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Sam Stone
... Barbara Stone
... Ken Kessler
... Sandy Kessler
... Carol
... Earl
William G. Schilling ... Police Commissioner
... Lt. Bender
... Lt. Walters
... Bedroom Killer
... Heavy Metal Kid
... Loan Officer
Jeannine Bisignano ... Hooker in Car
J.P. Bumstead ... Technician
Jon Cutler ... Stereo Store Customer
Edit

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:

Sam Stone's wife has just been kidnapped... And he doesn't want her back! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 June 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Por fin me la quité de encima  »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,274,306, 29 June 1986

Gross USA:

$71,624,879
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Madonna was originally cast as Barbara Stone. The role later went to Bette Midler because of artistic differences between Madonna and the director. See more »

Goofs

When Sam Stone pulls his gun on Ken Kessler, the sound of the hammer being pulled back is heard. In the next shot, the hammer has not been engaged. 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

Opening credits are shown in neon colors and shapes, in split screen, with the other part of the screen depicting various methods of knocking someone off. See more »

Connections

References Song of the South (1946) See more »

Soundtracks

Ruthless People Theme
Performed by Mick Jagger
Written by Daryl Hall, David A. Stewart (as Dave Stewart) and Mick Jagger
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Be Ruthless -- It's Good for You
30 April 2008 | by See all my reviews

"Ruthless People" has one of the best premises in film comedy history.

Spandex miniskirt millionaire Sam Stone (Danny DeVito) plans to kill his battle axe wife (Bette Midler) for her inheritance. However, his plan is put on hold when she is kidnapped and held for ransom. The kidnappers threaten to kill her if Sam doesn't pay, which is a-o.k. with Sam, and means he doesn't have to do his own dirty work. But the kidnappers (Judge Reinhold and Helen Slater) are too kind hearted to follow through with what they start. Meanwhile, Sam's floozy mistress (a smokin' Anita Morris) knows about Sam's plans, and sends her doofus boyfriend (Bill Pullman) out to videotape what he thinks is Sam killing his wife so that they can blackmail him.

This is a lot of plot to cram into a brisk 90 minutes, but this well written film never feels forced or rushed. Every scene conveys something important either for the story or about one of the characters, and not a moment feels wasted. The ensemble is terrific, each actor landing his/her jokes without fail. The standouts, though, are Bette Midler, who gives an outrageously vulgar performance pitched to the third balcony; and Judge Reinhold, who gives the film its heart.

One of the most quotable movies ever, the film also boasts a great opening credits sequence, one more reason to lament the fact that movies hardly ever have opening credits anymore.

Grade: A+


8 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 80 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial