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Ruggles of Red Gap (1935) on 4/20/09

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A classic fish out of water comedy features a veddy English butler among the nouveau riche of the American West in Ruggles of Red Gap (1935), which may be one of the most likable movies ever. It is premiering on TCM on Monday, 4/20/09 at 9:15PM ET/6:15PM PT. Charles Laughton gives a deftly restrained and good performance in this movie, and he is often quite funny as well as touching when he recites a certain passage that surprisingly few inhabitants of Red Gap know.


Laughton has a great deal of fine competition for laughs from the splendid cast, especially from Charlie Ruggles (who was probably never better), Mary Boland, Zasu Pitts and Roland Young, who are really delightful as well. When they talk about Leo McCarey as a gifted comic director, this movie is the one they should cite as one of his master works. Hope that you'll enjoy it and even if you don't, share an opinion, won't you?


Zasu Pitts, Charles Laughton, Charlie Ruggles and Maude Eburne mull over things in Ruggles of Red Gap.


A TCM article by Frank Arnold about the film may be seen [here|http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title.jsp?stid=88738&category=Articles] . Another interesting piece touching on the significance of the movie, emphasizing the generosity of spirit within such movies, and looking at them in a context of American history is found [here|http://blog.brightlightsfilm.com/2007/11/america-by-america-for-european.html] on the Bright Lights After Dark blog .

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I am so glad to know Moira is "Ruggles" fan too. (Charlie and "Beauregard")




I know this film is the "Funny Ladies" selection spotlighting Zasu Pitts but it is Mary Boland that makes me laugh outloud.


The recitation scene provides a reaction in me much like that new YouTube sensation Susan Boyle. Heck, the whole movie still works on me like that. And that is why this movie is _the_ highlight of the month on TCM for me. (Yes. Bigger than even that.)


Kyle In Hollywood

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> {quote:title=drednm wrote:}{quote}

> I don't think Ruggles has been released on DVD in this country... I bought a lousy quality DVD out of Hong Kong or Singapore a few years ago....


amazon doesn't have it, but movies unlimited seems to have it, if you click on the little "price tag" on the schedule.

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Kyle, it's been your enthusiasm for this movie that has made me anxious to see it

again and record it. I saw it only once, so long ago I have no memory of the details,

but I don't think I appreciated it enough, even though I was always a great fan of



Thanks, Moira, for the notice, I might have missed it.

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Hadn't seen this movie in over 35 years so had forgotten most of it. Starts slowly but builds and holds the attention once they arrive at Red Gap. Charles L was terrific..but I also enjoyed Charlie Ruggles and Zazu Pitts. Thanks for showing it, TCM!

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Came home from a screening of I'm No Angel and caught Ruggles mid point, WAH! But I still could follow the story just fine.

I don't think I had ever seen Laughton so young! And my two favorite charactor actors, Roland Young & Charlie Ruggles TOGETHER in one movie! I almost fell out of my chair when I saw C. Ruggles playing a cowboy against his usual type, just adorable! Never knew he had that kind of range.


And Zazu Pitts....(my childhood nickname from my Mom) she was adorable. Everytime she spoke all I could think of was "The young prince fall down?". She delivers her lines just like the kid who voiced Thumper.


And Kyle, that pic of Laughton on the carousel.....was that a scene I missed in the movie? I collect pics of movie stars on carousels. That looks like it might be Tilden Park.

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I used to talk to elderly friends back in the 70's who remembered seeing RUGGLES when it came out in 1934 and they still spoke in awe of Laughton's recitation of The Gettysburg Address. Of course, the set-up is half the effect. It's this type of humanity infused into an otherwise whimsical tale that makes RUGGLES a movie to be remembered.

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I really hope that TCM shows "Ruggles" again.


I'd been looking forward to it since the April schedule was announced, but a heavy thunderstorm last night disrupted our satellite signal and kept me from viewing much of it. (The same thing happened a few weeks ago when "The Good Fairy" had its sole showing on TCM, but I was able to get a very good DVD to make up for it -- unfortunately not an option with "Ruggles.")


"Ruggles" is a favorite movie of mine, one that I haven't had a chance to see for a long time. Please show it again, TCM!

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I have seen smathering of scenes from Ruggles before but this was the first time to see the compete movie, and I must say it was bit of an OK! Robert O mentioned Fancy Pants being a remake of Ruggles. That got me wondering how interesting it would be if TCM could, if possible, put these kinds of movies on one after another. Saturday Ben M. mentioned that The Flying Tigers was essentially a reworking of Only Angels Have Wings. There are so many good orignals and remakes that I think it could be fun and enlightened entertainment to view these films one after the other to compare, lamblast, or just enjoy. I can think of a few films that would fit into this category. How to Marry a Millionaire is a reworking of Moon Over Miami which is a musical version of Three Blind Mice, and who knows where the orignal idea came from. Who else thinks it would be interesting to see how one idea for a film can be worked?

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I fell asleep about 3/4 through but I did record it and LOVED what I saw so far.

I always admired Laughton as a great dramatic actor, but now that admiration

has skyrocketed because comedy is HARD and he broke me up in scene after

scene! It was an almost Chaplinesque turn, full of droll expressions, few words

(a great choice, considering it's a talkie movie) and real humanity. I really

lost it when he let out with some cowboy yells in the Paris cafe, ha haaaaaa!!!!


And I agree with the other poster who was floored to see Charlie Ruggles playing

a roughneck cowboy! My admiration for HIS talents has shot up, too, and I

already had thought him a wonderful comic performer.


Can't wait to see the rest (though I, too encountered several "distrubances" in

the transmission of the film and put it down to the storm--the audio went out

twice for rather long periods---so I hope it re-airs at some point so we can

get a better recording)

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i have never had any desire to see this movie - until last nite. what a great film! i cannot believe what i have missed all these years. Zasu was actually quite pretty. and Charles Laughton is great in anything. like another reviewer, my satellite also gave out due to the weather and i missed quite a bit. i hope TCM reruns it soon.

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I enjoyed this movie very much. Aside from the scenes that people brought up (and the Gettysburg address never fails to move me, no matter who is quoting it) but a couple of things that really cracked me up was the first part of the film when Roland Young tells Ruggles he's been lost in a card game--that look on Laughton's face was hilarious. It was like he was saying, with his eyes, "what in the heck has the Earl gotten me into!!" And the scene at the party at the blonde's house (can't remember her character's name but I think it was Leila Hyams who played her.) When she & Young were playing Pretty Baby on the piano & drums. I'll bet that was improvised because Hyams had some great reactions to Young.


Very funny film and I hope to see it again.

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  • 1 month later...



Thanks to you (and Moira) for your ringing endorsement of this movie I must say I had a wonderful time watching it tonight. THe wife enjoyed it as well.


Laughton may have top billing but Charlie Ruggles and Mary Boland ran away with it. First rate fun with some very funny scenes. Some off handed lines and a couple of small gags really add to the fun. Leo McCarey has quite a gift for these kinds of films. It's the most fun I've seen Laughton have in anything.


I like the way Laughton fought the familiarity afforded him by Red Gap residents but how it finally gave him a chance to be himself and have people like him for it. It was good the way he melted.


One more fun film for my collection.

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