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6.5

Ragtime (1981)

Ragtime
Running time: 155 min. | Genre: Drama, Racism, Family, Jazz, 1900s
Ragtime

Synopsis

Based on the acclaimed and popular E.L. Doctorow novel, RAGTIME tells the intricate story of four New York families--three of which are fictional--at the turn of the 20th century, each indicative of that time in American history, and highlighting some of the downsides of following the American Dream. Starving immigrant artist Tateh (Mandy Patinkin) will eventually set off to make his fortune in Hollywood, but not without a chance encounter with Evelyn Nesbit (Elizabeth McGovern in the role of the real-life showgirl). Nesbit was the center of the infamous (and, in the film, the very compelling) Thaw-White murder case, in which her mentally unstable millionare husband Harry K. Thaw (Robert Joy) murdered her lover, the famed architect Stanford White (Norman Mailer). Another storyline follows the disintegration of an upper-class American family headed by Mary Steenburgen (simply named Mother) and James Olson (Father). Their seemingly perfect existence is shattered when black ragtime pianist Coalhouse Walker (Howard E. Rollins), loosely modeled on Scott Joplin, begins to romance a pregnant young woman living in their home (Debbie Allen). Walker, a dignified man, turns to rage when he is tormented by local racists. One of the most impressive moments in this ambitious film is the appearance of veteran actor James Cagney who, at 81, plays feisty Police Commissioner Waldo.

Nominations & Awards

Academy Awards

Best Supporting Actor (Howard E. Rollins Jr.)
NOMINATED
Best Supporting Actress (Elizabeth McGovern)
NOMINATED
Best Song
NOMINATED
Best Adapted Screenplay
NOMINATED
Best Cinematography
NOMINATED
Best Music (Score)
NOMINATED
Best Production Design
NOMINATED
Best Costume Design
NOMINATED

Golden Globes Awards

Best Picture - Drama
NOMINATED
Best Director (Milos Forman)
NOMINATED
Best Supporting Actor (Howard E. Rollins Jr.)
NOMINATED
Best Supporting Actress (Mary Steenburgen)
NOMINATED
Best Song
NOMINATED
Most Outstanding Newcomer to Film (Elizabeth McGovern)
NOMINATED

David di Donatello

Best Foreign Producer (Dino De Laurentiis)
NOMINATED

Los Angeles Film Critics Association

Best Music (Score)
WINNER

New York Film Critics Circle

Best Supporting Actor (Howard E. Rollins Jr.)
NOMINATED

Details

Original title

Ragtime

Director

Milos Forman

Producer

Paramount Pictures

Running time

155 min.

Screenwriter

Michael Weller (Novela: E.L. Doctorow)

Music

Randy Newman

Cinematography

Miroslav Ondrícek

Year

1981

Country

United States United States

Related Films

See all

Ranking

IMDb
7.3
Metacritic
5.7

 

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