Ruby (1977 film)

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Ruby poster.jpg
Theatrical Release Poster
Directed byCurtis Harrington
Produced byGeorge Edwards
Steve Krantz
Written byGeorge Edwards
Steve Krantz
Barry Schneider
StarringPiper Laurie
Stuart Whitman
Roger Davis
Janit Baldwin
Music byDon Ellis
Edited byWilliam P. Magee
Distributed byDimension Pictures
Release date
  • June 23, 1977 (1977-06-23)
Running time
85 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$16 million[1]

Ruby is a 1977 horror drama film directed by Curtis Harrington. The film centers on a woman named Ruby Claire (played by Piper Laurie) who is the mother of a deaf-mute girl. She runs a drive-in theatre where bizarre things begin to happen to her employees and the spirit of her dead husband possesses her daughter.


In 1935, a lowlife mobster, Nicky Rocco, is betrayed and executed in the swampy backwoods as his pregnant gun-moll, Ruby Claire watches. He swears vengeance with his dying breath, and then she suddenly goes into labour. Sixteen years later in 1951, Ruby is now running a drive-in theatre in the backwoods near her home and employs some ex-mobsters. Her 16-year-old daughter, Leslie Claire, is mute and has been since birth.

Soon strange and bizarre accidents claim the lives of Ruby's employees, then Leslie begins to show strange behaviour, and then begins to speak... in her dead father's voice. Nicky Rocco possesses his daughter's body and terrorizes Ruby with levitations, telekinesis, maniacal laughing and bizarre sexual aggression.


  • Piper Laurie as Ruby Claire
  • Stuart Whitman as Vince Kemper
  • Roger Davis as Dr. Paul Keller
  • Janit Baldwin as Leslie Claire
  • Sal Vecchio as Nicky Rocco
  • Paul Kent as Louie
  • Len Lesser as Barney
  • Crystin Sinclaire as Lila June
  • Jack Perkins as Avery
  • Eddy Donno as Jess
  • Fred Kohler Jr. as Jake Miller
  • Rory Stevens as Donny
  • Raymond Kark as 1st Man
  • Jan Burrell as 1st Woman
  • Kip Gillespie as Herbie
  • Tamar Cooper as S Woman
  • Patricia Allison as Pickup Man's Wife
  • Stu Olson as A Man
  • Mary Margaret Robinson as Maybelline, Sheriff's Wife
  • Michael Alldredge as Sheriff's Wife's Date


The film was released theatrically in the United States by Warner Cable's Dimension Pictures in August 1977.

Ruby was long available on video in the U.S. only in a re-edited (and apparently re-shot by director Stephanie Rothman[citation needed]) version for television, deleting the R-rated violence and adding new dialogue scenes.

VCI's DVD was released on June 26, 2001 and is presented in its original theatrical version; however, this is not a director's cut: it contains Krantz's[who?] abrupt, horror ending rather than Harrington's intended romantic one. It is presented in widescreen but not anamorphic. The special features include: the original theatrical trailer, motion menu, scene selection, commentary with Curtis Harrington and Piper Laurie, interview with Curtis Harrington, photo gallery, and Director's Theatrical Cut.[2][3][4] However, this version is currently out of print. In 2017 Ruby was released as a Blu ray and DVD combo pack with extra bonus features.


Critical reception for Ruby has been negative. Time Out magazine stated that the film starts well, but was ruined by "cluttered art direction", "nostalgic flashbacks", and predictability.[5] Variety gave the film a negative review, noting the film's promising start, but felt that it was bogged down by poor performances from the film's cast.[6]


  1. ^ Fred Olen Ray, The New Poverty Row: Independent Filmmakers as Distributors, McFarland, 1991, p 158
  2. ^ "Ruby DVD Review". Retrieved August 29, 2010.
  3. ^ "DVD Review". Archived from the original on July 23, 2008. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
  4. ^ "Movie Review". Retrieved August 29, 2010.
  5. ^ "Ruby, directed by Curtis Harrington". SM. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  6. ^ "Ruby". Variety. Retrieved 27 January 2016.

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