Customer Reviews: Ruthless People
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on November 11, 2000
I hope everyone didn't forget that Bette Midler was the highest grossing female film star of the 80's! This is the classic that will prove how she got the attention. This was released after Down And Out In Beverly Hills which brought Bette back into popularity at the movies. In fact, Down... is probably considered her funniest movie. I think Ruthless outshines all her comedies. It's sooo 80's, too! Scene after scene, this movie moves along with no time to be bored. Acting is perfect by all. Although Danny and Bette are never seen together until the end, they look so cute together. Danny Devito wants his abrasive wife kidnaped! Judge Reinhold had his multi million dollar idea stolen from Devito. Devito's mistress wants his money. And did I mention the serial killer? Very funny! I hope this will soon be re-released on DVD!
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on September 8, 2002
It's about time that "Ruthless People" is finally out to own on DVD. I remember seeing this movie when I was really little, and I loved every minute. Now, almost 21 years old, I was able to get all of the little jokes that I didn't get when I was little. This is still a favorite, doesn't matter how old the movie is. "Ruthless People" is a laugh-riot that will leave you begging for more!
Millionaire Sam Stone hates his wife. How much? Enough that he is prepared to kill her. But when he gets home and is ready to do the deed, his wife, Barbara, is nowhere to be found. Instead, he gets a phone call from kidnappers who threaten to kill her if he does not pay the ransom. So what does Sam do? He celebrates!!! The movie and plot gets twisted and funnier as the minutes roll by.
The cast is terrific; including Danny DeVito, Judge Reinhold, Helen Slater, and Bette Midler. They are hillarious in this evil and twisting comedy. DeVito really steals the show and is absolutley hillarious.
The DVD, I admit, is quite poor. There is litterally no special features at all. Picture is good, not great. But keep in mind, that this is an old movie. For it being such an old movie, the picture looks pretty good. Even though the DVD isn't the best, I don't care. I just wanted the movie, that's all. And that's what I got. Doesn't matter to me if there are special features or not on this one.
"Ruthless People" is a cult classic and a terrific comedy that abandons the routine boring formula. It takes risks, it's well-written, and it is still one of the funniest movies out on the market today. Check this one out when you can.
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on December 7, 2002
Right from the start, Ruthless People has several things going for it. First of all, the plot is hilarious.
Sam Stone (Danny De Vito) is the disgruntled husband of heiress Bette Midler. Sam has a nice stack of cash of his own, yet, like the greedy man he is, he wants more. And there is only one way to get it. Kill off his rich wife. He has it all planned out. Yet little does he know that there are two people out there who will inadvertently do him a favor by kidnapping his wife and, if he won't pay off the ransom, they'll kill her for him. So all Sam has to do now is sit back and wait. There is only one problem. These kidnappers, while they claim to be "ruthless people", are really a couple of softies who, when they see a bug in their house, will scoop it up and place it gently outside the door. When they threaten to kill Mrs. Stone, they hardly mean what they say. Half the fun of watching this movie is seeing the scenes where Sam is on the phone with the kidnappers, seething because they are willing to give him chance after chance to get them the money, even after several stubborn refusals.
Bette Midler, as Sam Stone's wife, is very funny in her role as hostage, and Judge Reinhold and Helen Slater do a great job as her captors. The performances are the second thing this movie has going for it. But it is really Danny De Vito who ultimately makes this movie all it is.
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on August 19, 2004
Ruthless People is the perfect star vehicle for Bette Midler. Colorful, hilarious, and extremely dated, this is a sick, twisted, and enjoyable romp with an all-star cast and truly surprising results. It's masterful how all the characters interweave, creating more and more hilarious subplots. To say any more will ruin the fun; it has to be seen to be believed. This is an overlooked gem that has an intricate plotline supported by sharp jokes. They certainly don't make em like this anymore. This film deserves to be a modern classic.
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on May 18, 2002
She is Barbara Stone, a fat, loudmouthed, obnoxious, no-class Hollywood wife. He is Sam Stone, a pint-size slimeball who gets rich off stealing others' ideas. Only this time, he's stolen from the wrong person, a gentle housewife named Sandy Kessler, whose enraged husband, Ken, is about to fix the slimeball's wagon once and for all. How better than by kidnapping Sam's wife and holding her for ransom? Trouble is, Sam hates his wife because he's cavorting with his mistress Carol (who in turn is cheating on him with another man), and sees the kidnap threat as a heaven-sent way of getting rid of his wife. Send the ransom? You gotta be kidding. Why go through a messy divorce when you can be a bereaved widower with a fat bank account? Bette Midler is an absolute riot as Barbara Stone, trusting in her husband to deliver her from the kidnappers' benign clutches until she is brought up short when she finds out what a dirtbag he really is; Danny DeVito oozes sleaziness as her loathsome husband Sam, and Judge Reinhold and Helen Slater are a twin delight as the sorriest pair of kidnappers on the planet. The movie is a laugh riot from the crazy opening credits to the inspired ending. It's 80's comedy at its best.
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on May 14, 2002
...where are all the bonus features? At bare minimum, where's the remastering? My two stars obviously do not reflect on how witty, how clever, or how entertaining this film is. Midler especially is at her pinnacle as a privileged and overbearing socialite wife, and Reinhold and Slater are perfectly dimwitted--but not as perfect as Pullman. The sole criticism I might have for the film's content is DeVito's typical performance, but it fits so snuggly into the plot his predictability is excused. My low rating is merely for the extremely poor quailty of the picture this DVD has to offer. It is no better--no clearer, no more pristine--than the VHS cassette I've had for 10+ years and has been viewed and rewound countless times. I thought for sure that such a terrific film would lend itself so exactly to star commentary, remastering, and perhaps a few minutes of deleted scenes. This is the equivalent of an old and scratchy LP being directly burned to CD and issued as is.
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on February 9, 2004
Sam Stone only married his wife, Barbara, for her money. Now he's anxious to get rid of her. Before he can do the deed, though, someone does him a huge favor by kidnapping her. What could be better? All he has to do is not pay the ransom and his problem is solved. Barbara's bungling kidnappers find themselves stuck with a worthless hostage.
RUTHLESS PEOPLE is a very funny movie. It's well plotted, well acted and keeps you laughing all the way. While not quite a classic, it was one of the top comedies of the mid-80's and resurrected Bette Midler's movie career. My only caution is that this is definitely NOT a movie for kids. Crude language is scattered throughout and there is some blatantly sexual material. While it might offend a few people, it's pretty mild by current standards. You could see almost as much in a Super Bowl halftime show.
I've liked RUTHLESS PEOPLE ever since I first saw it at the theater. It's a first-rate adult comedy. If you'd like some laughs, this is a good choice.
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on May 25, 2007
For my money, this is one of the funniest movies Hollywood ever made. It starts out funny, and continues funny, right up to the end, when you realize that the good guys have won.

The entire cast: magnificent.

If you want to sit around feeling glum tonight, DON'T WATCH "RUTHLESS PEOPLE!!!" :-) :-)
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on May 20, 2015
I have been intending to compose a review for this one for quite awhile, but I was reminded of just that today when a dear friend and colleague asked a question about this film. First off, let me say that I am a huge Bette Midler fan and her zany brand of humor and larger-than-life personality fits the role perfectly! She plays a somewhat spoiled heiress whose beleaguered husband (played by DeVito) has had enough. Still, he is not exactly a victim-- in fact, far from it. He is carrying on an elicit affair with a gold-digging vamp.

Anyway, a down-on-his luck salesman and his talented but soft-spoken wife become involved in a ransom scheme but DeVito just won't pay up. In the meantime, Bette's character undergoes a magical transformation and forms a deep if unlikely friendship with Ken and Sandy a.ka. her abductors played charmingly by Judge Reinhold and Helen Slater.

Of course, in the end things don't come up roses for DeVito(he's so good playing a villain!) This has to be one of the best comedies ever made! I just adore it! It's really worth the purchase and even better than Down and Out in Beverly Hills!
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on July 13, 2016
Yeah, Danny Devito and Bette Midler are up to INSANE HIJINKS in this funny movie from the ‘80s. I think I got this movie for my mother-in-law because she really liked it. I should really watch it again soon, because I remember it being funny when I watched it when it first came out when I was a kid. There was a scene where they put a bad guy’s head in a piranha tank, hilarious!!! Also, the outfits, architecture, and decorating are chortle-inducing as well. Enjoy.
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