Ragtime

The page-turning joys of E.L. Doctorow's bestselling Ragtime, which dizzily and entertainingly charted a kaleidoscopic vision of a turn-of-century America in the midst of intense social change, have been realized almost completely in Milos Forman's superbly crafted screen adaptation.

With:
James Cagney Brad Dourif Elizabeth McGovern Pat O'Brien Donald O'Connor Mandy Patinkin

The page-turning joys of E.L. Doctorow’s bestselling Ragtime, which dizzily and entertainingly charted a kaleidoscopic vision of a turn-of-century America in the midst of intense social change, have been realized almost completely in Milos Forman’s superbly crafted screen adaptation.

Within a myriad of characters who include the likes of Evelyn Nesbit, Stanford White, Booker T. Washington and J. Pierpont Morgan, the film charts the syncopated social forces that truly ushered in 20th-century America by pivoting them around a nameless upper-crust family unexpectedly caught up in the maelstrom.

Overriding focus of the film is on the travails of a fictional black ragtime pianist (Howard E. Rollins), whose common-law wife (Debbie Allen) is taken in by The Family after she abandons her newborn child in their garden.

Juggling the scores of characters that Doctorow intertwined in his quirky blend of historical and fictional people and events, Forman and scripter Michael Weller were forced into some occasional truncation and short-cutting, but ultimately win the chess game hands down.

1981: Nominations: Best Supp. Actor (Howard E. Rollins), Supp. Actress (Elizabeth McGovern), Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Costume Design, Art Direction, Score, Song (‘One More Hour’)

Ragtime

Production: Paramount/De Laurentiis. Director Milos Forman; Producer Dino De Laurentiis; Screenplay Michael Weller; Camera Miroslav Ondricek; Editor Anne V. Coates, Antony Gibbs, Stanley Warnow; Music Randy Newman; Art Director John Graysmark

Crew: (Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1981. Running time: 155 MIN.

With: James Cagney Brad Dourif Elizabeth McGovern Pat O'Brien Donald O'Connor Mandy Patinkin

More Film

  • Barry Levinson to Be Feted at

    Barry Levinson to Be Feted at Karlovy Vary Film Festival

    The page-turning joys of E.L. Doctorow’s bestselling Ragtime, which dizzily and entertainingly charted a kaleidoscopic vision of a turn-of-century America in the midst of intense social change, have been realized almost completely in Milos Forman’s superbly crafted screen adaptation. Within a myriad of characters who include the likes of Evelyn Nesbit, Stanford White, Booker T. […]

  • Spanish Film Director Alejandro Amenabar Poses

    Movistar + Moves Into Original Film With Alejandro Amenábar's Next Project (EXCLUSIVE)

    The page-turning joys of E.L. Doctorow’s bestselling Ragtime, which dizzily and entertainingly charted a kaleidoscopic vision of a turn-of-century America in the midst of intense social change, have been realized almost completely in Milos Forman’s superbly crafted screen adaptation. Within a myriad of characters who include the likes of Evelyn Nesbit, Stanford White, Booker T. […]

  • 'The Pluto Moment' Review

    Cannes Film Review: 'The Pluto Moment'

    The page-turning joys of E.L. Doctorow’s bestselling Ragtime, which dizzily and entertainingly charted a kaleidoscopic vision of a turn-of-century America in the midst of intense social change, have been realized almost completely in Milos Forman’s superbly crafted screen adaptation. Within a myriad of characters who include the likes of Evelyn Nesbit, Stanford White, Booker T. […]

  • 'Carmen and Lola' Review: By-the-Numbers Roma

    Cannes Film Review: 'Carmen and Lola'

    The page-turning joys of E.L. Doctorow’s bestselling Ragtime, which dizzily and entertainingly charted a kaleidoscopic vision of a turn-of-century America in the midst of intense social change, have been realized almost completely in Milos Forman’s superbly crafted screen adaptation. Within a myriad of characters who include the likes of Evelyn Nesbit, Stanford White, Booker T. […]

  • Dark Crimes Jim Carrey review

    Film Review: Jim Carrey in 'Dark Crimes'

    The page-turning joys of E.L. Doctorow’s bestselling Ragtime, which dizzily and entertainingly charted a kaleidoscopic vision of a turn-of-century America in the midst of intense social change, have been realized almost completely in Milos Forman’s superbly crafted screen adaptation. Within a myriad of characters who include the likes of Evelyn Nesbit, Stanford White, Booker T. […]

  • Buster Keaton

    Film News Roundup: City of Los Angeles Names June 16 Buster Keaton Day

    The page-turning joys of E.L. Doctorow’s bestselling Ragtime, which dizzily and entertainingly charted a kaleidoscopic vision of a turn-of-century America in the midst of intense social change, have been realized almost completely in Milos Forman’s superbly crafted screen adaptation. Within a myriad of characters who include the likes of Evelyn Nesbit, Stanford White, Booker T. […]

  • Michelle Williams This Is Jane

    Michelle Williams to Star in Underground Abortion Movie 'This Is Jane'

    The page-turning joys of E.L. Doctorow’s bestselling Ragtime, which dizzily and entertainingly charted a kaleidoscopic vision of a turn-of-century America in the midst of intense social change, have been realized almost completely in Milos Forman’s superbly crafted screen adaptation. Within a myriad of characters who include the likes of Evelyn Nesbit, Stanford White, Booker T. […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content