Ruthless People

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Ruthless People is a 1986 black comedy film written by Dale Launer, starring Danny DeVito, Bette Midler, Judge Reinhold and Helen Slater. It also features Bill Pullman as a supporting role in his film debut.

It was directed by David Zucker, Jim Abrahams and Jerry Zucker, best known for the Airplane! and The Naked Gun comedies.


  • I want the rest of that money. His money, her money, it's my money. I've had to live with that squealing, corpulent, little toad all these years. God, I hate that woman! I-I... I hate the way she licks stamps! I hate her furniture! And I hate that little sound she makes when she sleeps...
  • [introducing his wife's toy poodle to his new Doberman pinscher] Muffy, meet Adolph. Adolph, EAT MUFFY!
  • [complaining about his wife's wealthy father] They pulled the plug on him. He wheezed and shook for about an hour and then... he stabilized. That son-of-a-bitch just got older and sicker, and older and sicker, AND OLDER AND SICKER...!
  • [answering the phone] Hello? Debbie? Yeah, Debbie's here. Who is this? Well Ralph, Debbie can't talk right now. My dick's in her mouth. How about if I have her call you back later when I'm done? [hangs up] I love wrong numbers.


  • Oh my God! I've been kidnapped by Huey and Dewey!
  • So, if I look like his mother and you look like his father, this is what our son would look like. Pretty strong argument for birth control.


Ken: [over the phone] If you notify the police, your wife will be killed. If you notify the media, she will be killed. If you deviate from our instructions in any way whatsoever, she will be killed. Do you understand?
Sam: [with a big grin on his face] Perfectly
[cut later to Sam's mansion with several police cars and news trucks parked outside]
News reporter: Just minutes ago, Mr. Stone received a phone call from a man demanding a ransom from his wife, Barbara.

[Barbara has been kidnapped]
Barbara: My husband worships the ground I walk on! When he hears about this, he will *explode*!
[meanwhile, Sam Stone pops a champagne cork with glee]
Sam: Bye-bye, Barbara!

Harry Mr. Stone, we had a meeting.
Sam: Hang on, will ya, Harry, I have some friends here.
Sam: Why don't you call me on my office line?, -7582777777. Right?
Sam: Business associate...
Harry: 77777-75827777777, 77582777777.

Ken: [over the phone] Mr. Stone, this is no joke. We're desperate people.
Sam: I believe this is a joke pal and you're it. The last time we spoke you said my wife would be in the morgue if I didn't pay. Well, I didn't pay and I was at the morgue and she wasn't there. You lied to me. You know what I think?
Ken: No.
Sam: You got no nuts. What do I have to do? Put a gun in your hand, aim, and pull your finger down you spineless wimp. I dare you to kill her.
[Sam hangs up]
Sam: Now that oughta do it.

Barbara: When do I get outta here?
Sandy: Well, as soon as Mr. Stone pays the ransom.
Barbara: Well, what's the problem? What is the ransom?
Sandy: was $500,000.
Barbara: That shouldn't be a problem.
Sandy: He complained.
Barbara: He complained?
Sandy: Then we dropped our price to $50,000.
Barbara: Yeah?
Sandy: He didn't pay.
Barbara: He didn't pay? So now what?
Sandy: [crying] So now, we're dropping our price again to $10,000.
Barbara: Do I understand this correctly? I'm being marked down? What is this, the bargain basement? [starts crying] I've been kidnapped by Kmart!

Earl: Who said that?
Walter: This could very well be the stupidest person on the face of the earth. Perhaps we should shoot him.
Earl: Really?

[Ken's getaway car has gone off the pier]
Bystander no. 1: Somebody help! He'll drown!
Bystander no. 2: The water's way too cold
Bystander no. 3: There's riptides.
Bystander no. 4: I've seen sharks.
[the ransom money starts to float to the surface]
Bystander no. 5: Look! There's money!
[the bystanders jump into the water to get the money]
Sam: [arriving at the scene] My money! You can't do that! That's not your money! That's my money! Stop 'em! [pushes the nearest cop into the water]



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