The Ruling Class (1972)

The Ruling Class Poster

When the Earl of Gurney dies in a cross-dressing accident, his schizophrenic son, Jack, inherits the Gurney estate. Jack is not the average nobleman; he sings and dances across the estate and thinks he is Jesus reincarnated. Believing that Jack is mentally unfit to own the estate, the Gurney family plots to steal Jack's inheritance. As their outrageous schemes fail, the family strives to cure Jack of his bizarre behavior, with disastrous results.

Movie Summary
"The Ruling Class" is a satirical black comedy movie released in 1972, directed by Peter Medak and adjusted from Peter Barnes' 1968 phase play. The impressive efficiency of Peter O'Toole as the eccentric lead character, Jack Arnold Alexander Tancred Gurney- Earl of Gurney, makes the film a particularly memorable piece of British movie theater.

Plot Summary
In the movie's opening, the 13th Earl of Gurney mistakenly dies in a misadventure, which leads to his paranoid schizophrenic child, Jack (Peter O'Toole), inheriting the title. Familiar with a somewhat skewed reality, Jack believes he is Jesus Christ returned and gets to the House of Lords in a robe and sandals, shocking the upper-class establishment. His unorthodox behavior and extreme concepts, such as the circulation of wealth or caring one's enemies, are a far cry from the anticipated etiquette of the British aristocracy.

All at once, Jack's conniving relatives design a strategy to have him stated ridiculous and therefore separated from his title, which includes marrying him off to the greedy, manipulative woman of the house, Grace (Carolyn Seymour). She techniques him into consummating their marital relationship, resulting in her falling pregnant, with the hope of producing a 'typical' beneficiary.

Turning Point & Climax
Nevertheless, occasions take a remarkable turn when Jack goes through shock therapy by the ambitious Dr. Herder (Michael Bryant), which temporarily seems to treat his messiah complex. Jack's persona considerably shifts from good-hearted 'God' to ruthlessly sticking to concepts of social Darwinism, matching those of Jack the Ripper.

Jack's transformation results in the family's approval, and he presumes his rightful location as the 14th Earl of Gurney to bring the standard beliefs of aristocracy forward. The climax involves an ironic twist where Jack, the very one considered the family's 'madman', is considered sane, while his atrocities and apathetic, cold demeanor are accepted as sound leadership and apt judgment qualities. The haunting last words of the movie, "I'm Jack, I'm Jack," signal Jack's total detachment from his as soon as safe deceptions.

Styles and Commentary
"The Ruling Class" is a cutting satire of British nobility and the nation's political system, exploring styles of class, religion, and madness. The sharp and caustic humor challenges the status quo of the recognized order, questioning who the 'real madmen' are in the society.

The narrative is layered with a bitter critique of the hypocrisies of the aristocracy, suggesting that those who wield power are not necessarily the most sane or accountable for it. It interrogates the ironies of a system that supports an overbearing leader's deeds, while viewing altruism as a form of insanity.

Through a blend of humor and horror, "The Ruling Class" delivers a scathing commentary on British social and political systems. It is a dark, eccentric, and brilliant film, that challenges the audience to closely take a look at societal norms under the guise of satirical funny. The 1972 movie has actually considering that been kept in mind for Peter O'Toole's remarkable performance and its daring social review. As a result, "The Ruling Class" remains a substantial classic in British cinema.

Top Cast

  • Peter O'Toole (small)
    Peter O'Toole
    Jack 14th Earl of Gurney
  • Alastair Sim (small)
    Alastair Sim
    Bishop Lampton
  • Arthur Lowe (small)
    Arthur Lowe
  • Harry Andrews (small)
    Harry Andrews
    13th Earl of Gurney
  • Coral Browne (small)
    Coral Browne
    Lady Claire Gurney
  • Michael Bryant
    Dr. Herder
  • Nigel Green (small)
    Nigel Green
  • William Mervyn (small)
    William Mervyn
    Sir Charles Gurney
  • Carolyn Seymour (small)
    Carolyn Seymour
    Grace Shelley
  • James Villiers (small)
    James Villiers
  • Kay Walsh (small)
    Kay Walsh
    Mrs. Piggott-Jones