Ragtime (1981)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Americana, Ensemble Film, Period Film  |   Release Date - Nov 20, 1981 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 155 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Milos Foreman's cinematic adaptation of E.L. Doctrow's sprawling pop-culture epic Ragtime follows a variety of characters whose lives intertwine during the earliest years of the 20th century. Brad Dourif plays the meek young brother in a wealthy family who ends up helping Coalhouse Walker Jr. (Howard E. Rollins) when the proud black man stands up to the racism that surrounds him with a criminal act that leads to a standoff with a police commissioner (James Cagney - making his return to the big screen after fifteen years away). Secondary characters include a street artist (Mandy Patinkin) who gets his foot in the door of the nascent film business, and a flighty young woman (Elizabeth McGovern) who inspires men who desire her to violence. Randy Newman composed the score, which included a song that earned him his first Oscar nomination.

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artist, family, immigrant, murder, police-commissioner, race-relations, racism, scandal