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 1949 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 to whom he's talking. See more »
When Charlie and Ray drive back to Las Vegas, an extra can be seen darting back into a nearby building as their Buick drives by. 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 »
Most airline versions of the film completely cut out the discussion of crash statistics. The reference to Qantas being the only international airline to have a perfect service record was deleted from the in-flight version of the movie by all international airlines except for Qantas. See more »
A good drama that gives an idea of what living with an autistic person must be like
It's not very difficult to see why this movie won four Oscars and was nominated for four more. The academy loves movies about people with difficult lives or with a handicap. Sometimes it almost feels like they are desperate to show that they too have a heart and so a director who hasn't won anything so far just has to make a movie with such a subject and he can be sure that he will hit the jackpot. Does that also mean that those movies are always excellent? No, although I wish they were. But it has to be said, not all of those movies are bad either, take for instance this "Rain Man". That's certainly a movie that deserves a closer watch.
When the selfish yuppie Charlie Babbitt hears that his father has left behind a fortune after his death, but that he won't get it, he is furious. He has never had a good relationship with his father, who threw him out as a teenager, but he sure hoped for more than a now antique convertible. And to make things worse for Charlie, he hears that all the money goes to Raymond, an autistic man who he has never seen before in his life, but who appears to be his brother. And if that shock isn't yet big enough, the man also appears to be able to calculate complicated mathematical problems in his head with great speed and accuracy, but doesn't even understand what money can be used for. Enraged by all this 'injustice', Charlie kidnaps Raymond from his residential home, but then finds out how difficult it is to live with a man who only can live with his fixed routines...
This wouldn't have been a typical eighties movie if there hadn't been a selfish yuppie in it of course, but I must say that it didn't bother me this time. The main reason for that is because it accentuates the contrast between the two men even more. Charlie has nothing else but money on his mind, while Raymond doesn't even know what money is. That's without any doubt a very smart idea which makes this movie work. And that's not the only good thing about this movie. The acting for instance is also very good. Especially Dustin Hoffman is excellent, but that has of course much to do with the role that he is playing. Still, his performance is very believable and remarkable. And even though I'm not a huge Tom Cruise fan, I must say that he was really very good in this movie. The role he was playing seemed to be written for him.
All in all this is a very good movie that sure deserves to be seen. The acting and the story are far above average and give a good idea of what it must be like to live with an autistic person. I'm convinced that this movie certainly doesn't deserve a rating lower than 7.5/10.
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