Release Date: February 15, 1991
Starring: John Goodman, Peter O'Toole,
Camile Coduri, John Hurt,
Richard Griffiths, Joely
Richardson, James Villiers, &
Runtime: Approximately 110 minutes
Distributor: MCA/Universal Pictures
Director: David S. Ward
Producer: Jack Brodsky
Writer: David S. Ward
Address Comments To:Tom Pollock
100 Universal City
Universal City, CA 91608
Sir Cedric, Ralph's secretary, and counselors Phipps and Duncan, have their hands full as they instruct King Ralph in the ways of royal protocol. Since King Ralph's life hitherto has revolved around Hawaiian shirts, junk food and little responsibility, he needs coaching in the most basic areas of life. Ralph also needs to adjust to the heavy coronation crown containing the "Star of India", so he wears it during a lavish bubble bath, and the crown topples into the sudsy bath water! Later, Sir Cedric takes King Ralph hunting where he wounds (slightly) one of the beagles instead of pheasants.
Ralph attends to many royal duties, among them meeting the king of Zambia. Amazingly, King Ralph and the Zambian King take to each other and enjoy a game of darts as they discuss plans for manufacturing a futuristic car.
Having had his fill of British formality and stuffiness, King Ralph escapes one night to a nightclub, where he becomes enamored with performer Miranda Green. The two enjoy a few dates, but Cedric cautions him to forget her because she's not "the right sort."
A plot emerges to dethrone King Ralph, which involves bribing Miranda into being photographed with Ralph in a compromising situation. However, Miranda changes her mind. When Cedric impresses Ralph with the need for a suitable mate, Ralph tries hard to forget Miranda.
A suitable mate turns up in Princess Anna, the King of Finland's daughter. Regrettably, when the Finnish Royals come for a state visit, Ralph commits some disastrous faux pas. The first occurs at dinner as his fork slips, causing the meat to knock the tumblers over, which creates a domino-effect as every glass at the table is overturned. The last straw, however, happens when King Ralph jazzes up the staid, lifeless ball by playing "Good Golly, Miss Molly" on the harpsichord. When finished, a deadly silence greets him.
In the end, while addressing Parliament, Ralph levels with his subjects and asks their forgiveness. He not only endears himself to them, but also abdicates the throne. However, it is clear that even though Ralph has stepped down from his kingly role, he can no longer return to his former life since he has matured and learned to take responsibility.
Amid the fun and hilarity of KING RALPH, some fairly serious ideas emerge. Cedric, the new king, tells Ralph: "You showed me how to be a king. You're a good and decent man, and you've acted honorably." Earlier, when Ralph wanted to quit, Cedric reminded him that he had never held a job very long and needed to grow up and take responsibility, and Ralph accepted the challenge.
In a parable on stewardship, the Lord reminds us in Matthew 25:23: "Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things." So too, "King Ralph" learns to be a faithful, humble steward in the area where circumstance placed him. Unfortunately, objectionable language and nudity overshadow the positive messages of the film.
Amid the fun and hilarity of KING RALPH, some fairly serious ideas emerge. Cedric, the new king, tells Ralph: "You showed me how to be a king. You're a good and decent man, and you've acted honorably." In fact, "King Ralph" learns to be a faithful, humble steward in the area where circumstance placed him. Unfortunately, objectionable language and nudity overshadow the positive messages of the film.