Ruthless People is a 1986 black comedy written by Dale Launer, starring Danny DeVito, Bette Midler, Judge Reinhold, Helen Slater and Bill Pullman as a supporting role in his film debut. A couple kidnap their ex-boss's wife to get revenge and extort money from him. They soon realize he does not want her back and was planning to kill her himself. Meanwhile the boss's mistress plans a blackmail attempt on him which also does not go as planned. The film was directed by David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker, best known for the zany Airplane! and Naked Gun comedies. This film, by contrast, is a straight comedy bordering on farce, with very few of the innumerable sight gags, puns and jokes of the other movies. Millionaire Sam Stone (DeVito) intends to murder his hated wife, Barbara (Midler) to gain control of her $15 million family fortune and run off with his mistress Carol. However he is pre-empted by a phone call from an anonymous man announcing that Barbara has been kidnapped and that Sam must pay a ransom or she will be killed. Overjoyed, Sam deliberately disobeys all of the kidnapper's demands (e.g.