The Ruling Class - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Ruling Class Reviews

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January 25, 2016
This is a flawed gem of British cinema. Bitter, funny and deranged. At times it loses its way, or lays it on a bit too thick, but any faults are made up for by a wonderful set of performances. Particularly strong are O'Toole in his Oscar nominated turn as the maniacal Earl, Arthur Lowe as his insubordinate butler, the great Alistair Simm in one of his last performances, doing what he does best, and a small scene-stealing turn from the wonderful Nigel Green. Many of the supporting actors here made their careers out of gentle English comedies of the 40s and 50s. This film feels half-way between those earlier Ealing-style comedies and more counter-culture offerings of the 70s. While not exactly a musical, the choice to have the characters periodically break out into song and dance numbers may well have influenced Dennis Potter's use of the same devise in Pennies from Heaven a few years later. While I'm not sure that The Ruling Class has has much profound to say as a satire, it does work as a wonderfully deranged comedy on manners with a few chilling moments. Think Kind Hearts and Coronets for post 60s Britain.
October 15, 2015
THE BEST...SIMPLY THE BEST !!
December 5, 2014
O'Toole is good, and the movie is interesting in parts, but it's organizationally too disjointed.
December 2, 2014
Peter O'Toole is absolutely wonderful in this zany, screwball comedy satire.
½ June 27, 2014
In spots a very amusing and irreverent tongue-in-cheek satire on class that features a tour de force performance by Peter O'Toole.
June 18, 2014
I miss Peter O'Toole so much because of films like this one...
½ April 21, 2014
One of the great (almost unseen and forgotten) cult curios out there.
April 11, 2014
Peter O'Toole is the man. This movie is insane, but totally awesome.
Super Reviewer
March 5, 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).
½ January 16, 2014
Did I need to see a gorilla, all suit and top hat, backbreaking Peter O'Toole this afternoon...yes, yes I did.
January 10, 2014
An amazing film that is more profound in it's depths than on it's surface--One of the best black comedies ever to come out of Britain... a side-splitting indictment of their class system & much more!!
December 22, 2013
Wonderful, whacky romp with O'Toole revelling in the irreverence of it all. It does have a certain stage drama atmosphere and look to it but, for me, that adds to the strangeness. Some truly side splitting lines delivered immaculately by the equal parts spooky looking and lovable new Earl of Gurney.
December 18, 2013
"Behaviour which would be considered insanity in a tradesman is looked upon as mild eccentricity in a lord."

The late great Peter O'Toole really should have won a Best Actor Oscar for his performance as the 14th Earl of Gurney. I have never seen a better portrayal of mental illness. It's an extraordinary film which starts off as a strange hybrid of P. G. Wodehouse and Joe Orton before straying into darker territory when the Earl seems to become possessed by Jack the Ripper; it's also a brilliant satire of the class system and what constitutes normality in the upper echelons.
April 23, 2013
Nothing short of greatness.
February 1, 2013
My parents took me to see this movie when I back in 1972 when I was 12. I credit them with being quite broad-minded! It's one of my favorite movies of all time.
½ January 10, 2013
Fantastic and raucously funny. Peter O'Toole is a genius.
½ January 9, 2013
In spots a very amusing and irreverent tongue-in-cheek satire on class that features a tour de force performance by Peter O'Toole.
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