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In the book I picture him more as resembling Jeeves, not Charles Laughton! And when you take a proper English valet with a wholesale ignorance of America and more class-consci I gathered that the Mixer at her own cattle-farm had been watching her calves marked with her monogram, though I would never have credited her with so much sentiment.

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And when you take a proper English valet with a wholesale ignorance of America and more class-consciousness and snobbery than the most blue-blooded aristocrat, and send him out West, you're bound to get some wonderfully funny situations. One of my favorite running jokes was how Ruggles continually compares every place and situation he encounters to its English equivalent—I cracked up at the scene in Paris where he mentions crossing "their Thames.

I could not but reflect how shocked our King would be to learn of this effrontery. Lost in a card game by his English employer, the Honorable George, gentleman's gentleman Ruggles is tasked by his new American employer's social-climbing wife with refining their Cousin Egbert, who most definitely does not want to be refined.


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Though subjected to shock after shock to his sense of propriety on his journey across the wilderness of America, once he has spent some time in the Western town of Red Gap, Ruggles begins to find himself strangely drawn to the American democratic ways of behaving. When he finally decides to "take up America," the consequences to Red Gap—and to his former employer's family—are far-reaching!

Really, you could almost describe it as a "Jeeves Goes West"—witty, satirical fun. View all 5 comments. Sep 27, Kathryn rated it it was amazing Shelves: ss , american-history , british , humor. I almost gave this up while they were still in Paris because I didn't really like any of the characters, but the writing was so good and the premise so intriguing that I kept at it and I was richly rewarded. For me, things really picked up once Ruggles got to America.

By the end, I wanted to give "Ruggums" a big hug and "three rousing cheers! I think this is much more true to life than the stories where protagonists change so much you would hardly recognize them by the end. The supporting characters are all extremely well-drawn, Belknap-Jackson, Mrs. Effie, "The Mixer" and Cousin Egbert especially. Like the best humor, it allows us to laugh our way to deep truths about the human condition and ultimately lays bare the utter madness of humanity's penchant to make "much ado about nothing" and about the folly and injustice of the class system and of ethnocentrism.

It's a very progressive novel for it's time excluding a few rather painful references to other races but it's not as bad as some of the books of this era and confined primarily to word choice in describing ethnicity view spoiler [ "coon" for an African-American, "Jap" for a Japanese-American hide spoiler ] and the lessons still hold meaning for us today. Highly recommend! Sep 23, J. An extremely popular book in its day, adapted into movies Bob Hope and Lucille Ball in "Sitting Pretty", Charles laughton is in the good version and television.

Much like P. Wodehouse in style,word play, and tone. Hard to find these days. An very proper English bulter is lost in a card game to an American couple and has to adapt to life on the slightly more raw edges of American society. A comedy of manners between the social pretensions of the wife and the easy going, frontier life of the An extremely popular book in its day, adapted into movies Bob Hope and Lucille Ball in "Sitting Pretty", Charles laughton is in the good version and television.

A comedy of manners between the social pretensions of the wife and the easy going, frontier life of the husband, with Ruggles in the middle. Jan 24, Alena rated it really liked it Shelves: historical-fiction , reading.

Ruggles of Red Gap - Wikipedia

A dry, funny book from the early 20th century, somewhat in the vein of PG Wodehouse. When Ruggles, a very proper British valet, is lost to a crude American by his master in a poker game, he must go to America, where he reevaluates his views on class, society, and Americans. The supporting characters are funny, and Ruggles himself is quite endearing despite how unaware he can be. Entirely fluffy book about social shifts in a small but growing western town in the stagecoach days.

Clever and comforting story with no surprises except in the nuggets of humor. The one downside is that, as one of many misunderstandings the British character never recognizes, is the continuing use of the word ' racoon' to refer to some black people. It jarred me every single time.

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It was supposed to be one of many humorous misapprehensions he had of America but that part just didn't stand the te Entirely fluffy book about social shifts in a small but growing western town in the stagecoach days. It was supposed to be one of many humorous misapprehensions he had of America but that part just didn't stand the test of time.

Sep 11, Wreade rated it liked it Shelves: league-of-extraordinary-gentlemen , s , humour. A dry, funny book from the early 20th century, somewhat in the vein of PG Wodehouse. When Ruggles, a very proper British valet, is lost to a crude American by his master in a poker game, he must go to America, where he reevaluates his views on class, society, and Americans. The supporting characters are funny, and Ruggles himself is quite endearing despite how unaware he can be.

Entirely fluffy book about social shifts in a small but growing western town in the stagecoach days. Clever and comforting story with no surprises except in the nuggets of humor. The one downside is that, as one of many misunderstandings the British character never recognizes, is the continuing use of the word ' racoon' to refer to some black people.

It jarred me every single time. It was supposed to be one of many humorous misapprehensions he had of America but that part just didn't stand the te Entirely fluffy book about social shifts in a small but growing western town in the stagecoach days. It was supposed to be one of many humorous misapprehensions he had of America but that part just didn't stand the test of time. Sep 11, Wreade rated it liked it Shelves: league-of-extraordinary-gentlemen , s , humour. This is sort of like Jeeves and Wooster but from Jeeves point of view, although Jeeves is a bit smarter than Ruggles.

Perhaps 'Frazier Crane' would be a better comparison. Ruggles is forced to go to america and deal with the lack of social distinctions. Its a pretty funny social comedy with Ruggles stuck between various factions and social classes. The story certainly never went where i expected and Ruggles denseness to some of what was going on around him was always humorous. It definitely improve This is sort of like Jeeves and Wooster but from Jeeves point of view, although Jeeves is a bit smarter than Ruggles.

It definitely improved as it went along as some of the early chapters were a bit of a slog to get through. I'm personally not much of a Wodehouse fan but if you like that sort of thing you'll probably like this too, i mean to say even more then i did, what what! Oct 09, Mary Jo rated it liked it. I had some "struggles" with Mr. This is one case where I enjoyed the movie more than the book.

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I will say that I did enjoy some of it and can appreciate the difference between cultures and the time it was written would now be considered extremely racist. A humorous story about the attempted caste system in the U. I liked the way the story progressed in stages. No matter what solution was attempted to keep the classes intact, it backfired. Daveb rated it liked it Apr 25, Trimbandit rated it really liked it Jun 13, Michael Vandenberg rated it really liked it Aug 05, Dubi rated it it was amazing Dec 21, Marie Lutz rated it liked it Nov 24, RetroHound rated it liked it Jan 03, Jeff Fortenberry rated it it was amazing Nov 30, Donald A.

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Buchanan rated it really liked it Sep 22, Marianne rated it really liked it Jan 15, Caroline rated it liked it Apr 12, Charles Berman rated it really liked it Jun 12, Ronald Leyvas rated it liked it Oct 18, Marthalee Schaub rated it really liked it Dec 12, Ah yes, that Laughton drunk scene. Here's a foolproof way to judge an actor's fundamental competence: If he emphasizes the drunkenness, he's hopeless.

A person who's truly lit, no matter whether the scene is tragic or comic, is fighting his state every step of the way. Laughton, of course, was far more than competent, and what makes his drunk act paralyzingly funny is that Ruggles isn't even admitting to himself that he's plastered.


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  • As he refuses to precede Floud into a carriage, Ruggles has the same old ramrod stance—but the face shows a hint of toddler-like glee, perhaps some inner mockery he could never show when sober. Yet the valet still tries to bring some dignity to each stage of the binge, finally posing on a carousel horse like an overdressed Cupid. Simon Callow, in his wonderful, thorough book about Laughton, expresses reservations about this performance. He refers to Ruggles as a butler and starts with the notion that while there are all sorts of butlers, Ruggles is supposed to be an Ur-Butler and whatever that should be, Laughton ain't it.

    Maybe it helps to have no personal experience; I have never once encountered an actual butler and if I did, I would probably address him as "Oh, waiter," like Marilyn Monroe in All about Eve. Which is a roundabout way of saying Laughton seems quite butler- or valet-like to me. Where I really disagree with Callow is when he characterizes Laughton in certain scenes—Ruggles' deep hurt at his employer's casual treatment, the moment where he throws a customer out of his restaurant—as too much, almost seeming to belong in another movie.

    No, no—that real feeling sprouting through the comedy is what makes it soar. And nowhere does it soar higher than in the Gettysburg Address scene. Ruggles has told Floud that he wants "to stand on my own two feet.