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Criterion Collection: The Ruling Class [DVD] [1972] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Peter O'Toole , Alastair Sim , Peter Medak    Suitable for 18 years and over   DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
Price: £19.79
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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

Note: you may purchase only one copy of this product. New Region 1 DVDs are dispatched from the USA or Canada and you may be required to pay import duties and taxes on them (click here for details). Please expect a delivery time of 5-7 days.


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Criterion Collection: The Ruling Class [DVD] [1972] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] + Lord Jim [DVD] [2004]
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Product details

  • Actors: Peter O'Toole, Alastair Sim, Arthur Lowe, Hugh Owens, Harry Andrews
  • Directors: Peter Medak
  • Writers: Peter Barnes
  • Producers: David Korda, Jack Hawkins, Jules Buck
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Colour, DVD-Video, Special Edition, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: 30 Oct 2001
  • Run Time: 154 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005O3V8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 43,250 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars BAD REVIEWS DON'T RELATE TO THIS RELEASE 9 Jan 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The bad reviews on this page relate to the Momentum release and NOT the Criterion Release (Black cover with close-up of O'Toole). Unfortunately the bad reviews AND good reviews of certain films relate to the quality of the image and sound of a particular DVD release, whereas the reviews seem to get placed on ANY issue of a film. Multiple editions of films taken from different sources create this problem. The Criterion disc is the definitive full length film,although it is Region 1.
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117 of 121 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Ruling Class (cat. no. MPo55D) 9 Feb 2004
By Jo Fell
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Beware this edition of The Ruling Class, the classic crazy 1972 film. For starters the cover doesn't even have the correct title - it just says "Ruling Class". On watching, you'll find it's not widescreen, which it should be. And worst of all there are 25 minutes of footage missing from the film, making a complete mockery of it. I'm now off to try and exchange this for a proper edition.
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78 of 82 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Ruling Class 1 Feb 2006
Format:DVD
I agree with the previous reviewer, this DVD is a travesty of one of the funniest films ever made.
Most of the cuts are not critical to the plot development - they just cut some of the funniest scenes in the movie.
If my memory serves me well, the following scenes have been removed:
1. The marquee scene after the wedding
2. The scene in the mental asylum where Peter O'Toole is placed in a room with a bunch of violent psycopaths
3. The scene with the fox urinating after outwitting the hunt
4. William Mervyn's hillarious line after finding his murdered wife's body
And worst of all:
5. The duel between Michael Bryant and Peter O'Toole where the psychiatrist comes to realise that the man he thought he had cured is, in fact, a murderer. This makes the scene near the end of the film where Michael Bryant ends up in his own institution unintelligible.
This movie was all but destroyed on its release by distributors who objected to its length. With DVDs like this nobody is ever going to realise just how good it was. Pete O'Toole is quoted as saying it was the best film he ever made but nobody would ever know from this cut.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Poor DVD indeed 17 Aug 2007
By Mr. L. N. Taylor VINE VOICE
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I absolutely agree with the previous 2 reviews. The running time of this movie should be 154 minutes, not the heavily edited 123 minute version we have here. The picture quality is poor and "noisy" and no attempt has been made to restore it. The audio quality is appalling!!! As stated previously this is pan & scan not widescreen - WHY? Also, the cover gives the running time as 154 minutes, which leads potential buyers into thinking this is the full movie. Thats just downright dishonest. Buy the Region 1 Criterion version. OK it's expensive, but it is the definitive version of this great movie. All in all, a shameful exploitation and a complete travesty. Peter O'Toole's performance deserves much better. AVOID AT ALL COSTS!!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Original & Genuine Definitive Version. 12 Mar 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The only fully digitally-restored & remastered, completely uncut, 100% untouched, totally unedited version of this film on DVD is the "Criterion Collection" issue. This is the full 154 minute version, whose remastering/reissue was supervised personally by the Director. It has Peter O'Toole on the front cover wearing a Bowler Hat; it has the words "The Criterion Collection" at the top right and "The Ruling Class" in Edwardian Script Font along the bottom. Any and all other versions of this film should be avoided like the proverbial plague - for these are 3rd rate shoddy, cut, edited, chopped and mutilated transfers, the creators of which should face criminal proceedings...

"The Ruling Class" is Peter O'Toole's own favourite amongst his 5-Star acting career. It is a timeless masterpiece which ostensibly is a lampoon of the British Class System - but whose sub-texts are mind-blowingly brilliant. Monty Python meets Harold Pinter & Samuel Beckett...

Get this masterpiece at all costs.. but make absolutely sure that it's the "Criterion Collection" digitally restored/remastered DVD as outlined.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Running time - 2h 34m 03s 30 April 2009
Format:DVD
This new Optimum release is not a butchered version - it is the original and has full running time (at least mine does).

This is packed with actors giving some of their best performances, and saying that of people like Alastair Sim and Arthur Lowe gives you an idea of the quality on display.

The film is dominated by the genius of Peter O'Toole in an Oscar-nominated role (his company, Keep Films, also produced). He even gets to strut his stuff as a song and dance man.

If you are a fan of top-flight British character acting, and eccentric black humour, this is highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 14th Earl of Gurney. 26 Dec 2013
By Monk
Format:DVD
Films of this kind are rarely, if ever, made anymore. A truly splendid offering. Anarchic and amusing with many a true word spoken in jest. I saw it through a download so no idea about the company issues with the DVD. It's a touch expensive anyway. I saw it for free, O'Toole acted in it for free.

The acting is excellent and the script acerbic to the nth degree. O'Toole shines... as do all the supporting actors, Arthur Lowe is a joy to behold. It's surrealist, however, speaks volumes about the class system of Great Britain which still exists currently but is well hidden by the ridiculous educational system the government now has in its employ, which turns out complete idiots by the bucket load with complete and absolute impunity. Watch it if you can it is an education in and of itself.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Ruling Class" from The Criterion Collection
I bought The Criterion Collection's © 2001 release of "The Ruling Class" from Amazon US in 2011. I trawled through the reviews on Amazon US and Amazon UK before making a decision. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Diotima
1.0 out of 5 stars Wrong Language
This film states that it is in English, Spanish. What this really means is that the first part is in English and the second part is in Spanish. What is the point of that!
Published 5 months ago by Charlie
5.0 out of 5 stars Criterion Collection of a delightfully dated, black masterpiece
When I was halfway through writing this article, actor Peter O’Toole passed away. He serves as yet another example of just how pointless, asinine, vapid, and meaningless the... Read more
Published 5 months ago by THE BLUEMAHLER
5.0 out of 5 stars I have wanted this film for years but, because it had developed a cult...
I have wanted this film for years but, because it had developed a cult following, the price seemed too high. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mrs. C. Waring
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious
Peter O'Toole is just brilliant in this off beat comedy. It shows the ' ruling class' for what they are
Published 9 months ago by Paul R. Pearce
3.0 out of 5 stars Poor postage time and quality
Firstly, the sound quality and occasionally the image quality of the film were poor. It is hard to believe that digitally remastering a film from the 1970s could be that bad. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Harriet
4.0 out of 5 stars Which one to buy - the final, final word.
The DVD entitled 'Ruling Class' is copied from the TV version - hence the poor sound, the 4:3 picture, and the fact that half an hour is missing. Read more
Published 11 months ago by D. F. King
5.0 out of 5 stars A mirror of a wounded self
The Criterion release has the full range of the dual personality spilling over 2.5 hours.

Peter O Toole plays the split part with a manic iciness stretching over the... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles
5.0 out of 5 stars Three versions on offer...
Timeless masterpiece? Well no, it's clearly "of its time" and often looks and sounds rather dated nowadays. Read more
Published on 13 Feb 2012 by Mersul
5.0 out of 5 stars Rule Britannia!
Stunningly funny, excellent cast, frightfully serious and sometimes 'too' close to reality..
Ex-centric in the very sense of the meaning of the word. Read more
Published on 19 May 2011 by Dr. Peter Philipp Andrassy-Földeaky
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