Ruthless People
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The last film to be co-directed by Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker, Ruthless People stars Bette Midler (capitalizing on her comeback performance in Down and Out in Beverly Hills) as Barbara, a spoiled rich woman who is kidnapped by the kindly Ken and Sandy Kessler (Judge Reinhold and Helen Slater). Barbara's forceful husband Sam (Danny DeVito) has ripped off the Kesslers and they decide to hold Barbara for ransom. Sam, who hates his wife, refuses to pay. Eventually Barbara befriends the Kesslers and together they figure out how to exact revenge upon the obnoxious Sam. Bill… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The characters here aren't just bad; most of them are truly vile -- human slime. And the film makers chew them up (especially two nefarious bonbons played by Danny DeVito and Bette Midler) with the toothsome glee of jolly cannibals."
‑ Michael Wilmington, Los Angeles Times
"Ruthless People contains some of the biggest laughs of 1986."
‑ Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune
"DeVito and Midler are superb in their roles as the greedy philanderer and his screaming, overbearing other half."
‑ Joanna Berry, Radio Times
"The people who made Ruthless People probably expect us to laugh... at the pushy people who populate their story. And they're right: We will laugh -- not because we have lousy taste (and wicked thoughts) ourselves, but because their film is genuinely funny."
‑ Joe Baltake, Philadelphia Daily News
"One of the best comedy capers of the 80's"
‑ Clint Morris, Moviehole
"Much of the fun of this comedy is in watching what happens as virtually everyone in the movie tries to double-cross or otherwise take advantage of everyone else."
‑ Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel
"It's a rare kind of craftsmanship, and it produces a rare kind of pleasure."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Occasionally crude and tasteless, Ruthless People is a comedy with a vitriolic twist. It`s a comedy about people who love to hate, with actors who make it worth seeing."
‑ Candice Russell, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"At its considerable best, Ruthless People is a riotous anomaly: a very good farce about very bad taste."
‑ Ralph Novak, People Magazine
"Funny and fearless"
‑ Luke Y. Thompson, New Times
"An undemanding but well-executed entertainment."
‑ Desmond Ryan, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Ruthless People is a hilariously venal comedy about a kidnapped harridan whose rich husband won't pay for her return."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Call it rude, crude, and lewd, but you also have to call it very funny."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"DeVito at his best."
‑ Cole Smithey, ColeSmithey.com
"Funny, nasty 80s update of "The Ransom of Red Chief." The Ref found similar dark laughs a decade later."
‑ Rob Vaux, Flipside Movie Emporium
More reviews for Ruthless People on Rotten Tomatoes

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