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Drama - Family

Rain Man (1988)


Duration 2h 13m Rating (UK) 15
Source of story Said to be developed from the actual experience of the writer Barry Morrow, who had kidnapped someone to save them from being incarcerated.
Director Barry Levinson
Writers/Script Ronald Bass, Barry Morrow
Starring Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Valeria Golino,

Elevator Pitch: Sharp car dealer Charlie Babbitt is having trouble getting four imported Lamborghinis released due to emission problems when he gets word that his estranged father has died, leaving him a car and the bulk of the $3 million estate to his elder brother, Raymond, of whom he knows nothing. Charlie travels to Iowa where he collects the car and effectively kidnaps his autistic brother from the home in which he has spent most of his life. They travel across country during which Charlie learns about Raymond’s problems and his mental capacity which includes the ability to “count cards”. Hence they stop at Las Vegas, and Raymond helps Charlie win a large sum of money, which covers his debts. But when they get back to Los Angeles, what does the future hold for the brothers.

Content: On one occasion when Charlie and his girlfriend have sex under the covers, Raymond sits on the end of the bed. In the famous sequence Charlie and Raymond gamble in Las Vegas, and inhabit a very luxurious suite. The road trip takes place because Raymond refuses to travel by aircraft, citing all the crashes which have killed people. Thereafter they have to drive on minor roads at times requiring Charlie to ask people if Raymond can watch their TV.

A View: This film won four Oscars, including Best Picture and Best actor in a Leading Role for Dustin Hoffman, and it looked as if all the film organisations were falling over themselves to award prizes to it. Although it made a fortune, it did not cost much – relatively. Having watched it the other day I’m not sure that it is quite as effective as it was when we knew a lot less about autistic people, and after 30 years there is debate as to whether it was a good thing or not to feature autism in a movie. However, still worth the cost of a download.

Additional info: The makers of the film studied autistic savants some of whom have amazing abilities. One could read two books at the same time, one with each eye.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels



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