Helmed by mega-comedy director Leo McCarey (THE AWFUL TRUTH, THE MILKY WAY, DUCK SOUP), RUGGLES OF RED GAP is the only Western appearance of Charles Laughton until he guest starred on TV series WAGON TRAIN in 1960.
Ruggles, a "gentleman's gentleman" from a long line of them, becomes the employee of the Floud family of Red Gap, WA after being lost in a card game by his long time employer, the Earl of Burnstead. Effie Floud (Mary Boland), a frontier social-climber, is thrilled to have a servant, but dismayed that her husband prefers to treat their new butler as an equal.
Wonderful performances all around, with the standouts being Charlie Ruggles as down-to-earth Egbert Floud, Roland Young as the Earl of Burnstead, and Zasu Pitts as Prunella Judson, a widow who has eyes for Ruggles.
Especially watch out for the glorious "Gettysburg Address" scene, which, according to Robert Osborne on TCM, Laughton did in a single take.
Filmclip: Red Gap's good-time girl. Nell (Leila Hyams), shows a smitten Earl of Burnstead how to play the drums
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