6.2/10
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48 user 22 critic

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:

Paul Mazursky

Writers:

René Fauchois (play), Paul Mazursky (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:
Nick Nolte ... Jerry Baskin
Bette Midler ... Barbara Whiteman
Richard Dreyfuss ... Dave Whiteman
Little Richard ... Orvis Goodnight
Tracy Nelson ... Jenny Whiteman
Elizabeth Peña ... Carmen
Evan Richards ... Max Whiteman
Mike the Dog Mike the Dog ... Matisse (as Mike)
Donald F. Muhich Donald F. Muhich ... Dr. Von Zimmer
Paul Mazursky ... Sidney Waxman
Valerie Curtin ... Pearl Waxman
Jack Bruskoff Jack Bruskoff ... Mel Whiteman
Geraldine Dreyfuss Geraldine Dreyfuss ... Sadie Whiteman
Barry Primus ... Lou Waltzberg
Irene Tsu ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 January 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Un loco suelto en Beverly Hills See more »

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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 IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Little Richard not only sang two songs for the film which are both featured on the movie's soundtrack but also played a fifth billed role in the picture as Orvis Goodnight See more »

Goofs

When the alarm is set off in the beginning of the movie, Max Whiteman jumps out of his bed and grabs his video camera. As he leaps from the bed it is apparent that he is wearing a man's night gown. He runs directly onto the front driveway and appears in long-john underwear. See more »

Quotes

Dave Whiteman: I ate garbage last night, Barbara... and *loved* it!
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 »


Soundtracks

Clair de lune
(uncredited)
Music by Claude Debussy
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great acting and casting provide plenty of laughs.
28 November 2010 | by TOMASBBloodhoundSee 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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