DirectorRichard Lester Initial DVD releaseJanuary 8, 2008 Duration LanguageEnglish
Release dateAugust 12, 1976 (1976-08-12) Based onThe Ritz
by Terence McNally WriterTerrence McNally (play), Terrence McNally (screenplay) CastJack Weston (Gaetano Proclo), Rita Moreno (Googie Gomez), F. Murray Abraham (Chris), Treat Williams (Michael Brick), Jerry Stiller (Carmine Vespucci), Kaye Ballard (Vivian Proclo) Similar moviesThe Godfather, A Walk Among the Tombstones, Mambo Italiano, Saved!, Dorian Blues, Goodfellas
TaglineThe funny season begins when you check in for a night at The Ritz.
The ritz brothers in blazing stewardesses 1 of 2
The Ritz is a 1976 American film directed by Richard Lester based on the play of the same name by Terrence McNally. Actress Rita Moreno, who had won a Tony Award for her performance as Googie Gomez in the 1975 Broadway production, and many others of the original cast like Jack Weston, Jerry Stiller, and F. Murray Abraham, reprise their onstage roles in the film version. Also in the cast were Kaye Ballard and Treat Williams. The film, Jack Weston, and Rita Moreno all received Golden Globe nominations in the comedy category. It opened to mixed reviews.
A farce is set in a gay bathhouse in Manhattan, where unsuspecting heterosexual Cleveland businessman Gaetano Proclo (Jack Weston) has taken refuge from his homicidal mobster brother-in-law, Carmine Vespucci (Jerry Stiller). There, Gaetano stumbles across an assortment of oddball characters, including a rabid chubby chaser, go-go boys, a squeaky-voiced detective, and Googie Gomez, a third-rate Puerto Rican entertainer with visions of Broadway glory who mistakes him for a famous producer and whom he mistakes for a man in drag. Further complications arise when Gaetano's wife Vivian (Kaye Ballard) tracks him down and jumps to all the wrong conclusions about his sexual orientation.
Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 50% of five surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating was 5.6/10. Film critic Roger Ebert rated it 2.5/4 stars and wrote that the film desires to be a screwball comedy but "lacks the manic pacing, and the material grows thin".
The Ritz was released to DVD by Warner Home Video on January 8, 2008.