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DVD, PG, 154 minutes, CRITERION
An institutionalized schizophrenic with a Messiah complex inherits the position of an English Earl in this cutting satire of British society, based on a play by Peter Barnes. The film's irreverent tone is established with the disturbingly hilarious death of the thirteenth Earl of Gurney during a bizarre attempt at auto-erotic asphyxiation. To the dismay of the earl's family, the title passes to his son Jack (Peter O'Toole), who has been locked away for eight years after claiming to be the second coming of Jesus Christ. Mad but harmless, Jack is released to assume his seat. However, his embrace of Christianity proves incompatible with a position of power in "normal" society, where peace and love are considered serious weaknesses, and a somewhat unhinged psychiatrist is called to help him adjust. Meanwhile, Jack's scheming uncle, Sir Charles (William Mervyn), works on developing a complex scheme to trick Jack out of his position. Loaded with idiosyncratic touches from eccentric camera angles to unexpected outbursts of song, the film creates an experience nearly as inspired and mad as O'Toole's brilliantly hilarious central performance. The film's devilish invention may at times seem overloaded, but most drawbacks are redeemed by the sharpness of the satire, particularly during the memorably disturbing finale. ~ Judd Blaise, Rovi.
New 16 x 9 widescreen digital transfer supervised by director Peter Medak and restored to the original full-length version, never before available in the U.S., Commentary track by Peter O'Toole, Peter Medak, and writer Peter Barnes, Peter Medak's home movies shot on location for "The Ruling Class", A collection of rare publicity and behind-the-scenes production stills, Original trailer, English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired, RSDL dual-layer editionratio.
|Starring:||Ronald Adam, Harry Andrews, Kenneth Benda, Coral Browne, Michael Bryant, Hugh Burden, Patsy Byrne, Joan Cooper, Graham Crowden, James Grout, James Hazeldine, Neil Kennedy, Margaret Lacey, Arthur Lowe, Oliver Macgreevy, William Mervyn, Declan Mulholland, Peter O'Toole, Hugh Owens, Llewellyn Rees, Leslie Schofield, Carolyn Seymour, Alastair Sim, James Villiers, Kay Walsh, Henry Woolf, Nigel Green, Julian D'Albie, Griffith Davies|
|Studio Name:||Sony Pictures Home Entertainment|
|DVD Release Date:||10/30/2001|
|Run Time (in minutes):||154 minutes|
|Audio Tracks:||PCM Mono|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||0.22|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||0.5 x 5.5 x 7.44|
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