Ragtime 1981 PG CC

Amazon Instant Video

(118) IMDb 7.3/10
Available in HD
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This vivid, high-energy human tableau interweaves the lives and passions of a middle class, small town family against the scandal and events of a transitional America in 1906.

Starring:
James Cagney, Brad Dourif
Runtime:
2 hours 36 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

Ragtime

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Milos Forman
Starring James Cagney, Brad Dourif
Supporting actors Moses Gunn, Elizabeth McGovern, Kenneth McMillan, Pat O'Brien, Donald O'Connor, James Olson, Mandy Patinkin, Howard E. Rollins Jr., Mary Steenburgen, Debbie Allen, Jeffrey DeMunn, Robert Joy, Norman Mailer, Bruce Boa, Hoolihand Burke, Norman Chancer, Edwin Cooper, Jeff Daniels
Studio Paramount
MPAA rating PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

The acting is very good throughout.
Roger Long
While Forman pares away much of the sprawling narrative of Docotrow's novel, he keeps the essential stories of the novel intact.
Wayne Klein
This is one of those movies I can watch over and over again just to appreciate it -- without ever getting bored.
George H. Seidel Jr.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

125 of 130 people found the following review helpful By Michael B. Marshall on March 20, 2007
Format: DVD
I can't overemphasize the level of disappointment I have at the hack censorship Paramount management has engaged in with the DVD release of Ragtime. How they got Milos Forman to participate in adding commentary to that blatant smear of his efforts is is beyond me.

Does the studio actually think that diluting the film to "reposition" it (ergo, move it from an R to a PG rating) is going to dramatically grow its appeal? The core market for this DVD is the universe of film fans old enough to fondly remember seeing the original theatrical release in the early 1980s -- but what the studio is offering them (as many reviews here clearly state) is unacceptable.

I want to see Elizabeth McGovern's entire performance, Paramount - so I went to the secondary wholesale market and purchased a new old stock VHS copy, which contains the FULL original release.

Or put another way, one less DVD sale for you.

Because yes, while it's your right as the copyright holder, I won't purchase censored goods.
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177 of 187 people found the following review helpful By Kaiser Soze on December 7, 2004
Format: DVD
No question that Ragtime is a good movie, but there's also no question that for a significant number of people, Elizabeth McGovern is a major reason for buying this DVD. If so, and if the visual appeal is an essential part of that, then you should know that what is on this DVD is not what was in the theatrical release. I haveven't seen the VHS version, so I don't know if it was similarly butchered, but I really don't understand the point of this sort of stuff, and I find it irritating. I can understand adding scenes to a "director's cut" in a non-theatrical release, but under no circumstances does it make sense to me that scenes that were present in the theatrical release should be deleted in the non-theatrical releases. To make matters worse, the back of the box says "deleted scenes". There is a deleted scene that was not in the theatrical release, but it isn't worth watching, and it certainly doesn't make up the scenes that were present in the theatrical release and that have been cut out of this DVD. In this case, "deleted scenes" should be taken to mean, "scenes that you probably remember from the theatrical release have been cut from this version."

Anyone who objects to this sort of foolishness in principal should boycott this DVD. This isn't the first time that I have encountered this. It seems to me that the studios should feel some sort of sense of obligation to not do this, whether artistic or ethical.
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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 18, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
If there were ever a movie that could be dubbed flawless, I think Ragtime is it. Milos Forman must have travelled back in time, bought ever little piece of the past, and carried it back with him to 1981. Everything is superb, from the costumes to the motor cars, from the buildings to the boardwalk, from New Rochelle to the Lower East Side.
I think one thing that may have been lost to some viewers, however, are the true historical characters and news events portrayed in Ragtime. Evelyn Nesbit (Elizabeth McGovern) for example, was a real person and most events in the film concerning her really happened in 1906, including the incident on the roof top cafe of the Madison Square Garden. Even the song played when the 'incident' occurred, I Could Love a Million Girls from the operetta Mamzelle Champange, is historically accurate. This, of course, is only an example of the host of real characters presented in the film, including Teddy Roosevelt and Booker T. Washington.
I'd have to say that my favorite aspect of the film would have to be the soundtrack. As a fan of orchestrated ragtime and palm court music I was relieved to hear music true to the era, rather than music true to OUR era. It should be pointed out, however, that while not imposing, music is heard during most of the film (A plus for some, a minus for others).
Historical accuracy, beautiful costumes, hundreds of old cars, historical buildings, exciting music, drama, as well as clever comedy supplied by a delightfully dim Evelyn Nesbit, combine to form a film that can only be classified as; An exciting, historically accurate, prestine, and superb film about everything turn-of-the-century.< ...I recently discovered that there IS a DVD version of Ragtime. Sadly, at least for now, it is only available in Europe, in the European DVD format...
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By T. J. Boone on November 4, 2004
Format: DVD
This has long been one of my favorite films. The script, acting, cinematography and set pieces are all breathtaking. I have always felt that this should have been Howard E. Rollins' breakthrough film, but alas that was not to be. Also, seeing Cagney on the big screen once again, actually brought tears to my eyes in the theater. I have worn out my double VHS copy, so having this great film on DVD is a dream come true for me. Rent it or buy it, just watch it.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Rando Wilson on November 26, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
A complex, engaging, colorful, masterpiece. Milos Forman has never disappointed as a director. Typical of him, he captures America better than just about any American director. The cast is superb. Howard Rollins, Jr. is nothing short of amazing as Coalhouse Walker, Jr. Elizabeth McGovern, Mary Steenburgen, James Olson and Brad Dourif also give great performances.
I have admittedly not read the book, nor have I seen the Broadway musical. I don't know what EL Doctorow thinks about the movie of his book (I gather he is not crazy about it). But the film has a wonderful pace and the soundtrack is stunning as well.
I think it is a crime that the soundtrack is not available on cd and the movie not available on DVD!
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