Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1980s Ruthless People (1986)

Ruthless People (1986)

Wealthy but loathsome businessman Sam Stone (Danny DeVito) plans to murder his wife, Barbara (Bette Midler) so he can inherit her wealth and marry his voluptuous mistress, Carol (Anita Morris).

He thinks his problems are over when his wife is kidnapped by inept young couple, Ken and Sandy Kessler (Judge Reinhold and Helen Slater) who threaten to kill her if their ransom demands are not met. But Sam’s life is about to get even more complicated and the movie twists and turns as a whole host of other people get involved.

Carol figures she can get rich quick if she blackmails Sam with a videotape of him killing his wife, and Carol’s mentally challenged boyfriend, Earl (a young Bill Pullman) tapes something which he thinks is Sam murdering Barbara but is actually the police commissioner heavily engaged in a noisy romp.

Midler plays Barbara as though it’s a role she was born to, channelling every loud-mouthed, ostentatious, self-involved, wisecracking shrew that any man could ever fear – a kind of born-again Joan Rivers!

Airplane! (1980) partners Jim Abrahams, Jerry Zucker and David Zucker teamed up again for this fun comedy.


Sam Stone
Danny DeVito
Barbara Stone
Bette Midler
Ken Kessler
Judge Reinhold
Sandy Kessler
Helen Slater
Anita Morris
Bill Pullman
Police commissioner
William G Schilling
Lieutenant Bender
Art Evans
Lieutenant Walters
Clarence Felder
Bedroom killer
J E FreemanCrew

Jim Abrahams
David Zucker
Jerry Zucker