The Ritz (1976) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Ritz1976

The Ritz (1976)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Ritz Photos

Movie Info

With The Ritz, Terrence McNally's hit Broadway play of the same name is cinematized by director Richard Lester. Jack Weston plays Gaetano Proclo, a minor mob flunky who's been targeted for elimination by his brother-in-law, Carmine Vespucci (Jerry Stiller). Gaetano takes refuge in what he thinks is a Turkish bath. Actually, it's The Pits. That's the name, "The Pits" -- a gay bathhouse (this is the pre-AIDS era), where the exquisitely awful Googie Gomez (Rita Moreno) entertains the homosexual patrons with her ear-splitting renditions of such show tunes as "Everything's Coming Up Roses." Hoping to save his neck by pretending to be gay, Gaetano effusively praises Googie. Assuming that he is a big-time Broadway producer, she plays up to him. Everything would be hunky-dory, except that the bathhouse is owned by the very mob that has put a contract on Gaetano. What follows is an old-fashioned door-slamming farce, except that there are no doors to slam. The supporting cast includes Kaye Ballard, Treat Williams, George Coulouris, F. Murray Abraham, Dave King, and (as one of the patrons) a pre-Cheers John Ratzenberger.

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Jack Weston
as Gaetano Proclo
Rita Moreno
as Googie Gomez
Jerry Stiller
as Carmine Vespucci
Kaye Ballard
as Vivian Proclo
Treat Williams
as Michael Brick
Bessie Love
as Maurine
Tony De Santis
as Sheldon Farenthold
Ben Aris
as Patron with Bicycle
Peter Butterworth
as Patron In Chaps
Ronnie Brody
as Small Patron
Hal Galili
as Patron With Cigar
George Coulouris
as Old Man Vespucci
Leon Greene
as Musclebound Patron
Freddie Earle
as Disgruntled Patron
Hugh Fraser
as Disc Jockey
Bart Allison
as Old Priest
Samantha Weyson
as Gilda Proclo
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Critic Reviews for The Ritz

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (1)

The Ritz never quite succeeds. Its ambition is clearly to be a screwball comedy in the tradition of the 1930s classics and such recent attempts as What's Up, Doc? and Silent Movie. But it lacks the manic pacing, and the material grows thin

October 23, 2004 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Funny in spots but disappointing as a whole.

January 6, 2021 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

The Ritz ia hilariously funny comedy. Brilliantly written, directed and acted.

October 29, 2019 | Full Review…

Despite its flaws, Richard Lester's mise-en-scène is impeccable and his way of directing actors is traditional and effective. [Full Review in Spanish]

July 31, 2019 | Full Review…

The actors scream, rampage, and flounce their way across the screen exactly as they did on stage, and what worked effectively within the limits of the proscenium, seems sometimes, to be simply exaggerated or hysterical when seen on the screen.

April 1, 2019 | Full Review…

Rewatching it triggered my rediscovery of that period in film history when gay subjects were just gaining visibility and mainstream mediamakers were advancing recognition at the same time as the out-front cultural progress of disco.

March 3, 2017 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Ritz


On the run from his murderous brother-in-law Carmine(Jerry Stiller), Gaetano(Jack Weston) seeks refuge in the last place he would look for him, a gay bath house where Googie(Rita Moreno, fabulous in a scenery chewing performance) is singing that night. Abe(Dave King) at the front desk takes pity on Gaetano and cashes his check, thus allowing him entrance and to pay his cab driver. Now, all Gaetano has to do is stay one step ahead of Claude(Paul B. Price) who has a thing for plus-sized men. "The Ritz" is a silly, silly movie. If your idea of comedy like mine is Treat Williams speaking with a high squeaky voice, then you will certainly find this movie funny.(This is apparently not only Williams' first big movie role but also F. Murray Abraham's. And John Ratzenberger is around here somewhere.) While considering how far gay rights have come since this movie was made in 1976, this was also ironically a celebration of a more innocent era where before AIDS one could even joke about STD's, with the Ronald Reagan reference being eerily prescient. And I had always imagined bath houses as being dingy dives...

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

A very funny comedy movie, with a great story and good actors. I really liked it.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

Very much a time capsule of a bygone era, everybody is enjoyably over the top but any time Rita Moreno shows up she blows everyone else off the screen in a performance of such reckless, hilarious abandon its a joy to behold.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

The Ritz Quotes

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