The Ritz (1976)

TOMATOMETER

——

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

With The Ritz, Terrence McNally's hit Broadway play of the same name is cinematized by director Richard Lester. Jack Weston plays Gaetano Proclo, a minor mob flunky who's been targeted for elimination by his brother-in-law, Carmine Vespucci (Jerry Stiller). Gaetano takes refuge in what he thinks is a Turkish bath. Actually, it's The Pits. That's the name, "The Pits" -- a gay bathhouse (this is the pre-AIDS era), where the exquisitely awful Googie Gomez (Rita Moreno) entertains the homosexual patrons with her ear-splitting renditions of such show tunes as "Everything's Coming Up Roses." Hoping to save his neck by pretending to be gay, Gaetano effusively praises Googie. Assuming that he is a big-time Broadway producer, she plays up to him. Everything would be hunky-dory, except that the bathhouse is owned by the very mob that has put a contract on Gaetano. What follows is an old-fashioned door-slamming farce, except that there are no doors to slam. The supporting cast includes Kaye Ballard, Treat Williams, George Coulouris, F. Murray Abraham, Dave King, and (as one of the patrons) a pre-Cheers John Ratzenberger.
Rating:
R
Genre:
Art House & International , Classics , Comedy , Gay & Lesbian
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Warner Home Video

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Cast

Treat Williams
as Michael Brick
Jack Weston
as Gaetano Proclo
Rita Moreno
as Googie Gomez
Jerry Stiller
as Carmine Vespucci
Bessie Love
as Maurine
Richard Holmes
as Pianist
Bart Allison
as Old Priest
George Coulouris
as Old Man Vespucci
Peter Butterworth
as Patron In Chaps
Kaye Ballard
as Vivian Proclo
Hugh Fraser
as Disc Jockey
Ben Aris
as Patron with Bicycle
Tony De Santis
as Sheldon Farenthold
Ronnie Brody
as Small Patron
Leon Greene
as Musclebound Patron
Chris Harris
as Patron
Hal Galili
as Patron With Cigar
Paul B. Price
as Claude
Samantha Weyson
as Gilda Proclo
Freddie Earle
as Disgruntled Patron
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Critic Reviews for The Ritz

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (1)

OK version of the play enlivened by occasional flashes of Lester creativity.

February 3, 2005
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Funny version of the Broadway show. Look for an early Treat Williams appearance.

December 31, 2004
Nolan's Pop Culture Review

Quote not available.

June 16, 2005
EmanuelLevy.Com

Quote not available.

December 20, 2004
Greenwich Village Gazette

Quote not available.

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

Audience Reviews for The Ritz

½

The critics got this one totally wrong. A hilarious romp through a 70s gay bathhouse. You can certainly enjoy this bathhouse without worrying about wearing condoms, thongs, a towel, and anything else to protect you from STDs.

Paul Wood
Paul Wood
½

On the run from his murderous brother-in-law Carmine(Jerry Stiller), Gaetano(Jack Weston) seeks refuge in the last place he would look for him, a gay bath house where Googie(Rita Moreno, fabulous in a scenery chewing performance) is singing that night. Abe(Dave King) at the front desk takes pity on Gaetano and cashes his check, thus allowing him entrance and to pay his cab driver. Now, all Gaetano has to do is stay one step ahead of Claude(Paul B. Price) who has a thing for plus-sized men. "The Ritz" is a silly, silly movie. If your idea of comedy like mine is Treat Williams speaking with a high squeaky voice, then you will certainly find this movie funny.(This is apparently not only Williams' first big movie role but also F. Murray Abraham's. And John Ratzenberger is around here somewhere.) While considering how far gay rights have come since this movie was made in 1976, this was also ironically a celebration of a more innocent era where before AIDS one could even joke about STD's, with the Ronald Reagan reference being eerily prescient. And I had always imagined bath houses as being dingy dives...

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

A very funny comedy movie, with a great story and good actors. I really liked it.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

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