(out of 5)

This Milos Forman film adaptation of the E.L. Doctorow novel will be of particular interest to those who enjoyed the recent Broadway musical version (this one’s not a musical). It stars an ensemble cast whose interactions take place in turn-of-the-century America when the country was going through a major cultural upheaval in the post-industrial revolution era. Representing it all was the controversial sound of ragtime, a brand new style of music that many found to be the very source of immoral behaviour (when in fact it was the very source of jazz, and both are good for you in moderation). and are the head of a prominent family whose experiences in their changing world form the center of the story, while  stands out in a terrific role as a man trying to make a life for himself in a very cruel and racist world. is a delight as a burlesque singer constantly in search of a new sponsor,  plays a Jewish immigrant whose inability to get hired pushes him out west into a new business called ‘motion pictures’, and the great  appears in his final film role as a police captain.

, Sunley Productions Ltd.

USA, 1981

Directed by

Screenplay by , based on the novel by

Cinematography by

Produced by Dino De Laurentiis

Music by Randy Newman

Production Design by John Graysmark

Costume Design by Anna Hill Johnstone

Film Editing by Anne V. Coates, Antony Gibbs, Stanley Warnow

Academy Awards 1981

Golden Globe Awards 1981

New York Film Critics Awards 1981.  

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