Ruggles Of Red Gap (1935)

LEO MCCAREY

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.5

USA, 1935Paramount Pictures.  Screenplay by , , adaptation by , based on the novel by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by , .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Academy Awards 1935.

Leo McCarey made some of the most delightful comedies of the thirties and forties, though this excellent misadventure isn’t as well remembered as The Awful Truth or Duck Soup. It stars Charles Laughton as the picture-perfect butler to an English Lord (Roland Young) who is lost in a poker game to a nouveau riche American couple (, ). The couple then inform Ruggles that they are transporting him from Paris to their home in frontier America. The culture clash that transpires, followed by Ruggles’ discovery of an independent life of his own, is full of hilarity, wisdom and even a few touching moments as well. Laughton’s hammy face is sometimes annoying but he fits the role to a T, and is terrific as his often-confused love interest. Naturally, Boland and her featherbrained antics steal much of the show.

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