Ragtime (1981)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

E. L. Doctorow's novel Ragtime was a sprawling fictional account of American manners and mores in the years between 1900 and 1913. This film concentrates on three plot threads: the story of an immigrant artist, the saga of "Gibson Girl" Evelyn Nesbit Shaw, and a black man's quest for justice.

Rating: PG (adult situations/language, nudity, violence)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Michael Weller, Bo Goldman, E.L. Doctorow
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 16, 2004
Paramount Pictures


as Rheinlander Waldo

as Evelyn Nesbit Thaw

as Younger Brother

as Booker T. Washington

as Willie Conklin

as Delmas

as Evelyn's Dance Teach...

as Father

as Coalhouse Walker, Jr...

as Harry Houdini

as Harry K. Thaw

as Stanford White

as Jerome

as Grandfather

as O'Donnell

as Gang Member No. 1

as Police Captain No. 1

as Mrs. Thaw

as Delmas Assistant No....

as Gang Member No. 2

as Special reporter

as Gang Member No. 3

as Old Lady

as Police Captain No. 2

as Vernon Elliott

as Delmas Assistant No....

as Little Girl

as Little Boy

as Gent No. 2 - Manager

as Inspector McNeil

as Black Lawyer

as Delmas's Assistant

as Gang Member No. 4

as Foreman of the Jury

as President Theodore R...

as Vice President Charl...

as Plainclothes Detecti...

as Woman with Stanford ...

as County Clerk

as Gent with Stanford W...

as Police Sergeant

as Police Guard

as Policeman No. 12

as Policeman

as Plainclothes Detecti...

as Policeman

as Sleek Male Dancer

as Band Leader, Clef C...

as Policeman

as Novely Shop Storeman

as Policeman

as Clef Club Manager

as Policeman

as Doctor Muller

as Gent No. 3 - Lawyer

as Policeman

as Fireman

as Fireman

as Evelyn's Driver

as J.P. Morgan

as Waldo's Aide

as Waldo's Aide

as Waldo's Aide

as Desk Clerk

as Black Butler

as Black Butler

as Stage Manager

as Stock Reporter

as Stock Reporter

as Stock Reporter

as Stock Reporter

as Elderly Woman

as Elderly Man

as Solomon Peretz

as maitre d'

as Lawyer's Female Comp...

as Ina, Lawyer's Female...

as Woman in Window

as Guard at Family Hous...

as Library guard

as Special reporter

as Conductor
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Ragtime

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Critic Reviews for Ragtime

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (4)

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Sporadically engaging, Milos Forman's chronicle of American society and culture in the beginning of the twentieth century is too sprawling and dramatically diffuse, though some of the acting is excellent.

Full Review… | July 10, 2011

Great to see very late Cagney in solid Milos Forman film.

March 22, 2008

Audience Reviews for Ragtime


It drags here and there but mostly a fine epic film

jay nixon

Super Reviewer


Milos Foreman's opus about early 1900's America works on a few different levels. It is a great costume and detailed film, good score, powerful acting, and a great cast (Steenburgen is a little iffy at times though). It was great to see some of the old school cats like James Cagney, in his final role, get screen time. Cagney and Brad Dourif definitely make this pretty great. Hey and there was a youngish Samuel L as part of Howard Rollin's gang. Ragtime was a movie that I always wanted to see based off me liking One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Amadeus, and Man on the Moon. Sometimes the movies you want to see for years wind up sucking or disappointing but Ragtime was good.

Rodney Eckrich

I thought it was a wonderful movie, played with great range by the actors, and an exquisite rendition of early 20th century New York with the costume and set designs.

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