The Ritz (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Richard Lester|
|Produced by||Denis O'Dell|
|Written by||Terrence McNally|
|Based on||The Ritz
by Terence McNally
|Music by||Ken Thorne|
|Edited by||John Bloom|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
The Ritz is a 1976 American film directed by Richard Lester based on the play of the same name by Terrence McNally. Actress Rita Moreno, who had won a Tony Award for her performance as Googie Gomez in the 1975 Broadway production, and many others of the original cast like Jack Weston, Jerry Stiller, and F. Murray Abraham, reprise their onstage roles in the film version. Also in the cast were Kaye Ballard and Treat Williams. The film, Jack Weston, and Rita Moreno all received Golden Globe nominations in the comedy category. It opened to mixed reviews.
A farce is set in a gay bathhouse in Manhattan, where unsuspecting heterosexual Cleveland businessman Gaetano Proclo (Jack Weston) has taken refuge from his homicidal mobster brother-in-law, Carmine Vespucci (Jerry Stiller). There, Gaetano stumbles across an assortment of oddball characters, including a rabid chubby chaser, go-go boys, a squeaky-voiced detective, and Googie Gomez, a third-rate Puerto Rican entertainer with visions of Broadway glory who mistakes him for a famous producer and whom he mistakes for a man in drag. Further complications arise when Gaetano's wife Vivian (Kay Ballard) tracks him down and jumps to all the wrong conclusions about his sexual orientation.
- Jack Weston as Gaetano Proclo
- Rita Moreno as Googie Gomez
- Jerry Stiller as Carmine Vespucci
- Kaye Ballard as Vivian Proclo
- F. Murray Abraham as Chris
- Paul B. Price as Claude Perkins
- Treat Williams as Michael Brick
- John Everson as Tiger
- Christopher J. Brown as Duff
- Dave King as Abe Lefkowitz
- Bessie Love as Maurine
Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 40% of five surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating was 5.6/10. Film critic Roger Ebert rated it 2.5/4 stars and wrote that the film desires to be a screwball comedy but "lacks the manic pacing, and the material grows thin".
The Ritz was released to DVD by Warner Home Video on January 8, 2008.
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