Citizen RuthDecember 13, 1996
An irresponsible, drug-addicted, recently impregnated woman finds herself in the middle of an abortion debate when both parties attempt to sway her to their respective sides.
Release Year: 1996
Rating: 6.8/10 (3,703 voted)
Critic's Score: 64/100
Stars: Laura Dern, Swoosie Kurtz, Mary Kay Place
Ruth Stoops is a poor indigent drug-user (a huffer – inhaling glue and paint for a high) whose down and out existence is complicated once more by becoming pregnant (she has had and lost four children already). When a judge orders that she gets an abortion or face a felony charge, she is befriended by Gail Stoney, a pro-lifer whose husband is president of the local "Babysavers" group. Suddenly Ruth is thrust into the middle of the pro-choice/pro-life struggle, with each side wanting her to take their side as a "message" to others – and the situation escalates…
Writers: Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor
Mary Kay Place
Dr. Charlie Rollins
Ricky, Ruth's Lover
Life, liberty, money and the pursuit of happiness. She's gotta have it.
Release Date: 13 December 1996
Filming Locations: 3216 1st Avenue, Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $26,709
(15 December 1996)
(12 January 1997)
Did You Know?
Final theatrical film of Kenneth Mars.
When Norm is lying next to Ruth on her bed, there is a change of camera. He moves his hand to the center of his chest in each camera shot.
[after seeing a movie about abortion]
I slept in a few dumpsters. Maybe I slept on some babies.
An outstanding work the consummate Indie.
A great, little satire that manages to make you identify with a
homeless, hopeless druggie.
Laura Dern is perfect as the indigent & insatiable "Ruth". She brings
an engaging hidden-beauty to the part, and with the help of Alexander
Payne's brilliant direction, she nimbly walks the wire between comical
hero and tragic pariah.
This gem clearly demonstrates that, even though the production budget
may be lower than a republican's principles – when great talent and
artistic enthusiasm couple, a work of genius is likely to be born.
Cheers, AB a staff member of Prospect Point Productions, Inc.