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When a freak accident wipes out an entire royal family, an exhaustive search reveals a distant relation: Ralph Jones (Goodman), a good-natured, down-to-earth Las Vegas entertainer. Immediately, the rude and crude Ralph is given a crash course in royal manners by his new private secretary, the very proper Lord Willingham (Peter O'Toole). But while Ralph's uncouth behavior delights the public, it fuels a fiendish plot by the evil Lord Graves (John Hurt), who's out to oust the new ruler. Now, it's up to this lowborn lounge singer to redeem himself in a manner befitting a king in this warmhearted comedy romp.
David Ward made his reputation on his original screenplay of The Sting, but his career as a director has been built on lightweight comedies filled with generous spirit and slight aspirations. King Ralph delivers on that level. After a freak accident kills every immediate member of the British royal family, a search of the royal bloodline uncovers an unlikely candidate: portly Las Vegas lounge singer John Goodman. How will this gauche, exuberant red-blooded American mix with the snooty aristocratic bluebloods? Blustery, big-hearted Goodman brings the common touch to the palace with the enthusiastic spirit of a beer-guzzling, burger-eating Everyman who hammers out a mean rock & roll piano--even at official functions. John Hurt plays his conniving rival, an overlooked lord who plots the King's demise, while Peter O'Toole brings quiet dignity to his role as the King's private secretary and guide through the maze of etiquette and diplomacy. Ward brings a distinctly American sensibility to the British setting--this is definitely slapstick over satire and Goodman is a veritable bull in the royal china shop. This is a modest underdog comedy where white hats and black hats are pretty rigidly defined, but Goodman brings a working class dignity to the role. Watch for Joely Richardson in a hilarious turn as a throaty foreign princess who puts the moves on Goodman. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Love the movie - my vhs copy is no more - so had to replace it with dvd. Excellent for a rainy afternoonPublished 19 months ago by Donna Green
I think I got this mostly for the awkward moments and the bodyguard at the strip club scene. It'll make you laugh as long as you're not looking for anything remotely cerebral ;)Published on Dec 14 2012 by Amazon Customer