Review: ‘The Ritz’

Depending on where one's taste lies, The Ritz is either esoteric farce for the urban cosmopolite, or else one long tasteless and anachronistic 1950-ish 'gay' joke, shot at England's Twickenham Studios in 25 days.

Depending on where one’s taste lies, The Ritz is either esoteric farce for the urban cosmopolite, or else one long tasteless and anachronistic 1950-ish ‘gay’ joke, shot at England’s Twickenham Studios in 25 days.

Terrence McNally adapted his 1975 play about assorted mistaken identities and hangups in a NY gay steambath (including Broadway cast originals).

McNally’s story has Weston fingered for rubout by dying father-in-law George Coulouris. Escaping from the midwest, Jack Weston heads for a notorious Gotham gay bath, figuring that avenging brother-in-law Jerry Stiller will never find him.

But the plan doesn’t figure on the gangland family’s diversified business interests, nor on the ingenuity of Weston’s wife, played by Kaye Ballard.

Classic farce construction provides the expected physical action.

The Ritz

Production

Warner. Director Richard Lester; Producer Denis O'Dell; Screenplay Terrence McNally; Camera Paul Wilson; Editor John Bloom; Music Ken Thorne; Art Director Phillip Harrison

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1976. Running time: 90 MIN.

With

Jack Weston Rita Moreno Jerry Stiller Kaye Ballard F. Murray Abraham Paul B. Price
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