The Ruling Class

( 4 )

Overview

Full of biting British humor and musical numbers (an odd, but brilliant, combination), Peter Medak's The Ruling Class makes its way to DVD from Criterion. As usual, it has done a fine job with a classic title. The 1.77:1 anamorphic transfer is fairly standard. The flat look is most likely a symptom of early-70s filmmaking and a limited budget. The transfer shows signs of age, at times, with minor scratches and dirt, but, for the most part ,colors are well represented and detail is consistent. The 1.0 Dolby ...
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DVD (Wide Screen / Dolby 5.1 / Mono)
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Overview

Full of biting British humor and musical numbers (an odd, but brilliant, combination), Peter Medak's The Ruling Class makes its way to DVD from Criterion. As usual, it has done a fine job with a classic title. The 1.77:1 anamorphic transfer is fairly standard. The flat look is most likely a symptom of early-70s filmmaking and a limited budget. The transfer shows signs of age, at times, with minor scratches and dirt, but, for the most part ,colors are well represented and detail is consistent. The 1.0 Dolby Digital track is nothing to get excited about, but confirms the fact that Criterion tends to leave the audio elements with the original soundtrack. Here, centered up front, and at times a bit shrill, the sound is good enough. Known for often adding a number of supplements to its titles, Criterion has included a fine commentary track recorded in 2001 by Medak, Peter O'Toole, and author/screenwriter Peter Barnes. Each discusses just about everything they can remember from 30 years earlier in a very engaging manner. Though probably appealing to a limited audience, there is also nearly 30-minutes of 16 mm silent "home movies" on location from Medak's collection. Finally, along with the theatrical trailer is an above-average photo gallery with many behind-the-scenes pictures. This is pretty much an average Criterion release, which, in terms of their DVDs, isn't a bad thing.
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Special Features

Widescreen digital transfer in RSDL dual-layer edition of The Ruling Class, restored to its original full-length version, unavailable in the U.S.; audio commentary track with Peter O'Toole, director Peter Medak, and writer Peter Barnes; Medak's home movies, shot on the set of The Ruling Class,; original theatrical trailer
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Richard Gilliam
The Ruling Class is a dark, anarchic satire built around one of the screen's best jokes. An eccentric British nobleman (Peter O'Toole) has delusions of grandeur, setting off a series of odd adventures that contrast his allegedly insane views against those of his tradition-bound kin. O'Toole's energy carries the film even when there isn't much happening in the story. There is little plot in a conventional sense, essentially providing a framework for the film's often very funny extended sequences. The supporting cast is solid. Alastair Sim is in fine form with one of his best late-career performances. The film has an interesting production design, though occasionally its lack of budget limits the variety of sets. The film helped establish a pattern for director Peter Medak of specializing in interesting but only marginally commercial projects.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/30/2001
  • UPC: 715515012423
  • Original Release: 1972
  • Rating:

  • Source: Criterion
  • Aspect Ratio: Alternate Wide Screen (1.78:1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Dolby 5.1 / Mono
  • Sound: Dolby Digital, monaural
  • Language: English
  • Time: 2:34:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 8,507

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Peter O'Toole 14th Earl Of Gurney
Alastair Sim Bishop Lampton
Arthur Lowe Tucker
Harry Andrews 13th Earl Of Gurney
Coral Browne Lady Claire
Michael Bryant Dr. Herder
Ronald Adam Lord
Kenneth Benda Lord Chancellor
Hugh Burden Matthew Peake
Patsy Byrne Mrs. Treadwell
Joan Cooper Nurse Brice
Graham Crowden Truscott
Julian D'Albie Lord
Griffith Davies
Nigel Green McKyle
James Grout Inspector Brockett
James Hazeldine Detective Sgt. Fraser
Neil Kennedy Dr. Herder's Assistant
Margaret Lacey Midwife
Oliver Macgreevy Inmate
William Mervyn Sir Charles
Declan Mulholland Poacher
Hugh Owens Toastmaster
Llewellyn Rees Lord
Leslie Schofield McKyle's Assistant
Carolyn Seymour Grace
James Villiers Dinsdale
Kay Walsh Mrs. Piggot-Jones
Henry Woolf Inmate
Technical Credits
Peter Medak Director
Peter Barnes Screenwriter
Bert Batt Asst. Director
Jules Buck Producer
John Cameron Score Composer, Musical Arrangement, Musical Direction/Supervision
Eleanor Fazan Choreography
Jack Hawkins Producer
Ken Hodges Cinematographer
David Korda Producer
Ray Lovejoy Editor
Peter Murton Production Designer
Ruth Myers Costumes/Costume Designer
Charles Parker Makeup
Roy Whybrow Special Effects
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Chapters
1. Opening Credits/The 13th Earl of Gurney [:09]
2. "A Man Must Have a Vision" [7:58]
3. The 14th Earl of Gurney [6:08]
4. Paranoid Schizophrenia [9:01]
5. "Old Faithful Tucker" [7:21]
6. Mrs. Piggot-Jones & Mrs. Treadwell [3:01]
7. The Lady of the Camillias [6:36]
8. Grace Shelley [10:10]
9. Paranoid Plots [10:12]
10. Wedding Day [3:33]
11. Wedding Night [9:23]
12. Lady of the Manor [3:25]
13. The High-Voltage Messiah [5:27]
14. 'The Light of Truth"|00:01:16|}
15. "Call Me Jack" [6:04]
16. The Master in Lunacy [5:04]
17. Jack the Ripper [1:04]
18. "The Sword of the Lord" [8:45]
19. Investigation [8:17]
20. "Cock-a-doodle-doo" [6:39]
21. The House of Lords [6:31]
22. Closing Credits [8:50]
23. Color Bars [7:04]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play the Movie
   Commentary (Peter O'Toole, Director Peter Medak, and Writer Peter Barnes)
   Peter Medak's Home Movies
      Play
   Stills Gallery
   Trailer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 14, 2012

    One of my all-time favorites. The humor is very dark and over-t

    One of my all-time favorites. The humor is very dark and over-the-top, so will not appeal to everyone; but the satirical message about the madness of war, violence and the one percent is every bit as timely today as it was in the Vietnam Era when this movie first came out. Peter O'Toole is brilliant beyond words. I just wish that someone would come out with a re-release so I could buy a copy at a reasonable cost.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews