Ragtime is a 1981 American drama film directed by Miloš Forman, based on the 1975 historical novel Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow. The film is set in and around turn-of-the-century New York City, New Rochelle, and Atlantic City, and includes fictionalized references to actual people and events of the time. The film stars James Cagney, Mary Steenburgen, Howard Rollins, Brad Dourif, James Olson and Elizabeth McGovern, features the final film appearances of Cagney and Pat O'Brien, and features early appearances in small parts by Jeff Daniels, Fran Drescher, Samuel L. Jackson, Ethan Phillips and John Ratzenberger.


At the turn of the 20th century, architect Stanford White unveils a nude statue atop Madison Square Garden, modeled after former chorus girl Evelyn Nesbit. After learning of this, Nesbit's husband, millionaire industrialist Harry Kendall Thaw, becomes convinced White has corrupted her and publicly shoots him dead.