Guilty Pleasures Film Festival 2013

“Ruthless People”

Helen Slater and Judge Reinhold (in the duck masks) along with Bette Midler in "Ruthless People" (Touchstone, 1986)

Helen Slater and Judge Reinhold (in the duck masks) along with Bette Midler in “Ruthless People” (Touchstone, 1986)

“Ruthless People” (Touchstone, 1986). When clothing magnate Sam Stone (Danny DeVito) steals the ideas submitted to him by talented-but-naive fashion designer Sandy Kessler (Helen Slater), she and her also-naive husband Ken (Judge Reinhold) decide to get back at him by kidnapping his wife, Barbara (Bette Midler), and demanding a large ransom for her safe return. The problem is that Sam wants his wife dead–he and his mistress want her large inheritance–so he is thrilled by the news. Thus starts this uproarious, hilarious (and somewhat naughty) film. A very funny script, stellar comedic performances by the great cast, totally 1980s production design, and a fun soundtrack make this a great guilty pleasure for me. Also stars Anita Morris and Bill Pullman. Definitely made for grown-ups. Written by Dale Launer. Based on a story by O. Henry (according to IMDB.com; I need to research this more). Directed by Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker, the team that brought us “Airplane!” and “Top Secret!” “Well, let’s face it, she’s not Mother Teresa. Gandhi would have strangled her.”

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