Back in the early part of the 20th Century, Hollywood really liked Ruggles Of Red Gap. Even though the original play only ran for 33 performances on Broadway, it spawned two silent movies and then this 1935 talkie starring Charles Laughton. The actor had just won a Best Actor Oscar for The Private Life Of Henry VIII, and many thought it was odd he chose such a straightforwardly comic role as a follow-up, something he wasn’t particularly well known for at the time.
Laughton plays title character Ruggles, the butler of a posh English lord who is lent to a rather unrefined but very rich American and his social climbing wife, who sees having a butler as a way of showing people how posh they’ve become. After a couple of adventures in Europe, Ruggles is taken to Red Gap, Washington, a pioneer town that doesn’t know quite what to make of this refined manservant. [Read more…]