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Ruggles of Red Gap 1935 NR CC

Charles Laughton stars in this hilarious tale of Marmaduke Ruggles, a stuffy British butler, traded in a poker game from an English Duke (Roland Young) to a wealthy and rowdy American, Egbert Floud (Charlie Ruggles).

Starring:
Charles Laughton, Mary Boland
Runtime:
1 hour, 30 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Romance, Comedy
Director Leo McCarey
Starring Charles Laughton, Mary Boland
Supporting actors Charles Ruggles, Zasu Pitts, Roland Young, Leila Hyams, Maude Eburne, Lucien Littlefield, Leota Lorraine, James Burke, Dell Henderson, Clarence Wilson, Ernie Adams, Augusta Anderson, Alyce Ardell, Harry Bernard, Harry Bowen, George Burton, Ricardo Lord Cezon, Alex Chivra
Studio NBC Universal
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Orrin C. Judd VINE VOICE on April 2, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
On first viewing this seems an unlikely choice for a conservative film list. Charles Laughton plays Marmaduke Ruggles, a proper British butler
whose dipsomaniacal master (Roland Young) loses him in a Paris poker game to a couple of social-climbing American rubes, Effie and Egbert
Floud. Mrs. Floud expects Ruggles to instruct her husband in proper manners and appropriate dress, but Mr. Floud sees him mostly as a partner in
crime, insisting that Ruggles sit and drink with him. For whatever reason, Laughton plays Ruggles with a kind of bug-eyed vacancy, staring off at
some point in space, perhaps to convey the sense that as a manservant he's not entitled to look anyone in the eyes, as if he were their equal. But
when the three travel back to Red Gap, Washington, Ruggles is greeted by the locals with democratic bonhomie and soon begins to think about
leaving service. Predictable zaniness and madcappery follow before Ruggles proves himself a worthy American and the equal of any man.
This is all handled with the typical, sometimes delightful, gusto of Hollywood's Golden Age but hardly seems remarkable. Then comes a scene that
is so absurdly moving that it's nearly embarrassing. Sitting around the local saloon, Mr. Floud, his mother, and the other patrons try remembering the
words of the Gettysburg Address but are unable to do so. Then, quietly at first, but with mounting intensity, as all attention focuses on him, Ruggles
recites the speech from memory to a hushed and obviously transported room. Laughton imbues Lincoln's words with such feeling and such hope that
it's like hearing them for the first time. The realization that this menial, who has only arrived in America by sheerest chance, has been nurturing a
quintessentially American dream of freedom is improbably but profoundly touching and elevates a pretty good film into a classic.
GRADE : A
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Format: VHS Tape
Whether you are a fan of Laughton's or not is of no consequence--you will enjoy RUGGLES OF RED GAP. His transformation from subservient valet to independent man is as engrossing and entertaining as it gets. I admit, I wasn't too sure I could imagine him in a comedic role, but he plays Ruggles superbly! His supporting cast shines as he does: Mary Boland, Zasu Pitts, and Charles Ruggles are terrific! The way Ruggles recites the Gettysberg Address at the end of the movie is unforgetable, and when all the patrons of his diner begin to sing "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow," and tears fill up in his eyes, well...it just doesn't get any better than this! HIGHLY RECOMMEND!
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Format: VHS Tape
When I first heard of the 1935 film "Ruggles of Red Gap", I thought it was a movie about the life of actor Charlie Ruggles. Since Charlie Ruggles was one of Hollywood's most talented performers of that era, I knew the movie couldn't be bad. Charlie stars in this film but ironically doesn't play "Ruggles". He and Mary Boland play the ever bickering Mr. and Mrs. Floud, who win a servant (played by Charles Laughton) in a poker game. The movie is extremely hilarious from beginning to end with one comical act after another. My favorite was the scene in which Effie Floud insisted on "refining" her husband Egbert, with new clothes, a haircut and trimmed moustache. After finally being forced into a new suit, Egbert grumbles, "I look like that bantam rooster I had before it was run over." In which Effie retorts, "When you came in here you looked like that bantam rooster AFTER he was run over!" It's a sidesplitting hour and a half laugh track in the spirit of "Bringing Up Baby" and "The Awful Truth".
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Ruggles Of Red Gap is a film I have seen many times and look forward to viewing again many more. It really holds up to the passing years. In its own way it is the most patriotic of movies -- much more than Sands of Iwo Jima, etc. Ruggles undergoes a slow transformation from servant-class Brit, fearful of his new life "in a land of slavery" to an American enteprenuer, running the "Anglo-American Grill" in the boomtown he is taken to. In the process he discovers confidence, egalitarianism, and a bit of working class romance. A lovely comedy of manners, poking fun at class pretensions among the newly-rich and the enui of the upper crust.
Laughton is delightful in a multi-layered characterization of a stone-faced gentleman's gentleman with a secret inner life that just begins to emerge with the encouragement of his new American friends. His quiet recitation of the Gettysburg Address is a truly magic moment in the history of American cinema.
There is so much more to this film than the average 1930's comedy. It has its screwball element, yes, but there is a real heart to it. The dialogue is tops -- so many memorable lines -- and the acting is as good as it gets.
If this film isn't a classic, nothing is.
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Today, Abraham Lincoln's birthday, is an especially appropriate day to write my reaction to my viewing last night of "Ruggles of Red Gap." The movie is a surprisingly moving tribute to the American spirit as Charles Laughton, playing the stolid English manservant Marmaduke Ruggles, slowly embraces the rugged individualism and free spirit possessed by the residents of Red Gap, Washington, after he becomes the gentleman's gentleman to a decidely ungentlemanly frontier millionaire, Egbert Floud. The comedy of the film comes from broad physical gags, witty dialogue, and carefully observed personality traits, such as the pretentious behavior of Mrs. Floud, a "society lady" just one step removed from the saloon. Laughton's recitation of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address is full of feeling, and we are as engrossed in how strongly he's taken its words to heart as the bar patrons who stop everything to listen to him. Laughton, without a tinge of hokum, portrays Ruggles as a representative of all immigrants who come to America in search of a better life, as well as a man of considerable personal charm and depth. This film is a gem in every way.
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