Ruling Class, The (1972): Peter O’Toole Shines in Irreverent Black Comedy

This biting, irreverent 1972 black comedy, made in the tradition of such British classics as Kind Hearts and Coronets, focuses on a fierce battle for succession within an aristocratic family.
Peter O’Toole plays a paranoid schizophrenic nobleman who believes himself to be Jesus Christ. When he is elevated to a top position, his relatives scheme to have him declared insane. O’Toole called the film, adapted from Peter Barnes’ play, “a comedy with tragic relief.”
O’Toole earned another Best Actor Oscar nomination for his vibrant, funny and disturbing performance
The cast of superb British thespians includes Alastair Sim, Arthur Lowe, Harry Andrews, Coral Browne, and Caroline Seymour.
When initially released, the film received mixed audience response, but over the years it has turned into a minor cult classic.
About Director Peter Medak
Peter Medak directed Negatives with Glenda Jackson, A Day in the Death of Joe Egg with Alan Bates and Janet Suzman, The Changeling with George C. Scott, the popular spoof, Zorro: The Gay Blade, and two acclaimed British crime stories, The Krays and Let Him Have It.