Director: Richard Lester
Stars: Jack Weston, Rita Moreno, Jerry Stiller, Kaye Ballard, F. Murray Abraham, Treat Williams, Bessie Love
Heterosexual Cleveland businessman Gaetano Proclo is hiding from his murderous mobster brother-in-law in a gay bathhouse in Manhattan. There, Gaetano meets a colorful variety of characters, including aspiring entertainer Googie Gomez. Googie thinks that Gaetano is a famous producer, he thinks that she is a man in drag. Things become even more complicated when Gaetano's wife locates his hideout and believes that her husband must be gay.
The year was 1976. For gay characters to be in a movie, they had to be the comic relief toward the main characters. They could not be the main character, and the movie get a major release. Apparently this movie did not get a major US release. It got a release in Denmark, and it was made in the UK. It really is because of all of the gay characters and extras in the movie.
The main reason why this movie did not get the release that it should have is that the movie takes place in a bath house. Middle America did not even know what a bath house is, unless the men frequent one when they are out of town on business. It isn't the YMCA at all. Americans were not ready to see the inside of a bath house and what went on in there. That was just too much for them.
The movie has a great cast. These are good actors, especially for the time period. These were great actors for the day, and some of them just kicking their career off. This is an entertaining movie. The pace is a bit slow, and the jokes and scenes have been done a million times over and over again. It is a movie worth watching once. Enjoy.
The Ritz (1976) Trailer