Ritz

Ritz

5.0 4
Director: Richard Lester

Cast: Jack Weston, Rita Moreno, Jerry Stiller

     
 

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With The Ritz, Terrence McNally's hit Broadway play of the same name is cinematized by director Richard Lester. Jack Weston plays Gaetano Proclo, a minor mob flunky who's been targeted for elimination by his brother-in-law, Carmine Vespucci (Jerry Stiller). Gaetano takes refuge in what he thinks is a Turkish bath. Actually, it's The Pits. That's the name, "TheSee more details below

Overview

With The Ritz, Terrence McNally's hit Broadway play of the same name is cinematized by director Richard Lester. Jack Weston plays Gaetano Proclo, a minor mob flunky who's been targeted for elimination by his brother-in-law, Carmine Vespucci (Jerry Stiller). Gaetano takes refuge in what he thinks is a Turkish bath. Actually, it's The Pits. That's the name, "The Pits" -- a gay bathhouse (this is the pre-AIDS era), where the exquisitely awful Googie Gomez (Rita Moreno) entertains the homosexual patrons with her ear-splitting renditions of such show tunes as "Everything's Coming Up Roses." Hoping to save his neck by pretending to be gay, Gaetano effusively praises Googie. Assuming that he is a big-time Broadway producer, she plays up to him. Everything would be hunky-dory, except that the bathhouse is owned by the very mob that has put a contract on Gaetano. What follows is an old-fashioned door-slamming farce, except that there are no doors to slam. The supporting cast includes Kaye Ballard, Treat Williams, George Coulouris, F. Murray Abraham, Dave King, and (as one of the patrons) a pre-Cheers John Ratzenberger.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Always amusing and frequently very funny, there's a lot that is very right with The Ritz. Writer Terrence McNally has created a can't-miss premise and has built a solid, sturdy structure around it. He has peopled his farce with a wide range of types, and has put the main character in a life-or-death situation so that he has more than sufficient motivation. And of course the setting and gay angle give it a twist that, especially at the time of its release, is different. Director Richard Lester has added some nice touches (such as the lava lamp in the otherwise ornately Italian home at the start of the film) and has gathered a great cast. Jack Weston projects the right combination of vulnerability and exasperation, Jerry Stiller is properly single-minded, and Rita Moreno is a wonderful mix of self-delusion, steely ambition, and freakish exhibitionism. Treat Williams makes his potentially irritating character endearing, and F. Murray Abraham steals the scene every time he has a chance. Yet with all these assets, The Ritz remains a good film rather than a classic farce. McNally has failed to come up with enough jokes and sufficiently big pay-offs to situations, and there are crucial moments that don't ring true. (Why, for example, would Weston agree to perform in the very public talent show when his brother-in-law is literally gunning for him -- especially when the drag outfit he wears is neither sufficiently believable as a disguise nor sufficiently amusing as audience entertainment?) Lester also falls down on the job too often, allowing pacing to lag unacceptably in spots and not giving the film the visual energy from which it would benefit. Despite these flaws, however, The Ritz remains an enjoyably silly affair with some wonderful moments.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/08/2008
UPC:
0085391203513
Original Release:
1976
Rating:
R
Source:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:31:00

Special Features

Theatrical trailer

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jack Weston Gaetano Proclo
Rita Moreno Googie Gomez
Jerry Stiller Carmine Vespucci
Kaye Ballard Vivian Proclo
F. Murray Abraham Chris
Treat Williams Michael Brick
John Everson Tiger
Christopher J. Brown Duff
Dave King Abe
George Coulouris Old Man Vespucci
John Ratzenberger Bath Patron
Chris Harris Patrons
Freddie Earle Disgruntled Patron
Richard Holmes Pianist
Bart Allison Old Priest
Tony de Santis Sheldon Farenthold
Paul Price Claude Perkins
Samantha Weyson Gilda Proclo
Bessie Love Maurine
Ben Aris Cyclist
Peter Butterworth Patron In Chaps
Ronnie Brody Small Patron
Hal Galili Patron With Cigar
Leon Greene Musclebound Patron
Hugh Fraser Disc Jockey

Technical Credits
Richard Lester Director
John Bloom Editor
Roy Charman Sound/Sound Designer
Colin Chilvers Special Effects
Dusty Symonds Asst. Director
Philip Harrison Production Designer
Vangie Harrison Costumes/Costume Designer
Evangeline Harrison Costumes/Costume Designer
Gerry Humphreys Sound/Sound Designer
Terrence McNally Screenwriter
Denis O'Dell Producer
Paul Rabiger Makeup
Mary Selway Casting
Ken Thorne Score Composer
Chic Waterson Camera Operator
Paul Wilson Cinematographer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Ritz
1. "Get Proclo." [3:10]
2. Credits [1:10]
3. The Bicyclist and Claude [2:12]
4. Do I Look Like...? [2:01]
5. Chris [2:14]
6. First Seduction Job [2:13]
7. Nobody Knows Googie [2:23]
8. Claude Smitten [4:32]
9. Unusual Pants [4:48]
10. Serenaded: Invited to Party [4:34]
11. Hoping for Joe Namath [5:11]
12. Buttering up a Producer [5:52]
13. Everything's Coming up Roses [4:03]
14. Closed-Door Rendezvous [:34]
15. Chinatown, My Chinatown [1:31]
16. Heated Pursuit [1:15]
17. Laying a Trap [1:51]
18. Plotting a Crime of Passion [3:17]
19. Seductress [4:39]
20. Crowded Room [5:03]
21. Vivian Calling; Old Pals [3:25]
22. Welcoming Committee [3:04]
23. Reviving a Famous Act [5:09]
24. Three Gay Caballeros [1:19]
25. Everybody Into the Pool [2:07]
26. Family Business [3:12]
27. Googie's Next Gig [4:57]
28. Exits and End Credits [1:12]

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