David Ward made his reputation on his original screenplay of The Sting, but his career as a director has been built on lightweight comedies filled with generous spirit and slight aspirations. King Ralph delivers on that le... more »vel. After a freak accident kills every immediate member of the British royal family, a search of the royal bloodline uncovers an unlikely candidate: portly Las Vegas lounge singer John Goodman. How will this gauche, exuberant red-blooded American mix with the snooty aristocratic bluebloods? Blustery, big-hearted Goodman brings the common touch to the palace with the enthusiastic spirit of a beer-guzzling, burger-eating Everyman who hammers out a mean rock & roll piano--even at official functions. John Hurt plays his conniving rival, an overlooked lord who plots the King's demise, while Peter O'Toole brings quiet dignity to his role as the King's private secretary and guide through the maze of etiquette and diplomacy. Ward brings a distinctly American sensibility to the British setting--this is definitely slapstick over satire and Goodman is a veritable bull in the royal china shop. This is a modest underdog comedy where white hats and black hats are pretty rigidly defined, but Goodman brings a working class dignity to the role. Watch for Joely Richardson in a hilarious turn as a throaty foreign princess who puts the moves on Goodman. --Sean Axmaker« less
"HM King Ralph is an exceptionally well done film, and is hilarious footage for the whole family. The movie King Ralph begins with the recent deaths of the entire British Royal Family. Britains then trace back Royal liniage to find that a Casino gambling American (Goodman) is next in line to the British Throne of Whindom. John Goodman brings laughs and spunk into the walls of Buckingham Palace, and an emotional ending leaves you ready to watch it again!"
The best darn film ever made
delby ruger | South Haven, Indiana | 03/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"in a word: SUPERIORWhere to begin? The dry subtle wit of that sly thespian, John Goodman? The breathtakingly succinct portrayal of the supercillious and sinister aristocracy? The tear-jerking and anguished forbidden love of Ralph and what's her name? Whoa! This movie's got it all.Goodman's masterful command of his roll as the common, beer-drinking, blue-collar Everyman (the most riveting depiction ever in film history) obliterates the shackles of his usual Shakespearean type-casting. What can't this man do? He is clearly the perennial uber-chameleon of stage and screen.Whether you are trying to find meaning in the existential malaise of our time; searching for a film that would inspire and impart the necessary ethical ideals our children so desperately need and yearn for; or maybe you're just in a mood for mesmerizing adventure, rib-breaking humor, and scintillating romance - do your soul a favor: BUY THIS FILM!"
Corny but Fun
General Pete | SC | 03/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Probably the best Jon Goodman movie I have ever seen. The premise is implauable to say the least, but you still manage some pretty descent laughs."
A great movie
psychojazz | Helsinki, Finland | 01/21/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A very good movie indeed, but as a Finnish person I find it completely absurd to have the king of England arrange a reception to the royal family of Finland. Why, you ask? Because Finland hasn't got a king! Finland isn't a country of monarchy but a republic. Still they play the Finnish national anthem right. Doesn't make sense to me whatsoever. This might seem like a tiny and pointless detail to you, but I have to wonder why didn't they pick for example Finland's werstern neighbor Sweden instead, which IS a monarchy?In spite of all this, the movie is really good. Recommended."
Surprisingly good film
George H. Thom III | Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida | 06/20/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"King Ralph rules. I didn't expect this to be a good movie, but I was wrong. Aside from one overlong slapstick episode, King Ralph was a delight. John Goodman, Peter O'Toole and John Hurt are outstanding in this surprisingly warm and entertaining film."