Search - Ruby on DVD

Actors: Piper Laurie, Stuart Whitman, Roger Davis, Janit Baldwin, Sal Vecchio
Director: Curtis Harrington
Genres: Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
R     2001     1hr 25min

Now available in a new digital film transfer from the original 35mm negative and in the restored, director's theatrical cut. She's sweet sixteen and her mama (Piper Laurie - the mother in the horror classic Carrie) want...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Piper Laurie, Stuart Whitman, Roger Davis, Janit Baldwin, Sal Vecchio
Director: Curtis Harrington
Creators: William Mendenhall, William P. Magee, George Edwards, Steve Krantz, Barry Schneider
Genres: Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Studio: Vci Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 06/26/2001
Original Release Date: 01/01/1977
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1977
Release Year: 2001
Run Time: 1hr 25min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 10
Edition: Director's Cut
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

Mark Norvell | HOUSTON | 10/27/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"50's actress Piper Laurie followed up her "comeback" in "Carrie" with this neglected horror item. She plays Ruby, a former gangster's moll now running a drive-in employing several of her old mob friends. She married a wealthy rival of her old beau who had him killed while she was pregnant with the younger man's child. Now the child is a teenager and mute. She begins exhibiting strange behavior and scary things start happening at the drive-in and Ruby is convinced her old lover has come back for her. The supernatural is played up well and there is no shortage of shocks. A lot of good moments and an overall creepiness pervade the film directed by Curtis Harrington. Piper Laurie gives another full-barreled performance as Ruby--still beautiful but half-deranged by alcohol and memories. Her blood red costume at the end is a knockout. VCI has done well with this on DVD. It deserves it."
" Damn Good Movie "
Cassandra Jackson | Southaven, MS. United States | 03/05/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I saw this movie when I was 10 years old. I stayed up late that night because my mom and dad were out of town and my aunt was the babysitter and we got away with the "Staying up late" thing. Well, anyway, I turned on the t.v. and there it was, RUBY, I kept my head covered up during most of the movie. I almost fainted when I heard a bump after finally going to bed. I am now 33 and have had trouble trying to locate the movie. Knowone remebers the good movies! but, I still remember " Ruby " That's a great movie."
Forgotten film it worth remembering?
A. Griffiths | London | 10/31/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

""Ruby" was quite an odd film to come out in the middle of the late 1970's period - it's hard to categorise and doesn't really have any identifiable style or genre in the horror just seems to be sitting there. The story centres around the title character of Ruby, a troubled woman still coming to terms with the death of her lover in the distant past. She has a mute daughter who she has brought up with as little personal contact as possible, because of the painful resemblance to the dead man. But new trouble brews when Ruby's friends and colleagues start to die in strange a secret from the past coming back to haunt them all?

No-one ever raves about this film, and few make claims on it to be a cult classic. This would probably suggest it isn't very good, and I'd be lying if I recommended it as successful and effective, because it fails mostly to be either of those. However I have a sneaking fondness for it, but I can't really put my finger on what's actually that good about it. Probably the biggest attraction is Piper Laurie's performance as Ruby. Piper Laurie is always fun to watch, and she's especially good as the hard edged, alcoholic and slightly unbalanced Ruby. That aside, the rest of the casting is pretty good too. A word must also go out for the music - the prologue of the film is set in the 1930's, and the soundtrack for the flashback has a great smoky bar-room jazz music to it. Plus there's even a chance to hear Piper Laurie singing as the sole recording from Ruby's short-lived musical career gets played at one point. The song - " blowing smoke rings round the moon", it goes - sounds absoloutely wonderful, plus the same melody appears throughout the film in different instrumental reprises, and then again at the very end, completely reworked as the closing theme. I love films that make up cod period music, and, better still, use one musical motif to such good effect throughout. So this is probably my main reason for admiring this movie so much.

Sadly, it's lacking in other areas. The murders are very low key and lacklustre. I'm not really a gorehound, but at the time of the film's release, the gore market was just starting to appear (this flim came out just after the blood-soaked "Carrie") and "Ruby" must surely have been too mild to appeal to horror fans, which probably led to its luke-warm performance at the time. And as long as we're talking about "Carrie", it's also pretty obvious that "Ruby" was palmed off at the time as something in the same vein - a girl's name as the title, featuring Piper Laurie, hot on the heels of her fantastic appearance in the former film as Carrie's mother, and lastly, the sub-plot involving Ruby's daughter, Lesley, who, while not contributing anything of note for much of the running time, pops up every now and then exhibiting signs of possession and mysterious powers. But despite the "Carrie"-style marketing, the scenes with Lesley actually borrow heavily from "The Exorcist". This is by far the biggest failing of the film. The scenes of Lesley thrashing around on her bed and acting possessed really look like second-hand wannabe shots from that classic, and it throws the general tone of the film out totally. Making this possession/pyschic powers plot happen to a minor characater instead of the title character (no supernatural affliction ever assails Ruby herself) makes it seem as though this apsect has been shoe-horned in from a completely different film. Plus, the daughter is so under-written as a character that it renders her just not interesting enough to carry this element effectively.

Essentially, then, I have now decided that "Ruby" is a ghost story, with revenge from beyond the grave providing the required chills and thrills. There is a certain "who-dunnit and why" mystery to be solved along the way, and there are a few fun murders. Plus the may read that the shock ending (retained in the VCI DVD) was added against the directors wishes...but I love it! I found it effective and am glad it's been left in. In my view - stop reading you have not seen the ending - being re-united with your dead lover does not always mean you simply slip across some astral plane, hand in hand together, and Ruby finds that the re-union she dreamed about for so long comes via a rather more uncomfortable method than she would have liked. So - against all other opinions - the end of the film is another one of my personal highlights.

Definitely re-watcheable - I always seem to forget the plot revelations between viewings - and at a good price. Try it. But don't expect to add a new classic to your DVD shelf."
Not A Harrington Classic
Chasemouse | 07/21/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Thanks to the DVD format many films that have suffered abuse at the hands of untalented studio executives and film censors have finally been given a chance to prove themselves for the classics that they truly are. Despite it's cult status Ruby is not one of those classics. According to Harrington, Ruby (1977) was the top grossing independent film of its time before John Carpenter's Halloween usurped its crown. Ruby's theatrical success and it's rareity on the video market have earned the film a cult following over the years. Now, finally having seen it I cannot understand why. Piper Laurie plays Ruby, an aging overly dramatic has-been who was amazingly beautiful in her day. Laurie's performance is fine but the character she plays is tired, cliched, and annoying. I had to force myself to get through her intolerable and lengthy scenes. The only performance worth watching is Ruby's mute daughter played by Janit Baldwin. Without Baldwin's eerie presence this film has little going for it, which is probably why her image is used for the poster art even though her character has only a minor role. The film is not without its moments, the finest being when Ruby's possessed daughter seduces then tries to kill her mother acting on behalf of the murdered father. Harrington is a very good director but I fail to see why fans count Ruby among his best work. My quibbles aside I am always pleased to see a lovingly presented DVD and VCI's 0 Region disc is just that. Transferred from the original 35mm negative in a rather tight 1:85:1 ratio Ruby looks as good as this low budget film can be expected. The sound is fine but it's nothing to crow about. The real goodies here are the supplements, which include a full length commentary by Harrington, an interview with Harrington by film critic David Del Valle, a photogallery and the theatrical trailer. Also noted among the DVD's special features is that this presentation is the "Director's Theatrical Cut". Please note the careful wording, this is NOT the Director's Cut. According to Harrington, Ruby is missing 6 minutes of footage (NOT noted on the case). He states in his interview with Del Valle that the film is very much his until the abrupt ending. VCI's presentation of Ruby contains a tacked on and artisically degrading ending which was not approved by Harrington. Aside from the loss of Harrington's original ending fans should be pleased by this release all others have been warned."