Ruthless People (1986)

DAVID ZUCKER, JIM ABRAHAMS, JERRY ZUCKER

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB

USA, 1986.  , Silver Screen Partners II, Zucker Brothers Productions.  Screenplay by , based on the story The Ransom of Red Chief by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by , .  Golden Globe Awards 1986.  

Fantastic comedy that relaunched Bette Midler‘s movie career and helped boost ‘s as well. She plays the spoiled rich heiress to a clothing company whose husband (DeVito) hates her guts and is planning to murder her. Lucky for him that she gets kidnapped by his disgruntled former employees (, ) and is held for ransom on the night he was planning to do her in. Now DeVito can scrap all the effort and simply refuse to pay the ransom, therefore getting rid of Midler in one fell swoop and keeping his hands clean in the bargain. Nothing is ever that simple, especially when Midler spends her time in her captor’s basement working out and gaining some newfound confidence in herself. The complications that ensue are witty, clever and incredibly hilarious, with marvelous direction from the team responsible for Airplane! and a screenplay based on, oddly enough, a story by O. Henry.  and lend wonderful support, and there’s a hysterical running joke through the film involving a misunderstood private home movie.

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