Classic comedy with Charles Laughton as an English valet that ends up in a town in Washington after he was won in a poker game. Laughton has to be seen especially by those who have never seen him in a comedic role. The movie was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. The winner was “Mutiny On The Bounty” also starring Charles Laughton.
Paris 1908: The Earl of Burnstead (Roland Young) loses his valet Ruggles (Charles Laughton) to American millionaire Egbert Floud (Charlie Ruggles). His status conscious wife Effie (Mary Boland) insists Ruggles come with them back to Red Gap,Washington.
Out on the town Egbert forces Ruggles, who he calls Bill or Colonel, to go to an outdoor cafe with him instead of an art museum. His old pal Jeff Tuttle shows up. They haven’t seen each other for a while and they hoot and holler which embarrasses Ruggles. Ruggles eventually goes along with them and gets drunk.
In Red Gap Ruggles continues to lose his uptightness thanks to Egbert. Effie and her brother-in-law, super snob Charles Belknap-Jackson pretend Ruggles is a real Colonel and not a servant. They fire him. On the way to the train Ruggles stops into a saloon.
Egbert and his mother-in-law Ma Pettingill are angry about what Charles did without consulting them. After a discussion no one in the place knows what Lincoln said at Gettysburg. Ruggles recites the entire address. Now he decides to stay and open his own restaurant. Helping him is the widow Prunella Judson (Zasu Pitts).
Effie tells him the Earl is coming to town to take him back. Ruggles is missing but then returns declaring that he is independent. That night a party for the Earl is thrown at the restaurant called the Anglo-American Grill. It’s really Ruggles night.
A thoroughly enjoyable movie for comedy fans.