KING RALPH Add To My Top 10

Content -2
Quality
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Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: February 15, 1991

Starring: John Goodman, Peter O'Toole, Camile Coduri, John Hurt, Richard Griffiths, Joely Richardson, James Villiers, & Leslie Phillips

Genre: Comedy

Audience: Adults

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: Approximately 110 minutes

Distributor: MCA/Universal Pictures

Director: David S. Ward

Executive Producer:

Producer: Jack Brodsky

Writer: David S. Ward

Address Comments To:

Tom Pollock
President
Universal Pictures
100 Universal City
Universal City, CA 91608
(818)777-1000

Content:

(LL, S, NN) Roughly 12 obscenities, brief female nudity, and sexual innuendo.

Summary:

When the entire royal family perishes in an electrical accident, a Las Vegas lounge singer and pianist ascends to the throne of England.

Review:

KING RALPH is a royal spoof about American piano player, Ralph Jones, who finds himself unprepared for the role fate thrusts upon him. When an accident wipes out the English royal family, a crown search-committee locates sole heir Jones in Las Vegas, where he plays nightly at various lounges. It seems that Jones' grandmother had a liaison with one of the princes and bore a son (Jones' father). After the committee convinces Jones that he is King, they leave for England and prepare for his coronation.

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.

In Brief:

KING RALPH is a royal spoof. When an accident wipes out the English royal family, a search-committee locates their heir, Ralph Jones, in Las Vegas, playing piano at various lounges. Since Ralph's life has revolved around Hawaiian shirts and junk food, he needs coaching in the most basic virtues. One night, Ralph escapes the palace to a nightclub, where he becomes enamored with Miranda Green. A plot emerges to dethrone Ralph, which involves bribing Miranda into being photographed with Ralph in a compromising situation. However, Miranda changes her mind. Regrettably, when the Finnish Royals come for a visit, Ralph commits some disastrous faux pas. In the end, Ralph asks his subjects' forgiveness, endearing himself to them, and then abdicates the throne.

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.