Runtime: 155 min
The passion, the violence, the birth of America's
Summary: The story runs in the 1910's New
York. Coalhouse Walker Jr. is a black man piano player.
He has won fame and fortune playing with a jazz band.
Some white men do not like this situation, and one
day they assault him and spoil his brand new car.
Walker tries by all means to get justice, without
clearly a classic. Ragtime has emerged as a classic
film. Its astonishing array of great performances--literally
a score of them, from Howard Rollins's truly tragic
stand for human dignity at the film's center to James
Cagney's historic return to film at the end of his
life and the end of this motion picture--would almost
alone qualify this as a great motion picture. But
Michael Weller's breathtakingly complex and complete
dramatization of Doctorow's sprawling novel, the gorgeous
production and costume designs and the superb direction
of Milos Forman seal the deal. This is a magnificent
tapestry of American life at the beginning of the
Lavishly entertaining, genuinely heartbreaking and
a dandy history lesson to boot, Ragtime has joined
the pantheon of great, epic movies.
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 .... Delmas
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 .... Harry K. Thaw
Norman Mailer .... Stanford White
Elizabeth McGovern of She's Having a Baby fame walking
into a room and dropping a blanket to reveal her breasts
and a bit of bush as she tries to cover with her hands
before kissing a guy and then sitting on a couch talking
with some more guys for several minutes all while topless.