Ruggles of Red Gap

Ruggles of Red Gap

Director: Leo McCarey, Charles Laughton, Mary Boland, Charlie Ruggles

Cast: Leo McCarey, Charles Laughton, Mary Boland, Charlie Ruggles

     
 
Previously filmed in 1918 and 1923, Harry Leon Wilson's novel achieved movie classic status when it was remade by Leo McCarey in 1935. The story opens in Paris, circa 1908. Ruggles, beautifully underplayed by Charles Laughton, is the ultra-obedient manservant to the bibulous Earl of Burnstead (Roland Young). During one of the Earl's nocturnal forays, nouveau riche

Overview

Previously filmed in 1918 and 1923, Harry Leon Wilson's novel achieved movie classic status when it was remade by Leo McCarey in 1935. The story opens in Paris, circa 1908. Ruggles, beautifully underplayed by Charles Laughton, is the ultra-obedient manservant to the bibulous Earl of Burnstead (Roland Young). During one of the Earl's nocturnal forays, nouveau riche American cattle baron Egbert Floud (Charles Ruggles) wins Ruggles in a poker game. Terrified at the prospect of being bundled off to the Wild West, Ruggles' resolve is weakened somewhat when he and the raucous but ingratiating Egbert spend a wild night on the town. (The besotted butler's periodic exclamations of "Whoopee!" are priceless.) Back in the frontier "boom town" of Red Gap, a misunderstanding obliges Egbert's social-climbing wife Effie (Mary Boland) to pass off Ruggles as an aristocratic British army officer, immediately arousing the suspicions of priggish social arbiter Charles Belknap-Jackson (Lucien Littlefield). The longer he spends in America, the more Ruggles grows to like the concept of democracy and self-determination. Of the film's many highlights, two are standouts: the scene in which Ruggles silences a rowdy saloon crowd with his recitation of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, and the droll, semi-improvised vignette in which dancehall girl Nell Kenner (Leila Hyams) teaches the Earl of Burnstead how to play the drums. Ruggles of Red Gap was filmed for a fourth time in 1950 as the Bob Hope-Lucille Ball musical Fancy Pants.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Hastings
Depression-era comedies don't get much better than this Leo McCarey effort , tailor-made to Charles Laughton's unique brand of deadpan, constipated charm. Ruggles of Red Gap sets up its central conceit at a leisurely pace, installing the title character in his Old West, nouveau riche setting with plenty of time for warm-hearted jabs at the recalcitrant socialite Egbert (played to perfection by the coincidentally named Charlie Ruggles) and his level-headed wife, Effie (Mary Boland). Even love interest ZaSu Pitts has a bumper crop of one-liners and turns of phrase (although her chemistry with the asexual Laughton is dubious at best). The movie gains momentum as the script fortifies Ruggles' backbone for the climactic, crowd-pleasing comeuppance of the picture's true snobs, shoehorns in a couple of high-spirited songs for good measure, and even manages to jerk some genuine tears along the way.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/02/2014
UPC:
0025192052156
Original Release:
1935
Source:
Universal Mod
Presentation:
[B&W]
Time:
1:31:00
Sales rank:
565

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Charles Laughton Marmaduke Ruggles
Mary Boland Effie Floud
Charlie Ruggles Egbert Floud
ZaSu Pitts Mrs. Judson
Roland Young Earl of Burnstead
Leila Hyams Nell Kenner
Maude Eburne Ma Pettingill
Lucien Littlefield Charles Belknap-Jackson
Leota Lorraine Mrs. Belknap-Jackson
James Burke Jeff Tuttle
Clarence H. Wilson Jake Henshaw
Augusta Anderson Mrs. Wallaby
Brenda Fowler Judy Ballard
Sarah Edwards Mrs. Myron Carey
Ernie S. Adams Dishwasher
Alice Ardell Lisette
Harry Bernard Bartender
Harry Bowen Photographer
George Burton Buck Squires
Charles "Heinie" Conklin Waiter
Charles Fallon Waiter in Paris Cafe
Willie Fung Chinese Servant
Dell Henderson Sam
Armand Kaliz Clothing Salesman
Lee Kohlmar Red Gap Jailer
Edward J. Le Saint Patron
Jack Norton Barfly
Frank O'Connor Station Agent
Albert Petit Waiter at Carousel
Victor Potel Curly
Frank Rice Hank
Henry Roquemore Frank Patron
Rolfe Sedan Barber
Rafael Storm Clothing Salesman
Libby Taylor Servant
William Welsh Eddie
Jim Welch Man in Saloon
Genaro Spagnoli Frank the Cabman

Technical Credits
Leo McCarey Director
Travis Banton Costumes/Costume Designer
Sam Coslow Score Composer
Walter de Leon Screenwriter
Edward Dmytryk Editor
Hans Dreier Art Director
Alfred Gilks Cinematographer
Arthur Hornblow Producer
Robert Odell Art Director
Humphrey Pearson Screenwriter
Ralph Rainger Score Composer
Harlan Thompson Screenwriter

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