Sam Stone (Danny DeVito) is a clothing manufacturer, who married his wife Barbara (Bette Midler), for the money that she was supposed to inherit from her dying father, but her father didn't die for another fifteen years. He is now planning to kill her and he tells his girlfriend Carol Dodsworth (Anita Morris) what he is going to do. He then on his way home to do just that but when he gets there, she's not there. He then receives a call from someone claiming to have kidnapped Barbara and threatening to kill her if he informs the police, which he does hoping that they do. What Stone doesn't know is that the kidnappers, Ken (Judge Reinhold) and Sandy (Helen Slater) Kessler are a couple whose idea for a garment he stole and made fortune off, are not that lethal, as a matter of fact Barbara's more lethal. And what Stone doesn't know is that Carol, has another boyfriend named Earl Mott (Bill Pullman), and they plan to blackmail Sam, by videotaping him disposing of Barbara's body. When Earl ...Written by
Although it has been perceived that Ruthless People was influenced by O. Henry's story The Ransom of Red Chief, writer Dale Launer claims that it was inspired by the kidnapping of Patricia Hearst and that the similarities between the film and the earlier story were a coincidence. See more »
When Earl films the cop and the hooker, Earl talks, groans, and vomits right next to the camera. When the film is played back later, the only soundtrack is the moaning and groaning coming from the hooker in the car. See more »
Carol, did I ever tell you why I married her?
Yes, Sam, you told me many, many...
Her father was very, very rich, and very, very sick. The doctors assured me he'd be dead any minute. There wasn't a second to lose! I rushed right out and married the boss's daughter. He was so sick, it was like the Angel of Death was sitting in the room with him, watching the clock. They pulled the plug on him... he wheezed and shook for about an hour... and then... he stabilized. The son-of-a-bitch ...
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Opening credits are shown in neon colors and shapes, in split screen, with the other part of the screen depicting various methods of knocking someone off. See more »
Brought by the makers of AIRPLANE, RUTHLESS PEOPLE is a laugh riot of a movie. Danny DeVito leads the pack as a greedy millionaire who plans to murder his wife for her money, but becomes rapturous when she is kidnapped. DeVito is hilarious in the lead role. Judge Reinhold delivers a wacky performance as the kidnapper. Helen Slater does a great job and she's also beautiful as the kidnapper's fashion designer wife, but the real star of the movie is Bette Midler, as DeVito's kidnapped wife. Though this movie lacks a little bit of the quality that AIRPLANE had, it still has its share of really good performances and hilarious one-liners. Great entertainment!
4 out of 5
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