123 E Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC
This film is presented by the Ackland Film Forum. A collaboration between the Ackland Art Museum and numerous departments at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill highlighting different aspects of the art of cinema and showcasing the aesthetic power of film.
Ruggles of Red Gap is part of the American Comedy, American Democracy series: films devoted to the ways that Hollywood cinema, particularly depression-era comedies, have depicted the problems and possibilities of democracy.
Synopsis courtesy of filmforum.org: (1935) It’s a worst case scenario for Charles Laughton’s snobbish, third-generation gentlemen’s gentleman Ruggles: while on a 1908 Paris jaunt, his rather vague master, Roland Young’s Earl of Burnstead, casually informs him that he’s been lost in a poker game. And to Charlie Ruggles’ (that’s his real name) uncouth millionaire Egbert Floud and his très nouveau riche wife Mary Boland... of one-horse Red Gap, Washington, U.S.A.! Culture shock! But, post-relocation, and after Ruggles roguishly introduces him as “Colonel,” Laughton starts to find this equality thing okay, exchanging shy glances with dithery widow ZaSu Pitts, and even getting out-snobbed himself by Boland’s brother Lucien Littlefield. And doesn’t anybody here know the Gettysburg Address? With both story (previously silent film, play, and novel) and director McCarey his suggestion, this was Laughton’s favorite among all his parts, with his rendition of Lincoln’s speech a highlight of his one-man shows for decades to come. But then Laughton is here the lead in a lineup of comedy all-stars, with Young’s lord, whose “words proceed from his mouth with no movement of jaw or lip” (Simon Callow) and whose initiation into the intricacies of the “boom, boom, boom’” by Leila Hyams (it’s a drum solo) provides an equal highlight. Approximately 92 minutes.
The film has received 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Showtime is 7:00 PM. Tickets are $4 at the Varsity Theatre Box Office on the day of the show. (Students get in free with valid university or high school ID). Please note: Varsity Groupon cards are not valid for Ackland film screenings.
After the screening, let's walk over to Spanky's for food/drink/conversation.