Genre Guesstimation – Ruthless People (1986)

The idea behind this feature (Genre Guesstimation) is for me to watch a bunch of new movies (or ones that I haven’t seen many times) from the chosen monthly GG genre in order to expand my knowledge of movies within that particular genre.

This month’s Genre has been chosen by Dan of Slipthrough Movies We will be reviewing our favorite Crime Movies.

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of February by sending them to

Try to think out of the box!

Great choice Dan!

Let’s see if I felt that this movie would be worthy of being in the company of my others favorite movies in the genre of Crime Films…

Original Cinema Quad Poster - Movie Film Posters“I love wrong numbers” – Sam Stone

Number of Times Seen – Between 3-5 Times (Cable in the 80’s and 17 Feb 2016)

Brief Synopsis – While a businessman plots to kill his wife, she is kidnapped by a bumbling couple who hold her for a ransom that he doesn’t want to pay because he’d rather they kill her.

My Take on it – I recall seeing this on cable as a kid and enjoying it, but I didn’t really remember all of the specifics of it except a few choice quotes.

I was rolling on the floor laughing almost the entire time as I saw the direction that they led the story.

This is directed by Jim Abrahams and The Zucker brothers who were marvels at creating spoofs like Airplane (1980) in the early 80’s.

The cast was superbly chosen with Bette Midler, Danny DeVito, Judge Reinhold and Helen Slater as the leads.  The supporting cast is also great with hilarious scenes of misunderstanding featuring Bill Pullman, Anita Morris and William Schilling (of Head of the Class fame).

This movie is filled with memorable scenes and quotable quotes that are not easily forgotten.

Perfect example of a movie showing that it’s possible to create a funny crime caper film with nasty characters as long as you get to laugh the whole time.

Bottom Line – Hilarious crime movie that keeps you laughing the whole time. Excellent cast help make this work so well.  Some real iconic scenes along with quotable quotes.  People really can be ruthless and nasty but still be funny. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Shares similarities with the O. Henry story, “The Ransom of Red Chief,” a turn-of-the century fable about two con men who kidnap the rambunctious 10-year-old son of a widowed businessman for ransom. The businessman refuses to pay the ransom, happy to have his unruly son gone, and the son proves to be a difficult captive. The criminals decide to return the boy to his father, rather then collect the ransom. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, writer Dale Launer stated: “I certainly read O. Henry as a kid, and I don’t remember consciously lifting it.” (From IMDB)

Genre Grandeur Worthy? – Most definitely. This movie is a hilarious crime caper that works on so many levels!

Rating – Oscar Worthy


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7 thoughts on “Genre Guesstimation – Ruthless People (1986)

  1. Haha nice pick, Rob. I forgot about this one. Thanks for the reminder. I hope folks like the Crime Genre. There are so many options to review, from old school film noir to The Coen Bros & Tarantino. I know I have a few in mind. Looking forward to the next review!


  2. Pingback: Genre Granduer February Finale – Double Indemnity (1944) – Slipthough |

  3. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1986 |

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