Charles Sanford "Charlie" Babbit is a self-centered Los Angeles-based automobile dealer/hustler/bookie who is at war with his own life. Charlie, as a young teenager, used his father's 1948 Buick convertible without permission and as a result, he went to jail for two days on account that his father reported it stolen. It is then that Charlie learns that his estranged father died and left him from his last will and testament a huge bed of roses and the car while the remainder will of $3 Million goes into a trust fund to be distributed to someone. Charlie seemed pretty angry by this and decides to look into this matter. It seems as if that "someone" is Raymond, Charlie's unknown brother, an autistic savant who lives in a world of his own, resides at the Walbrook Institute. Charlie then kidnaps Raymond and decides to take him on a lust for life trip to the west coast as a threat to get the $3 Million inheritance. Raymond's acts and nagging, including repeated talks of "Abbott & Costello",... Written by
Christopher Howell (Ckhowell75360@aol.com)
Barry Levinson shot most of the exchanges between Charlie and Raymond in profile because Raymond refuses to make eye contact with anyone he's talking to. See more »
While Raymond and Charlie are seated in the 'toothpick' restaurant scene, the salt and pepper pots change position several times. See more »
Now it's five and a half weeks and I'm still sitting on four Lamborghinis that can't meet spot emissions standards. Now, how many times you wash out with EPA?
[on a separate line]
Uh, yes sir, they're finally, uh, clearing EPA; uh, just one or two more days.
Three times? You're really on a roll here, my friend; four cars, three times each - that's zip for twelve. What are you, a... mechanic, or a NASA engineer? Now listen, now, I told you I've never dealt with these ...
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Throughout the movie, Raymond is taking pictures. The pictures that he takes are shown as the background for the credits. See more »
It is something of a great cinematic achievement that Rain Man became the great film it clearly is because the story surrounding it is interestingly Hollywood in itself.
Four directors, six screenwriters, two cinematographers, eight producers, writers strikes, crew change, and a studio fighting for its life.
All of the above are common knowledge but it doesn't hurt to remember these facts when viewing the award wining triumph of a movie that stands the test of time today. The film is so simple in structure it really needed something special to pull it out of the prospective banality of being "just another road movie about finding oneself", Rain Man achieves something special by tackling its subjects with very sensitive hands and splicing a believable human concept into the story via the incredible shows from its two leading men.
Dustin Hoffman gives a magical moving performance as the Autistic Savant Raymond, the ultimate complement I can pay the performance is that it really is believable, both moving and clever rolled into one artistic result. Tom Cruise is equally as great in a role that called for drastic layer changes, a role that demanded much conviction from the actor taking it on, and Cruise gives the role much depth as he goes from shallow bastard to a very emotive and feeling human being, it's a great show that stands up to reevaluation these days. A performance that seems to have sadly been forgotten in light of Hoffman's film stealing show. With a film such as this you pray that the ending can do it justice, and I'm glad to say that there is no pandering here, it's an ending that says so much because it doesn't cop out, I thank god for those rewrites because the endings to the original scripts would of had me booting the TV set out of the window.
Essential cinema. 10/10
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