Ragtim

Ragtim

3.8 6
Director: Milos Forman

Cast: James Cagney, Brad Dourif, Moses Gunn

     
 

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Milos Foreman's cinematic adaptation of E.L. Doctrow's sprawling pop-culture epic Ragtime follows a variety of characters whose lives intertwine during the earliest years of the 20th century. Brad Dourif plays the meek young brother in a wealthy family who ends up helping Coalhouse Walker Jr. (Howard E. Rollins) when the proud black man stands up to the racism…  See more details below

Overview

Milos Foreman's cinematic adaptation of E.L. Doctrow's sprawling pop-culture epic Ragtime follows a variety of characters whose lives intertwine during the earliest years of the 20th century. Brad Dourif plays the meek young brother in a wealthy family who ends up helping Coalhouse Walker Jr. (Howard E. Rollins) when the proud black man stands up to the racism that surrounds him with a criminal act that leads to a standoff with a police commissioner (James Cagney - making his return to the big screen after fifteen years away). Secondary characters include a street artist (Mandy Patinkin) who gets his foot in the door of the nascent film business, and a flighty young woman (Elizabeth McGovern) who inspires men who desire her to violence. Randy Newman composed the score, which included a song that earned him his first Oscar nomination.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Dan Jardine
Milos Forman's Ragtime offers a gorgeous recreation of turn-of-the-century suburban New York, from the immaculate sets and costumes down to the terrific ragtime score by Randy Newman. The novel's complex social tapestry --which weaves together several intriguing storylines -- is here ultimately winnowed down by director Forman and writer Michael Weller to a black man's inevitably tragic pursuit of justice, thereby resulting in the significant diminishment of Doctorow's challenging and acutely critical themes. Despite this weakness, the dominant narrative is effectively presented and the film builds to a morally ambiguous and compelling climax. The film marked the return to the silver screen of the legendary James Cagney after a twenty year absence, but the acting plaudits here go to Elizabeth McGovern and Howard Rollins Jr., both of whom earned supporting actor nominations at the Academy Awards for their sensitive and powerful work. While Ragtime is not one of Forman's best films, it was recognized by the Academy with nine nominations (though it won none) in the 1982 awards.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/13/1998
UPC:
0097360148633
Original Release:
1981
Rating:
PG
Source:
Paramount

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
James Cagney Comm. Rheinlander Waldo
Brad Dourif Younger Brother
Moses Gunn Booker T. Washington
Elizabeth McGovern Evelyn Nesbit
Kenneth McMillan Willie Conklin
Donald O'Connor Evelyn's Dance Teacher
Howard E. Rollins Coalhouse Walker, Jr.
Pat O'Brien Delmas
James Olson Father
Mandy Patinkin Tateh
Mary Steenburgen Mother
Debbie Allen Sarah
Jeffrey DeMunn Houdini
Robert Joy Harry K. Thaw
Norman Mailer Stanford White
John Alderson Waldos Aide No. 1
Robert Arden Foreman of the Jury
Donald Bisset J.P. Morgan
Nesbitt Blaisdell Policeman No. 5
Bruce Boa Jerome
Robert Boyd Theodore Roosevelt
Hoolihan Burke Brigit
Thomas A. Carlin Vice President Fairbanks
Josh Clark Fireman No. 3
Patrick Connor Waldos Aide No. 3
Edwin Cooper Grandfather
Joel Cutrara Policeman No. 11
Jeff Daniels PC O'Donnell
E. Brian Dean Actor
Jake Dengel Fireman No. 2
Barry Dennen Stage Manager
Harry Ditson County Clerk
Robert Dorning Gent with Stanford White
Fran Drescher Mameh
Frankie R. Faison Gang Member No. 1
Gretchen Franklin Elderly Woman
Hal Galili Police Captain No. 1
Nicholas J. Giangiulio Fireman
Alan Gifford Judge
Patrick Gorman Thug No. 2
Geoffrey Greenhill Police Guard (T.O.C.)
Richard Griffiths Delmas Assistant No. 1
Jeff Harding Policeman No. 13
George Harris Band Leader, Clef Club
Ray Hassett Policeman No. 2
Robert Henderson Elderly Man
Colette Hiller Lawyers Female Companion No. 1
Robert Hitt Plainclothes Detective No. 2
Elaine Ives-Cameron Lawyers Female Companion No. 2
Samuel L. Jackson Gang Member No. 2
Michael Jeter Special Reporter
Andreas Katsulas Policeman No. 3
Douglas Lambert Police Sergeant
Calvin Levels Gang Member No. 3
Bessie Love Old Lady (T.O.C.)
Christopher Malcolm Police Captain No. 2
George J. Manos Novelty Shop Storeman
Derek Martin Waldos Aide No. 2
Al Matthews Maitre D
Herman Meckler Vernon Elliott
Stuart Milligan Marksman
Billy Mitchell Delmas Assistant No. 2
Jenny Nichols Little Girl
Zack Norman Gent No. 2 - Manager
Richard Oldfield Stock Reporter
Ethan Phillips Guard at Family House
Don Plumley Inspector McNeil
Joe Praml Policeman No. 4
Val Pringle Actor
John Ratzenberger Fireman
Bill Reimbold Gent No. 3 - Lawyer
Ted Ross Black Lawyer
Bob Sherman Policeman No. 10
Tony Sibbald Stock Reporter
Stan Simmons Thug No. 3
John Sterland Library Guard
Jan Triska Special Reporter
Judi Trott Actor
Burnell Tucker Reporter
Britt Walker Black Butler No. 1
Ron Weyand Doctor Muller
Peter Whitman Stock Reporter
Ed Wiley Conductor
Dorsey Wright Gang Member No. 4

Technical Credits
Milos Forman Director
Patrizia Von Brandenstein Production Designer
Anne V. Coates Editor
Dino de Laurentiis Producer
E.L. Doctorow Screenwriter
Antony Gibbs Editor
Bo Goldman Screenwriter
John Graysmark Production Designer
Michael Hausman Asst. Director,Producer
Steve James Stunts
Anna Hill Johnstone Costumes/Costume Designer
Randy Newman Score Composer,Songwriter
Miroslav Ondrícek Cinematographer
Tony Reading Production Designer
Twyla Tharp Choreography
Jennifer Warnes Songwriter
Stanley Warnow Editor
Michael Weller Screenwriter
Bernard Williams Producer

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Ragtime 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ragetime is a wonderful story about a troubled time in history. Racial issues play a central part of the plot. The acting is also wonderful. So why only 2 stars? The movie carries a rating of PG so I had PG expectations. What I viewed was violent and included full frontal nudity something I was not prepared for. Had the movie carried an R rating I would have come with a different expectation, and I would not have been disappointed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After seeing the musical, I saw this movie and immediately fell in love with it. You'll see strong performances from Robert Joy and Mandy Patinkin, along with nice 1912 'montages' and an overall style which easily fits the movie. If you like the musical, it's great to see this movie in it's entirety. But keep an open mind as well: this movie was created before it ever even hit Broadway.
DC_Bill More than 1 year ago
Ragtime has been around for nearly 30 years now. While the musical version has been widely publicized and received critical acclaim (particularly with its recent re-release... DC's Kennedy Center in May 2009), the theatrical version has gone somewhat unnoticed. After seeing the musical version (again, having seen it years ago), I was inspired to purchase the Milos Forman film. It is Excellent! There are some criticisms on blogs and IMDB.com that scenes were deleted from the movie version, but this must've applied to the VHS release as it appears (to me) that the DVD version is true to the original... including a back-story deleted scene which really did not contribute to the story line. Doctrow's tale remains timely in that addresses issues at the turn of the century (19th/20th)-- immigration, racism, hubris, domestic terrorism, industrialization, social welfare -- that are somewhat as relevent as they are today. The cast is amazing: Howard Rollins, Jr., Elizabeth McGovern, Mandy Patimkin and, of course, James Cagney in his final film role. This is an excellent period piece to add to your DVD collection.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've never seen the movie, but I saw the musical. It was amazing. I wish they'd make the movie where it had the singing and dancing That would be so cool!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ragtime was wonderful! Though I've never seen the movie, I've seen the play. I highly recommend it. The acting and songs are so beautifully done on stage. It's an experience you can't get on a television screen.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although the storyline is awesome, the full frontal nudity (which lasts for a long time) overshadows the entire production. How is it that this show has a rating of PG? Also, this is NOT a musical version of the show.