The last film to be co-directed by Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker, Ruthless People stars Bette Midler (capitalizing on her comeback performance in Down and Out in Beverly Hills) as Barbara, a spoiled rich woman who is kidnapped by the kindly Ken and Sandy Kessler (Judge Reinhold and Helen Slater). Barbara's forceful husband Sam (Danny DeVito) has ripped off the Kesslers and they decide to hold Barbara for ransom. Sam, who hates his wife, refuses to pay. Eventually Barbara befriends the Kesslers and together they figure out how to exact revenge upon the obnoxious Sam. Bill Pullman makes his film debut here as a very dim, would-be criminal. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi
They simply don't make movies like this anymore. I never realized the 1980s had a particular style of film until recently, they were much more plot driven and had a warmth to them, like Hollywood was actually having fun making them instead of churning them out as fast as they could without any regard to staying power. Back then the video sub industry was all mom and pop stores so the movies had to be good, or at least entertaining enough to keep our attention. When this movie was made Touchstone pictures had just formed so that Disney could make rated R movies, and they produced a lot of good ones before the decade was over. This is one of my favorites. Maybe in the next decade Hollywood will return to plot driven comedies.
This one of the funniest movies ever made. It is a rolicking, non-stop laugh fest. The incongruities of miscommunication, cross-purposes, and unexpected action & results are perfectly woven into a perfectly timed comedy.
Favorite line - "This could very well be the stupidest man on the face of the earth... perhaps we should shoot him."
This movie is non-stop laughs from beginning to end and I can't even count how many times I've watched it. It is HILARIOUS!!!