This is a pretty common story. An olive in a bowl of cherries, something like that; a fish out of water, etc. Recently we have seen this theme in Did You Hear About The Morgans? – a NYC couple (Sarah Jessica Parker and Hugh Grant) get relocated to a small town in Wyoming by the witness protection program – and New In Town – Renée Zellweger is a Miami businesswoman who moves to a small town in Minnesota. I have seen neither of these movies (despite the name of this website); my point is that this is a narrative device for comedies still used today. Moreover, Ruggles of Red Gap took on many forms before 1935. It was a novel, a play, and two silent films, though the most successful was this version here, starring Charles Laughton as an English butler, Marmaduke Ruggles, working in Paris under the Earl of Burnstead, a rather dapper man prone to mumbling, who uses poor Mr. Ruggles as a stake in a poker game. Ruggles is won by a New Money cowboy, Egbert Floud (Charlie Ruggles (the actor’s name is purely coincidental)), and taken away to a small American town: Red Gap, Washington. Before they leave, however, Egbert gets his new decidedly uptight butler drunk to the point where all Ruggles can do is hoot, giggle, and ride Egbert as if Egbert was a horse: something Ruggles learned, of course, from Egbert. Ruggles’ untimely display of periodic tippling causes Egbert’s socially conscious (if not socially paranoid) wife, Effie Floud (Mary Boland) to threaten to terminate her new butler, though she inevitably lets him off the hook and even allows him a morning snifter which she says will solve Ruggles’ hangover, not that she would know firsthand. Read more »
Archive for February, 2010
Mongol is a fun bio-pic unencumbered by realism or recent history. Genghis Khan ruled Eurasia so long ago that his story can be built from scratch. Set against gorgeous scenery (shot in China and Kazakhstan), Mongol focuses on how the boy became the conquerer. Read more »
If there is one thing I hate, it’s mediocrity. And boy, is Up in the Air Mediocre. Set adrift without a driving plot, the film leans heavily on George Clooney’s charm. If you are still partial to said charm, you may like this movie. If like me, however, you now find Mr. Clooney unable or unwilling to blend into a film or inhabit a character, stay away.* Read more »
The pun is intended: this movie is too black and white. Leaving no room for ambiguity, Mississippi Burning uses manipulative music and stereotypical characters to get one point across: the members of the Ku Klux Klan are assholes.
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