Ragtime Movie Review Summary

Actors: Howard E. Rollins Jr., James Cagney, Brad Dourif, Mary Steenburgen, Elizabeth McGovern, James Olson, Jeff Daniels, Moses Gunn, Norman Mailer

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Ragtime

Adapted from the E. L. Doctorow novel, RAGTIME is a movie directed by Milos Forman in 1981. Eight nominations for the Academy Awards.
Click here to see the rest of this review

The setting is N.Y.C. in the 1910's. Even though the film presents four or five secondary plots, RAGTIME is primarily about the sad story of Coalhouse Walker Jr. who's abandoned his wife and newly born child. Both are taken in by the couple Mary Steenburgen/James Olson who are wealthy members of the white bourgeoisie. Afetr having found a steady job as a pianist in a pre-jazz band, Coalhouse reappears and wants to assume his responsibility for his actions. But, in the same time, he's humiliated by the white members of a local firesquad who have soiled his brand new Ford T and he can not obtain justice from the police forces nor by legal means. Obsessed by this event, Coalhouse will indirectly cause the death of his fiancee who was killed when trying to expose Coalhouse's case to the Vice-President in election campaign. Determined to obtain justice, Coalhouse, in the company of his friends locks themselves in the J.P. Morgan library with dynamite and threats to blow the building up if nobody listens to him. Rheinlander -James Cagney- Waldo, the police chief of NYC, will try to negociate with the idealist Coalhouse.
The review of this Movie prepared by Daniel Staebler

Script Analysis of Ragtime

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Time/era of movie:    -   1900-1920's Polit/Social/Race/Gender activism    -   Yes Plotlet:    -   racism! Job/Profession/Poverty Story?    -   Yes Job:    -   musician

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   singer/musician Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   Black american


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast City?    -   Yes City:    -   New York Misc setting    -   resort/hotel    -   theater    -   bar

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   explicit references to deaths Sex/nudity in movie?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   kissing    -   seeing breasts    -   seeing nude female butt    -   seeing nude male butt Is this movie based on a    -   book

Movies with storylines, themes & endings like Ragtime

Ragtime Message Board (click here)
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian