Ragtime (1981)

PG   |    |  Drama

Ragtime (1981) Poster

A young black pianist becomes embroiled in the lives of an upper-class white family set among the racial tensions, infidelity, violence, and other nostalgic events in early 1900s New York City.




  • James Cagney and Milos Forman in Ragtime (1981)
  • James Cagney and Milos Forman in Ragtime (1981)
  • James Olson in Ragtime (1981)
  • James Olson and Howard E. Rollins Jr. in Ragtime (1981)
  • Debbie Allen and Howard E. Rollins Jr. in Ragtime (1981)
  • James Cagney and Milos Forman in Ragtime (1981)

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16 September 2004 | randysch1
| It doesn't do the impossible, but so what?
A short commentary: Having read through a few of the comments here, I note that there are several which express disappointment that the movie didn't do the book justice. Personally, having read the book some time after seeing the movie, I can understand their point, but realistically it's the type of book which would be nearly be impossible to do justice to, as there are so many broad interwoven threads in the book that it would require at least a 6 hour movie to even scratch the surface, and even then, putting it all together into a singular coherent whole which would hold the viewer's interest for that long would be quite a mean feat indeed. So instead of looking at it as an attempt to fully capture the book, it might be best to simply appreciate it for what it is, rather than what it isn't. And I believe that on its own terms it succeeds admirably, and remains one of my favorite movies of all time.

Another way of looking at this, as an introduction to the book, rather than vice versa it has some value on those terms. Perhaps if I hadn't seen the movie I might never have happened upon the book, and never known what I'd missed.

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$151,351 22 November 1981

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:


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