6.1/10
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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.

Director:

Writers:

(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

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

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 January 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Zoff in Beverly Hills  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,726,495, 2 February 1986, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$62,134,225

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$91,411,255
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Principal photography on this picture started in May 1985. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Dave Whiteman: Got a license?
Jerry Baskin: Yeah.
Dave Whiteman: [hands him the keys] You drive.
Jerry Baskin: Okay. Where to?
Dave Whiteman: I don't know. Some days you just want to go, you know?
Jerry Baskin: Okay. Let's hit the beach. I got some friends down there.
Dave Whiteman: The beach?
[laughs]
Dave Whiteman: Who's going to run my business? Who's going to pay my bills? Who's...
Jerry Baskin: [interrupting] You got enough money to last *ten* lifetimes!
[...]
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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 »

Connections

Featured in Biography: Bette Midler (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

I LOVE L.A.
Written and Performed by Randy Newman
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great acting and casting provide plenty of laughs.
28 November 2010 | by See all my reviews

Sure it hasn't dated all that well, but look at this 1986 hit as a nice time capsule of L.A. from that time period. A period that basically ended with the sobering and terrifying riots of 1992. Down and Out in Beverly Hills deals with a well-to-do yet dysfunctional family having its priorities rearranged by a bum who first attempts to drown himself in their swimming pool. Nick Nolte, looking only a little scruffier than his 2002 Hawai'ian shirt mugshot plays the Jerry Baskin character on different levels. Early on he seems much like the typical run of the mill schizophrenic homeless person chasing after a dog who found himself a better owner. Then, after his dunk in the pool, we see that he is actually quite intelligent and observant. Almost instantly he sees what is wrong with everyone in the household. He just can't seem to point any of that intellect toward improving his own situation. Even when it is laying there right in front of him.

The patriarch of the family is Dave Whiteman who embodies some of Richard Dreyfuss's better work. He is very successful, yet he it just too uptight. Something seems lacking for him. It isn't the appearance of the bum that sets him off. He actually is the one who most wants him to stay if perhaps to live vicariously through him in some ways. Bette Middler is on hand as Dave's sexually unfulfilled wife who mostly spends her time with worthless self-help gurus. She even has one hired for their cutesy little dog. Nolte is apparently the only man around who has what it takes to recharge her batteries in bed! The family has an attractive yet obviously anorexic daughter and an androgynous son. A sexpot Hispanic maid is also on hand for Dave to use at his will... that is until Nolte moves in on her as well. The film takes place over about a month's time and there really isn't much plot to speak of other than seeing how these characters are altered by Nolte's character.

The film has several funny moments, and thankfully Ms. Middler is not allowed to sing too much. The theme song by the Talking Heads is always welcome to the human ear. Some of the comedy, mostly involving the cutesy dog reactions and Little Richard's exasperated yelling are more annoying than anything else. There are some great performances and many funny observations about successful Angelinos at that time. Not much of a message to be learned from any of it, however. Maybe that is why it works. 8 of 10 stars.

The Hound.


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