Ruthless People (1986)

David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker direct Danny DeVito, Bette Midler and Judge Reinhold in this crime comedy where a sleazy millionaire’s shrewish wife is kidnapped and he hopes the criminals will save him the job of killing her.

Reagan’s America at its day-glo spandex bleakest. DeVito’s comedy chops smash through the convoluted plot and the scenes without him are noticeably weaker. Scabrous, a pitch perfect nasty piece of work, I laughed loads at this. The ending lands like Eighties Comedy Movie bingo – a cavalcade of police cars, cars careening off piers, a cuddle on a beach. The executive mandated soundtrack, featuring overly pacy cuts from Jagger and Joel… rediscover a priceless relic. I’m probably exactly the right age to enjoy this a little more than it deserves. There’s still a part of my brain that grew up thinking all cinema should feel, look, sound, play like Ruthless People.


Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here


  1. Sam Simon · October 8, 2021

    Why don’t I know this ZAZ movie? :–(


  2. Pingback: Matilda (1996) | Bobby Carroll's Movie Diary

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