I loved this movie when it was first released. O’Toole was spellbinding and everyone else, especially Arthur Lowe, were up there with him. I don’t know if it holds up. British actors have a way of pulling out stops that no one else matches. Maybe it’s all that training. They also have the dirtiest minds.
A monumental (in most senses) satire on all that was established in England: class, religion, hierarchy and, above all, hypocrisy. The cast cheerfully enter into the demolition spirit of things although it's somewhat stodgy in appearance and pace, especially the second half. The intervening years have dimmed its satire, but it's no less relevant in aim, if not precise target, now - are our current rulers any better?
A terrific and biting British satire film with some brilliantly Shakespearian dialogue, delivered by the all-time great Peter O'Toole. This film really drives home the point of how shameful O'Toole missed out on eight Academy Awards. A bit longer than it may need to be, The Ruling Class still finds a way to fit in zany scenes and musical numbers throughout.
Ignore Peter O'Toole and you will see one of the finest comedic ensembles of the early seventies: even Mel Brooks would have offered up his soul for at least four of these weirdo geniuses. Pay attention to Peter O'Toole (or the vengeful God) and you will see one of the angriest, most eloquent Tourette's-inspired skewerings of class arrogance before Peter Greenaway invented Mr. Spica's restaurant.
***1/2. Good adaptation of a play. The musical scenes and Jack's hallucinations are well inserted in the narrative. In 1972, the criticism of the British class system must certainly have shocked more the lambda viewer than in 2010. So let's rather focus on the cast's performance with a special mention to Peter O'Toole and Arthur Lowe. Recommended.