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The Ruling Class

The Ruling Class

Director: Peter Medak Cast: Peter O'Toole, Alastair Sim, Arthur Lowe

DVD (Wide Screen / Dolby 5.1 / Mono)

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Full of biting British humor and musical numbers (an odd, but brilliant, combination), Peter Medak's The Ruling Class makes its way to DVD from Criterion. As usual, it has done a fine job with a classic title. The 1.77:1 anamorphic transfer is fairly standard. The flat look is most likely a symptom of early-70s filmmaking and a limited budget. The transfer shows signs of age, at times, with minor scratches and dirt, but, for the most part ,colors are well represented and detail is consistent. The 1.0 Dolby Digital track is nothing to get excited about, but confirms the fact that Criterion tends to leave the audio elements with the original soundtrack. Here, centered up front, and at times a bit shrill, the sound is good enough. Known for often adding a number of supplements to its titles, Criterion has included a fine commentary track recorded in 2001 by Medak, Peter O'Toole, and author/screenwriter Peter Barnes. Each discusses just about everything they can remember from 30 years earlier in a very engaging manner. Though probably appealing to a limited audience, there is also nearly 30-minutes of 16 mm silent "home movies" on location from Medak's collection. Finally, along with the theatrical trailer is an above-average photo gallery with many behind-the-scenes pictures. This is pretty much an average Criterion release, which, in terms of their DVDs, isn't a bad thing.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/30/2001
UPC: 0715515012423
Original Release: 1972
Rating: R
Source: Criterion
Presentation: [Wide Screen]
Sound: [Dolby Digital, monaural]
Time: 2:34:00
Sales rank: 761

Special Features

Widescreen digital transfer in RSDL dual-layer edition of The Ruling Class, restored to its original full-length version, unavailable in the U.S.; audio commentary track with Peter O'Toole, director Peter Medak, and writer Peter Barnes; Medak's home movies, shot on the set of The Ruling Class,; original theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Peter O'Toole 14th Earl Of Gurney
Alastair Sim Bishop Lampton
Arthur Lowe Tucker
Harry Andrews 13th Earl Of Gurney
Coral Browne Lady Claire
Michael Bryant Dr. Herder
Griffith Davies Actor
Hugh Owens Toastmaster
Henry Woolf Inmate
Oliver Macgreevy Inmate
Neil Kennedy Dr. Herder's Assistant
Nigel Green McKyle
Leslie Schofield McKyle's Assistant
Joan Cooper Nurse Brice
Declan Mulholland Poacher
James Grout Inspector Brockett
James Hazeldine Detective Sgt. Fraser
Ronald Adam Lord
Julian D'Albie Lord
Llewellyn Rees Lord
Kenneth Benda Lord Chancellor
William Mervyn Sir Charles
Carolyn Seymour Grace
James Villiers Dinsdale
Hugh Burden Matthew Peake
Graham Crowden Truscott
Kay Walsh Mrs. Piggot-Jones
Patsy Byrne Mrs. Treadwell
Margaret Lacey Midwife

Technical Credits
Peter Medak Director
Peter Barnes Screenwriter
Bert Batt Asst. Director
Jules Buck Producer
John Cameron Score Composer,Musical Arrangement,Musical Direction/Supervision
Eleanor Fazan Choreography
Jack Hawkins Producer
Ken Hodges Cinematographer
David Korda Producer
Ray Lovejoy Editor
Peter Murton Production Designer
Ruth Myers Costumes/Costume Designer
Charles Parker Makeup
Roy Whybrow Special Effects

Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Chapters
1. Opening Credits/The 13th Earl of Gurney [:09]
2. "A Man Must Have a Vision" [7:58]
3. The 14th Earl of Gurney [6:08]
4. Paranoid Schizophrenia [9:01]
5. "Old Faithful Tucker" [7:21]
6. Mrs. Piggot-Jones & Mrs. Treadwell [3:01]
7. The Lady of the Camillias [6:36]
8. Grace Shelley [10:10]
9. Paranoid Plots [10:12]
10. Wedding Day [3:33]
11. Wedding Night [9:23]
12. Lady of the Manor [3:25]
13. The High-Voltage Messiah [5:27]
14. 'The Light of Truth"|00:01:16|}
15. "Call Me Jack" [6:04]
16. The Master in Lunacy [5:04]
17. Jack the Ripper [1:04]
18. "The Sword of the Lord" [8:45]
19. Investigation [8:17]
20. "Cock-a-doodle-doo" [6:39]
21. The House of Lords [6:31]
22. Closing Credits [8:50]
23. Color Bars [7:04]

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The Ruling Class 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You can read elsewhere the explanation of the artistic/creative basis for this film. In short, it is a critique of what was seen at the time as the outdated system of British government that provides for the House of Lords consisting of members born into membership by family and position. This is one of two houses of the British Parli'ent - tho other house being the House of Commons consisting of members elected by the British people in election. So, enough about British government. This film is a great opportunity to see Peter O'IToole give a outstanding performance as befits a great actor. The film starts as a funny, satirical story, moves through a dramatic transformation of O'Toole's character, and finishes in a climatic horror-fest. The moral of the story is, be careful what you ask for --- or maybe, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. The movie is long, at over 2.5 hours, but will have you on the edge of your seat throughout. Not for kids...highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Firannion More than 1 year ago
One of my all-time favorites. The humor is very dark and over-the-top, so will not appeal to everyone; but the satirical message about the madness of war, violence and the one percent is every bit as timely today as it was in the Vietnam Era when this movie first came out. Peter O'Toole is brilliant beyond words. I just wish that someone would come out with a re-release so I could buy a copy at a reasonable cost.
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