The Ruling Class

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Released 1972

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Movie Summary

Director:
Peter Medak
Released:
1972
Rating:
R

The Ruling Class is a 1972 British comedy starring Peter O'Toole, one that has become something of a cult classic. Jack, the last surviving son of the Earl of Gurney, has spent many years as a voluntary patient in Dr. Herder's mental hospital; but he discharges himself after his father dies, takes up his title, and then startles his unloving family by announcing that he is, in fact, the risen Christ. His relatives plot to get rid of him whilst preserving the family's lands and estates - which means that Jack must marry and sire an heir. His psychiatrist tries a desperate strategy to rid Jack of his delusions, but the result of his "cure" is not what it seems to be, and this savage social satire gets very black indeed in its later stages.

Peter O'Toole

Peter O'Toole

Jack, the 14th Earl of Gurney

Alastair Sim

Alastair Sim

Bishop Lampton

Arthur Lowe

Arthur Lowe

Daniel Tucker, the butler

Harry Andrews

Harry Andrews

Jack's father, the 13th Earl

Carolyn Seymour

Carolyn Seymour

Grace Shelley

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Nigel Green was dubbed by another member of the cast, Graham Crowden, in his role as "the electric Christ". Green, who died shortly before the film's opening, was also dubbed by Crowden in his final film role, in Sir Gawain And The Green Knight.

    • This film should run to 154 minutes. However, its first DVD release in Britain (by a German company) was in a cut version, lasting only a little over two hours - even though the packaging for the DVD claimed it was the full-length version. A second DVD release by a different company has apparently restored the missing footage.

  • QUOTES (8)

  • NOTES (1)

    • Peter O'Toole won his fifth Oscar nomination as Best Actor for this film. He lost out to Marlon Brando in The Godfather. He has been nominated a total of eight times without ever winning, more times than any other actor.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

More Info About This Movie

Categories

Comedy

Themes

Satire, Dark Comedy, Classics, British TV