Ruthless People

The Airplane team dusts off the old idea of kidnappers abducting someone so obnoxious that no one wants to know. Sleazy garment mogul DeVito is planning how to murder his wife Midler ('I had to live with that squealing, corpulent toad all these years'), when she is bundled away by two young innocents - Slater, designer of the Spandex miniskirt which DeVito stole, and Reinhold, a wimp who sells dodgy hi-fi. It is Midler who sets the tone of prurient sexual hatred, flaring her nostrils and threatening the couple with chainsaw enemas if they don't set her free. With everyone else also deep in sin and sexual blackmail, it's all going splendidly along its nasty route when, alas, the tone shifts three-quarters of the way in, and Midler acquires some of her captors' tedious niceness, conniving with them at the downfall of the baddies. A pity that the directors prove less ruthless than their own creations, but there is more than enough here for people who enjoy murder attempts on cute pet poodles. CPea.

Release details

Duration: 94 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker
Screenwriter: Dale Launer
Cast: Danny DeVito
Bette Midler
Judge Reinhold
Helen Slater
Anita Morris
Bill Pullman
William G Schilling
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