Ruggles of Red Gap

Watch Ruggles of Red Gap

"SH-H-H-H! TONIGHT'S YOUR NIGHT TO HOWL! And howl you will at this funniest of all comedies..."
  • Approved
  • 1935
  • 1 hr 30 min
  • 7.6  (4,462)

Ruggles of Red Gap is a 1935 comedy film directed by Leo McCarey and starring Charles Laughton, Mary Boland, and Charles Ruggles. The film tells the story of the eponymous Ruggles, a butler who is accidentally won by an American couple in an English poker game. The couple takes Ruggles with them to their new home in Red Gap, Washington, where Ruggles must adjust to life in a small American town.

The film opens with Ruggles working as a butler for the crude and uncultured Egbert Floud (Charlie Ruggles) and his wife Effie (Mary Boland) in England. One night, Egbert wins Ruggles in a poker game against the British Earl of Burnstead (Roland Young). Initially, Ruggles is horrified at the prospect of being owned by a cowboy, but he soon realizes that he has an opportunity to start a new life in America.

When they arrive in Red Gap, the Flouds introduce Ruggles to their friends and neighbors, who are fascinated by his British accent and impeccable manners. Ruggles is initially hesitant to socialize with the locals, but he soon becomes friends with some of them, including the fiery and independent Mrs. Judson (Zasu Pitts) and the charming and wealthy Prunella Judson (Leila Hyams).

As Ruggles spends more time in Red Gap, he begins to question the rigid class system of his native England. He becomes increasingly disillusioned with his former life as a servant and starts to see himself as a free American citizen. He even gives a passionate speech at a Fourth of July celebration, in which he extols the virtues of democracy and liberty.

Despite its comedic tone, Ruggles of Red Gap is a poignant and insightful commentary on the American dream and the myth of social mobility. The film explores themes of identity, class, and culture clash, and it is notable for its sympathetic portrayal of a servant who becomes disillusioned with the world he has always known.

Charles Laughton delivers a brilliant performance as Ruggles, imbuing the character with both dignity and humor. His impeccable English accent and understated acting style are perfectly suited to the role, and he brings a sense of warmth and humanity to the character that makes him impossible not to root for.

Mary Boland is equally impressive as Effie, the larger-than-life American woman who takes Ruggles under her wing. Boland's comic timing is spot-on, and she manages to make Effie both hilarious and endearing at the same time.

Charles Ruggles is a lot of fun as the hapless Egbert, and his scenes with Laughton are some of the film's highlights. Zasu Pitts and Leila Hyams are also excellent in their supporting roles, bringing depth and nuance to their characters.

Overall, Ruggles of Red Gap is an entertaining and thought-provoking film that still holds up today, nearly a century after it was made. It is a testament to the power of cinema to explore complex social issues with humor and heart.

Ruggles of Red Gap is a 1935 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 30 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.6.

Ruggles of Red Gap
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 30 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.6  (4,462)