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Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986)

R | | Comedy | 31 January 1986 (USA)
A rich but troubled family find their lives altered by the arrival of a vagrant who tries to drown himself in their swimming pool.



(play), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Orvis Goodnight
Mike the Dog ...
Matisse (as Mike)
Donald F. Muhich ...
Dr. Von Zimmer
Sidney Waxman
Pearl Waxman
Jack Bruskoff ...
Mel Whiteman
Geraldine Dreyfuss ...
Sadie Whiteman
Lou Waltzberg
Sheila Waltzberg


Beverly Hills couple Barbara and Dave Whiteman are very rich but not happy Dave is a hard working business man, his wife is only interested in yoga, aerobics and other meditation classes, and he sleeps with the house maid. Their teenage son is confused about his sexuality and their daughter is suffering from eating disorders. While they are celebrating thanksgiving having plenty of food, street tramp Jerry is hungry, homeless, sleeping rough and has lost his dog. Jerry decides to end his life by drowning himself in their swimming pool. Dave rescues him and invites him to stay for a while. How does this stranger change the life style of this family? Written by Sami Al-Taher <staher2000@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


See what happens when a dirty bum meets the filthy rich.




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

31 January 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le clochard de Beverly Hills  »

Box Office


$14,000,000 (estimated)


$62,134,225 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The name of Jerry Baskin (Nick Nolte)'s mutt was "Kerouac" whilst the name of the Whiteman's black-and-white dog was "Matisse". The latter was portrayed by Mike the Dog who even got seventh billing in the credits. Publicity for this picture reported that it was the debut feature film performance of Mike the Dog. The film is also Mike the Dog's only ever appearance in a cinema movie. See more »


The cream cheese in Baskin's beard disappears and reappears between shots. See more »


Dave Whiteman: Someone's pissing on my hydrangeas!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits open on scenes showing sites featured in Beverly Hills The end credits scroll on the alleyway outside the Whiteman's home, during which a bum pushing a trolley walks by, pauses to check on the Whiteman's dumpster, then continues on his way. See more »


Referenced in Step by Step: Down and Out in Port Washington (1993) See more »


Clair de lune
Music by Claude Debussy
See more »

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User Reviews

An American Remake of a French Comedy Featuring a Winning Cast...
1 May 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

DOWN & OUT IN BEVERLY HILLS is a smart American remake of the French film BONDU SAVED FROM DROWNING updated to modern day Beverly Hills. In this version, a homeless man accidentally wanders onto the property of a wealthy Beverly Hills family and tries to drown himself in their pool. Upon rescue, the family takes pity on him and take him in but the bum gets a little too comfortable and begins biting the hand that feeds him (in more ways than one). Nick Nolte gives a rock solid performance as Jerry, the homeless bum who ends up running the Whiteman home. Nolte has rarely been so convincing in a role...apparently he spent several weeks on the streets of LA pretending to be homeless in preparation for the role. Richard Dreyfuss plays Dave Whiteman, the wealthy owner of a hanger company who takes Jerry in and initially envies Jerry's freedom before Jerry goes too far. Bette Midler is very funny as Dave's social climbing wife Barbara and Tracy Nelson plays their snooty college student daughter. Evan Richards also has some funny moments as the Whiteman son, Max. Paul Mazursky's spirited direction (Mazursky also cameos as one of Dave's fat-cat friends)and a clever screenplay help to make this one of the more entertaining comedy confections from the 80's. There is also a scene-stealing performance by a dog named Mike, who plays the Whiteman family pet, Matisse.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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