While visiting Paris in 1908, upper class Lord Burnstead loses his butler playing poker. Egbert and Effie Floud bring Ruggles back to Red Gap, Washington. Effie wants to take advantage of Ruggles’ upper class background to influence Egbert’s hick lifestyle. However, Egbert is more interested in partying and he takes Ruggles to the local ‘beer bust’. When word gets out that “Colonel Ruggles is staying with his close friends” in the local paper, the butler becomes a town celebrity. After befriending Mrs. Judson, a widow who he impresses with his culinary skills, Ruggles decides to strike out on his own and open a restaurant. His transition from servant to independent man will depend on its success. —IMDb
Los Angeles-born Leo McCarey was, along with Frank Capra, one of the most popular and successful comedy directors of the pre-World War II era. Unlike Capra, however, McCarey’s success endured well after World War II, and like Capra, his work was still influencing filmmakers in the 1990s. Originally an attorney, McCarey entered films by a circuitous route shortly after starting his own practice, beginning as an assistant to Tod Browning. During the 1920s, he went to work for Hal Roach Studios as a gag writer and director and, within two years, was a vice president. It was while at Roach that McCarey teamed Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy together for the first time, thus creating one of the most enduring comedy teams of all time. As a director, he imposed a frantically paced, breakneck speed to comedy which quickly became his trademark in the 1930s. A triple-threat as writer and producer as well as director, McCarey made some of the most inspired comedies of the decade, including The Milky… read more
In the '30's Laughton could do no wrong with one outstanding role following another and under the guidance of expert comedy director McCarey he gives another peerless performance in this delicious comedy. He plays the quintessential English butler transposed to the Wild West in a fish-out-of-water scenario after his employer uses him as the stake in a card game - and loses. Great gags, great performances, great film!