King Ralph (DVD, 2004)
(4 Epinions reviews)
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Roast Beef, Bangers, & Spotted Dick: King Ralph
Mar 20, 2004
Review by George Chabot
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Funny, John Goodman
Cons:Need more comedies like this!
The Bottom Line: King Ralph is a funny movie that the whole family will enjoy.
King Ralph is a film that deserves more publicity among comedy fans. I purchased it on DVD a couple years ago and have viewed it with great amusement on several occasions since.
Recommend this product?
Directed and written by David S. Ward (The Sting), King Ralph concerns a freak accident that kills the entire British royal family. Aghast at this unparalleled catastrophe, the royal aides feverishly search for an heir to the throne to continue the monarchy. After exhausting all known possibilities, they find out there IS one candidate
but hes a bloody Yank!
John Goodman (Raising Arizona, The Big Easy, Sea of Love) is Ralph Jones, a singer in a second rate cabaret in Vegas who gets fired for surreptitiously watching TV while performing his version of Don Hos Tiny Bubbles. Luckily enough for Ralphs job prospects, two British emissaries are in the audience and gently break the news that he is to be the next King of England. After they get through to the less-than-brilliant Ralph, he tries to beg off but to no avail and were off to olde England
Once safely ensconced in the palace, Ralph is introduced to his personal staff including his secretary, Lord Cedric Willingham, marvelously portrayed by Peter OToole (Lawrence of Arabia, Becket, Lion in Winter). There is, however, a fly in the ointment in the form of Lord Graves, played with aplomb by John Hurt (Rob Roy, Wild Bill). The Lord, an heir to the Stuart line, has aspirations of majesty himself and plots to discredit the interloper and claim the throne for himself.
King Ralph is basically a fish-out-of-water tale with the prissy Sir Cedric and staff attempting to change the rustic American into something resembling a British monarch. They plunge right into Ralphs education, teaching him the various aspects of British culture including how to dress, how to eat, how to walk, how to address in the ceremonial fashion, to entertain fellow heads of state, and so on. Meanwhile, they also have to hide Ralphs peccadilloes from the rabid British press.
King Ralph has a lot of humor, both slapstick and verbal, and John Goodman has the comic talent to exploit every second hes on camera from a hilarious state dinner with a fellow royal family from Scandinavia, to his attempts to secretly date a stripper (Camille Coduri), to a dress ball where he enlivens it up with a performance of Good Golly Miss Molly, much to the chagrin of his staff and the delight of his enemies. This is not rocket science but if a viewer likes humor delivered well, they could do much worse than King Ralph.
Filmed on location in England and in Pinewood Studios, the sets, costuming, and photography are very well done. The DVD is from Good Times and is in 4X3 full screen format. The whole family, at least if they enjoy comedy, will like this film.
Watch a good film tonight!
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