7.0/10
6,659
55 user 45 critic

Citizen Ruth (1996)

Trailer
2:22 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (HD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
An irresponsible, drug-addicted, recently impregnated woman finds herself in the middle of an abortion debate when both parties attempt to sway her to their respective sides.

Director:

Alexander Payne
3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A lonely photographer gradually develops a rather unhealthy obsession with a young woman he once met by sheer chance.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Holgie Forrester, Charley Hayward, Lauren Tuerk
Election (1999)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A high school teacher's personal life becomes complicated as he works with students during the school elections, particularly with an obsessive overachiever determined to become student body president.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Matthew Broderick, Reese Witherspoon, Chris Klein
Inside Out (Video 1991)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

Playboy does to softcore sex films what HBO's Tales from the Crypt did for horror. Contains the stories: "Brush Strokes"; "Shrink Rap"; "Doubletalk"; "The Leda"; "My Secret Moments"; "Life ... See full summary »

Directors: Jeffrey Reiner, Lizzie Borden, and 5 more credits »
Stars: Varda Appleton, Gavin Atkins, Terrence Atkins
About Schmidt (2002)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A man upon retirement, embarks on a journey to his estranged daughter's wedding, only to discover more about himself and life than he ever expected.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Hope Davis, Dermot Mulroney
Inside Out III (Video 1992)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

Playboy does to softcore sex films what HBO's Tales from the Crypt did for horror. Contains the stories: "Dogs Playing Poker"; "The Branding"; "The Portal"; "The Perfect Woman"; "Within Ten... See full summary »

Directors: Nigel Dick, Alexander Payne, and 8 more credits »
Stars: Deke Anderson, Linden Ashby, Collin Bernsen
Nebraska (2013)
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An aging, booze-addled father makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son in order to claim a million-dollar Mega Sweepstakes Marketing prize.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb
Sideways (2004)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Two men reaching middle age with not much to show but disappointment embark on a week-long road trip through California's wine country, just as one is about to take a trip down the aisle.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A land baron tries to reconnect with his two daughters after his wife is seriously injured in a boating accident.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller
Drama

Willie Gary, a successful personal-injury lawyer from Mississippi, takes on the case of Jeremiah O'Keefe, the owner of a local chain of funeral homes who claimed he had been swindled by a major funeral parlor conglomerate.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Emily Baker
Carmen (1985)
Short | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

The famous opera set in a gas station in the desert.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Steve Freedman, Khorshield MacHalle, Joe Marinelli
Drama

A judge in Dehli makes preparations for the women in his life as he approaches death.

Director: Alexander Payne
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Laura Dern ... Ruth Stoops
Swoosie Kurtz ... Diane Siegler
Kurtwood Smith ... Norm Stoney
Mary Kay Place ... Gail Stoney
Kelly Preston ... Rachel
M.C. Gainey ... Harlan
Kenneth Mars ... Dr. Charlie Rollins
David Graf ... Judge Richter
Kathleen Noone ... Nurse Pat
Tippi Hedren ... Jessica Weiss
Burt Reynolds ... Blaine Gibbons
Lance Rome Lance Rome ... Ricky, Ruth's Lover
Jim Kalal Jim Kalal ... Tony Stoops
Shea Degan Shea Degan ... Arresting Officer
Vince Morelli Vince Morelli ... Dr. George
Edit

Storyline

Ruth Stoops is a poor indigent drug-user (a huffer - inhaling glue and paint for a high) whose down and out existence is complicated once more by becoming pregnant (she has had and lost four children already). When a judge orders that she gets an abortion or face a felony charge, she is befriended by Gail Stoney, a pro-lifer whose husband is president of the local "Babysavers" group. Suddenly Ruth is thrust into the middle of the pro-choice/pro-life struggle, with each side wanting her to take their side as a "message" to others - and the situation escalates... Written by Gary Dickerson <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Life, liberty, money and the pursuit of happiness. She's gotta have it. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for substance abuse, strong language and a sex scene | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Miramax | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 December 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Meet Ruth Stoops See more »

Filming Locations:

Nebraska, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$26,709, 15 December 1996, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$153,155, 12 January 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (FotoKem)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie marks the reunion of Laura Dern and Burt Reynolds in a theatrical movie. The 1970s Reynolds movie White Lightning (1973) had been Dern's uncredited film debut. Dern was just six years old when she appeared in a brief non-speaking walk on bit part. In White Lightning (1973), Dern played the daughter of her real life mother Diane Ladd who played Maggie. This time around in Citizen Ruth (1996), it is Dern who has the main part with Reynolds playing a supporting role. See more »

Goofs

When Ruth is going out to party with her host family's daughter, she takes a hit from a bong, but does so incorrectly, not clearing the smoke from the chamber. See more »

Quotes

[Ruth is the on phone after seeing a news report about her]
Ruth: You wanna send a message? I ain't no fucking telegram, bitch!
[pause]
Ruth: Nothing's wrong! I'm fine now. You think I'm a fool. You're the fool, cause guess what? This is a war and Diane's a spy. How bout that?
[pause]
Ruth: Now you're catching on!
[pause]
Ruth: Oh yeah! Well you're a cunt!
See more »

Crazy Credits

About halfway through the credits, we hear the beginning of Tape 2, Side 1. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Election (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Bravo!
22 January 2006 | by prospectptSee all my reviews

An outstanding work – the consummate Indie.

A great, little satire that manages to make you identify with a homeless, hopeless druggie.

Laura Dern is perfect as the indigent & insatiable "Ruth". She brings an engaging hidden-beauty to the part, and with the help of Alexander Payne's brilliant direction, she nimbly walks the wire between comical hero and tragic pariah.

This gem clearly demonstrates that, even though the production budget may be lower than a republican's principles - when great talent and artistic enthusiasm couple, a work of genius is likely to be born.

Cheers, AB – a staff member of Prospect Point Productions, Inc.


48 of 56 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 55 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed