132. The Ruling Class

I think I must have a soft spot for films that combine genres. THE RULING CLASS, starring Peter O’Toole, is mostly a dry satire of the British class system. But at times it’s also a black comedy, a horror film, and a musical. When the 13th Earl of Gurney suffers a truly bizarre death, the family is distressed that the estate must go to his only heir Jack — who happens to believe he is Jesus Christ. Charismatic and kindhearted, Jack is completely at odds with society, but “curing” him comes at a terrible price. The film is a bit long at two and a half hours, but I laughed the entire time. I also loved every moment O’Toole was on screen, giving a brilliant performance that ranges from insane, to charming, to hilarious, to frightening.

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