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Feature


After the entire British Royal Family is wiped out in a freak accident, the last remaining relation in the bloodline is tracked to the USA in the form of lounge singer Ralph Jones (John Goodman). Aided by a royal secretary (Peter O Toole), Ralph struggles to slip into his newly found royal status and this is not helped as a devious Lord (John Hurt) plots against him.

When Goodman was Dan from Roseanne and he moved into film, King Ralph was a film my teenage self really wanted to see. Not 100% sure why, I mean Dan was great, but follow to film great seems a stretch. Anyway at the time I saw everything at the cinema, so I guess a familiar face drew me in and if I''m being honest I'd consider this one a bit a highlight of my teenager trips to the cinema. It's a sweet-natured film, with a likable lead and a story so straight forward with its heroes, villains and love interests, it's hard, even now 25 years later (whhaaaaatt??!) not to enjoy its silly tale of an American well out of their depth in British culture.

 King Ralph

Video


I haven't seen King Ralph properly in years. I'd seen it at the cinema, had it in VHS but never committed to anything beyond that outside of the odd scene on TV. With that said, the bright, clean appearance of this presentation surprised me a fair bit.

I expected a fairly dated image, which there's certainly still a sense of here but the image is much more colourful and full of life than I expected. Lighting is very good, skin notes natural and even in clouded over old England, the classic tourist locations look detailed, highly HD and pretty impressive.

Interior scenes look a little more detailed, especially in wider shots but close ups come with a nice level of detail, once again the colour lifts the image up a fair bit and textures, such as in suits and set dressing can looks pretty good.

King Ralph on Blu-ray is by no means a standard setter but it's lifts the film into a modern arena relatively well. It's sometimes a little grubby and flat but generally speaking this one has been boosted in all the right places and this sweet little comedy suddenly doesn't feel quite as old as it really is now.

 King Ralph

Audio


The audio isn't quite the surprise the video delivered on. Outside of the fitting cover of 'Duke of Earl' which raised the bar of the track a little this is a timid affair and very much within the expectations of a stereo track.

Everything is clear, crisp and stable but there's very little to push the boundaries here and the entire feels remains a frontal affair with absolutely no showing off at all. In fairness, the film never really calls for any of that either, so all in all this is just a well rounded track that fits the film well with no issues.

 King Ralph

Extras


Due to a freak accident at a photo shoot all that survived the film's history for this disc is the 'Trailer'

 King Ralph

Overall


I still have a soft spot for King Ralph. It make me smile and has that good-natured vibe throughout that enables you to want Ralph to succeed, especially again the slimy John Hurt. Through my youth this (and Supergirl) were the films I knew Peter O'Toole from and even though I've since seen many of his genuine classics, he is 100% charming as the support in this and I appreciated that so much more on this repeat viewing. He's terrific here.

The disc looks pretty good, much better than I expected after previous experiences with the film and really the basic audio can be forgiven as the film isn't exactly an actioner. Still, there's no real extras here, so an upgrade, while worth it, isn't really one that demands any fans of the film's immediate attention.

 King Ralph
 King Ralph


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