The Ruling Class 1972

The Ruling Class

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

83%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 12

86%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,030

Other movies

User image

Verified

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)



  • You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Step 2 of 2

    How did you buy your ticket?

    Let's get your review verified.

    • Fandango

    • AMCTheatres.com or AMC AppNew

    • Cinemark Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Theater box office or somewhere else

    You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)

  • How did you buy your ticket?

    • Fandango

    • AMCTheatres.com or AMC AppNew

    • Cinemark Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Theater box office or somewhere else

The Ruling Class Photos

Movie Info

When the Earl of Gurney (Harry Andrews) dies in a cross-dressing accident, his schizophrenic son, Jack (Peter O'Toole), inherits the Gurney estate. Jack is not the average nobleman; he sings and dances across the estate and thinks he is Jesus reincarnated. Believing that Jack is mentally unfit to own the estate, the Gurney family plots to steal Jack's inheritance. As their outrageous schemes fail, the family strives to cure Jack of his bizarre behavior, with disastrous results.

Cast & Crew

Peter O'Toole
Jack Arnold Alexander Tancred Gurney, 14th Earl of Gurney
Alastair Sim
Bishop Lampton
Harry Andrews
13th Earl of Gurney
Arthur Lowe
Daniel Tucker
Coral Browne
Lady Claire Gurney
Nigel Green
McKyle
William Mervyn
Sir Charles Gurney
Carolyn Seymour
Grace Shelley
Peter Barnes
Writer
John Cameron
Original Music
Edward Elgar
Non-Original Music
Arthur Sullivan
Non-Original Music
Ken Hodges
Cinematographer
Ray Lovejoy
Film Editor
Show all Cast & Crew

News & Interviews for The Ruling Class

Critic Reviews for The Ruling Class

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (2)

Audience Reviews for The Ruling Class

  • Sep 15, 2019
    Both the movie and its source material were written at a time when merely being outrageous was considered subversive so several sequences feel like mediocre late period Monty Python sketches. Still, its worth seeing for O'Toole who holds the movie together with a hilarious and occasionally terrifying performance.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 05, 2014
    This lightly known comedy is incredibly unorthodox and is really a hidden gem. The late Peter O'Toole is fabulous in his role as the heir to an Earldom and the Second Coming of Christ (in his own mind).
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 04, 2011
    I was surprised by how thrown-together this movie seems to be. It is definitely ambitious in its biting social commentary; but, in the end, it ends up falling victim to its own outlandish charm. What starts off as a funny and searing look at British artistocracy quicky spirals into an acid-trip of a movie that is as discombobulated as it is filled with acting talent that is severely misused. Mind-blowing potential; mind-numbing payoff.
    Rico Z Super Reviewer
  • Jul 11, 2010
    Top performance from O'Toole, with exceptional supporting work, especially from renowned character actor Alastair Sim. Fantastic dialogue, but that is because the script is adapted from a stage play (and the adaptation done by the same writer); at moments it is easy to tell that this is a stage adaptation even if you didn't know because of the short asides into the camera and general elevated form of dialogue. The selected filming locations are exquisite and film beautifully. Next to O'Toole's performance, my favorite element of the film is that it chooses to overtly blur the line between an objective reality and the subjective reality Jack is experiencing by seamlessly sewing the two together when the situation warrants it. First two thirds of the film is a romping satire and mostly all-out fun, which contrasts with the quickly darkening melodrama of the final act. Some viewers will be jarred by this transition, just as some other viewers won't recognize that the supporting characters are being genuine when they suddenly align themselves with Jack (when the prior scheme had been to remove him from his inherited lordship and return him to permanent mental illness institution). Even if the relationship chemistries feel weak at times, the main character's struggle never feels false but indeed takes on a mythical quality. This is a movie where I WANT so badly to rate it four stars, but I just feel that the scene progression jumps over some long periods of time too easily and that perhaps the scenes picked to be in the film aren't always the most significant to Jack's life (but perhaps that is because many of the scenes are of his most critical moments so anything else will feel pointless in comparison). Some of the editing is a bit rough, but I reckon that's because this was this director's first big outing. Bottom line is that the writer Peter Barnes delivers an excellent satire of English society, perceptions of mental illness, the "eccentric wealthy" character-type, family quarrels, and of the abuse of power and privilege.
    _kelly . Super Reviewer

The Ruling Class Quotes

Movie & TV guides