Ragtime (1981)

The passion, the violence, the birth of America's Gilded Age.

Original Title : Ragtime
Director : Milos Forman
Writer : 
Michael Weller (I)
Genre : Drama
Country : USA
Language : English
Producer : Dino De Laurentiis (I) , , , Bernard Williams (I)
Music : Randy Newman (I)
IMDB ID : 0082970
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poster for "Ragtime" by Milos Forman (1981)
Ragtime (1981) - Milos Forman


James Cagney Rheinlander Waldo
Brad Dourif Younger Brother
Moses Gunn Booker T. Washington
Elizabeth McGovern Evelyn Nesbit Thaw
Kenneth McMillan Willie Conklin
Pat O'Brien I
Donald O'Connor Evelyn's dance instructor
James Olson Father
Mandy Patinkin Tateh
Howard E. Rollins Jr. Coalhouse Walker Jr.
Mary Steenburgen Mother
Debbie Allen Sarah
Jeffrey DeMunn Houdini (as Jeff DeMunn
Robert Joy I
Norman Mailer Stanford White
Bruce Boa Jerome
Norman Chancer Agent
Edwin Cooper Grandfather
Jeff Daniels I
Fran Drescher Mameh
Frankie Faison Gang Member No. 1
Hal Galili Police Captain No. 1
Alan Gifford Judge
Richard Griffiths I
Samuel L. Jackson Gang Member No. 2
Michael Jeter Special Reporter
Calvin Levels Gang Member No. 3
Bessie Love Old Lady (T.O.C.
Christopher Malcolm Police Captain No. 2
Herman Meckler Vernon Elliott
Billy J. Mitchell Delmas Assistant No. 2
Jenny Nichols I
Max Nichols Little Boy
Zack Norman I
Eloise O'Brien Mrs. Thaw
Don Plumley Inspector McNeil
Ted Ross I
Dorsey Wright Gang Member No. 4
Robert Arden I
Robert Boyd II
Thomas A. Carlin Vice President Fairbanks
John Clarkson I
Brian F. Dean Fireman No. 1
Harry Ditson County Clerk
Robert Dorning Gent with Stanford White
Geoffrey Greenhill Police Guard (T.O.C.
Ray Hassett Policeman No. 2
Robert Hitt Plainclothes Detective No. 2
Rodney James I
George Harris II
George J. Manos Novelty Shop Storeman
Val Pringle Clef Club Manager
Ron Weyand Doctor Muller
Sonny Abagnale Evelyns Driver
John Alderson I
Nesbitt Blaisdell Policeman No. 5
Chaim Blatter Rabbi
Donald Bisset J.P. Morgan
Josh Clark Fireman No. 3
Robert Coffin Desk Clerk
Patrick Connor I
Joel Cutrara Policeman No. 11
Jake Dengel Fireman No. 2
Barry Dennen Stage Manager
Natalia Dobrer Woman No. 1
Daniel Foley Stock Reporter
Gretchen Franklin Elderly Woman
Patrick Gorman I
Guy Gregory Black Butler No. 2
Dave Griffiths I
Jeff Harding Policeman No. 13
Robert Henderson I
Colette Hiller Lawyers Female Companion No. 1
Patrick M. Hughes Policeman No. 7
Elaine Ives-Cameron Lawyers Female Companion No. 2
Andreas Katsulas Policeman No. 3
Douglas Lambert I
Norris Mailer Lady with Stanford White
Derek Martin II
Al Matthews Maitre D
Stuart Milligan Marksman
Richard Oldfield Stock Reporter
Nelly Polissky Woman in Window
Mike Potter I
Anthony Powell II
Ethan Phillips I
Joe Praml Policeman No. 4
John Ratzenberger Fireman
Bill Reimbold Gent No. 3 - Lawyer
Bob Sherman I
Tony Sibbald Stock Reporter
Stan Simmons Thug No. 3
John Sterland Library Guard
Jan Triska Special Reporter
Burnell Tucker Reporter
Britt Walker Black Butler No. 1
Peter Whitman Stock Reporter
Edward Wiley Conductor
Hoolihand Burke Brigit (uncredited
Frank Patton III
 Sister (uncredited
Judi Trott Chorus Girl (uncredited


Ragtime' by E.L. Doctorow was one of those important ground breaking books. It deserved a better translation to film. Having read the book numerous times over the years, what struck me about the film was that it was largely undecipherable if you had not first read the book. The book is a rich tapestry of American society, its values, behaviour and so on of the day. The film focuses on 2 sub-plots only - Nesbit Thaw and Coalhouse Walker Jr. The character - mother's Younger Brother was largely sacrificed - this introverted complex character - was portrayed only as Nesbit-Thaw's lover and a terrorist - with no development of how he became to be these. The relationship between Father and Mother too was badly handled, especially the Mother's leaving with the Russian film maker (silhouette artist). The film simply does not even begin to scratch this surface. The film is a major disappointment.
poster for "Ragtime"
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Ragtime (1981) - Milos Forman
poster for "Ragtime"
260 x 386
Ragtime (1981) - Milos Forman