“ Genre: Drama / Theatrical Release: 1988 / Director: Barry Levinson / Actors: Tom Cruise, Ralph Seymour ... / DVD released 30 August, 2004 at MGM Entertainment / Features of the DVD: DTS Surround Sound, PAL, Subtitled, Surround Sound, Widescreen „
Tom Cruise, in his youth, was excellent at playing selfish charismatic characters, and Charlie Babbit is no exception. A failing Ferrari dealer keen to keep up impressions despite the fact that his cashflow is going entirely the wrong way, the news of his estranged wealthy father's death fills him with hope until he realises that the will leaves all the money to an older brother that he never knew he had: Raymond. However, upon meeting Raymond, he sees that he has been kept secret from him, in care, and is an autistic savant.
The magical power of the film is how the two characters interact with each other. Cruise's Charlie is a cocksure character that you can't help but dislike, at least to start with. On the other hand, Dustin Hoffman's portrayal of Ray is endearing and impressive, making you instantly like the character. Within his head, he is a maths genius, and his ability to memorise facts is immense. However, he is unable to interact with anyone, and it's this vulnerability that becomes the focus of the film, and how it affects Charlie.
To start with, Charlie wants to spend time with Ray in order to find a way of getting the money from him. Not a nice person, thinking only of himself, he digs and delves into Ray's personality, trying to have a conversation with him and showing frustration and a lack of patience when the answers don't make sense. As he discovers that Ray's genius can relate to gambling, he carts him off to Vegas seeking to float his failing Ferrari dealership with his brother's genius mind.
What ensues though is the way the two of them get used to each other. Director Barry Levinson makes sure that the majority of the work is done by Cruise and Hoffman in front of the camera. The way the two actors combine together is riveting to watch, the hyperactivity of Cruise and the consistent repetition of Hoffman clashing in a brilliant effect on screen. It's almost like you're getting a lesson in human nature just by watching it, and the way their characters develop and get closer is very endearing. Hoffman's consistency must be the hardest to cope with from an actor's perspective, but the way Cruise develops Charlie is perhaps the hardest to watch. Ray knows no different, and can only be how he is, but Charlie wrestles with his own emotions, and love ends up playing a big part.
I thought this was handled very well. Autism is something I'm not completely au fait with, so I wouldn't begin to start judging or comparing different types of autism. However, the savant autism shown is one that is recognisable, whereas I do know that many others are not so obvious. The way it was shown by how a stranger but also a close relative would have to react makes it a powerful film and really brings it home that even the most selfish of people can change. It's a lesson in humanity, as I mentioned earlier, and is an excellent film. One I highly recommend.
Rain Man is a fantastic drama released in 1989 and stars two of my favourite actors of recent times that put in a couple of very strong performances. These two are Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise and they are fantastic. The movies for me deals extremely well with the difficult subject of autism and how it can be dealt with.
Tom Cruise plays Charlie Babbit. His is young and very hot headed. He is also extremely confident and is a Ferrari dealer. His business is going pretty well so he decides it's high time he took a holiday with his girlfriend Susannah played by Valeria Golino. However, things take an unexpected turn when they are heading towards their destination as Charlie takes a call from someone to tell him that his father is dead. He has been estranged from his father for many years and their relationship has been dead for along time. At the funeral he inherits his father's old car. However, the house and the three million dollars go to someone unknown. Upon investigation it appears that Charlie has a long-lost brother who is much older than him and also is autistic. His name is Raymond played brilliantly by Dustin Hoffman. He has been in a mentally disabled institute for years. In a deseperate attempt to cash into his father's money he has left, he kidnaps Raymond.
As discussed both Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman do brilliant jobs with their characters and in particular Dustin Hoffman's portryal of Raymond is fascinating. He is a complex character and lives in his own little world as a direct result of his autism. He can see and hear people in the real world but can't always acknowledge their existence or react to what they say or do. Although he may not be able to relate to others he has an incredible mind and and memory and can memorize an entire phone book for example.
The movie is one of the best I've seen over the years and one I would watch over and over again if I had the chance. You should watch it and I think this is one of the best movies that either Hoffman or Cruise has ever made.
RELEASED: 1988, Cert.15
RUNNING TIME: 2 hours, 8 minutes
DIRECTOR: Barry Levinson
PRODUCER: Mark Johnson
Dustin Hoffman (as Raymond Babbitt)
Tom Cruise (as Charlie Babbitt)
Back in the days when I was a regular cinema-goer, I always made a point of watching most releases in which Dustin Hoffman was cast - he quite likely being my all-time favourite actor. I'd missed Rain Man when it did the rounds at the cinema, and my first viewing of it was at a friend's house.....this friend had somehow managed to get his hands on the video of the film before it was released in the shops. I was a little dubious, as though I enshrine Dustin Hoffman, I didn't like the sound of Tom Cruise, who at that time was a relative newcomer.
I'd previously read somewhere that Rain Man concentrated on autism as its main topic, and I was concerned as to how it would be portrayed in the film, because sometimes I can find American productions a little too schmaltzy when dealing with subjects that really need to be handled with intelligence and sensitivity (sorry if anyone American is reading, but that's just how it often comes across to me).
From the first couple of frames of Rain Man I was hooked. Not that anything specific happened until the film had been running for at least a minute....just that atmospherically, I was looking at a perfect introduction which succeeded in gripping my attention immediately.
When car dealer Charlie Babbitt's business is falling to pieces around his ears, he gets a phone call informing him that his father has died. On attending the reading of the will after the funeral, Charlie is dismayed to learn that all he has inherited from the father he didn't get on with, was a classic vintage Buick and some rose bushes. His dismay turns to frustrated anger, when he is told that his father's $3m fortune has been left to somebody called Raymond Babbitt.
Enraged, yet curious as to who Raymond Babbitt could be, Charlie accompanies his father's legal advisor to a residential care home for people with learning difficulties, and it is there he is introduced to the heir of his father's fortune - who turns out to be an older brother, Raymond, that Charlie had never been told existed.
Angry and resentful at firstly being left in ignorance about the fact he had a brother, and secondly that he'd not received an equal share of the $3m, Charlie 'kidnaps' Raymond, and the two hit the road together, driving the length and breadth of the USA, headed for LA. Charlie's reason for stealing custody of Raymond is to use him as a tool of negotiation, holding him as a sort of ransom with the idea of returning him to the care home as soon as he (Charlie) receives his half share of their late father's estate.
Raymond is an autistic savant, and although very high functioning on the autistic scale, he is unable to connect with life outside of his head. He has an astonishing memory and mathematical ability, which isn't uncommon for people who suffer from the savant variety of autism, but the way he perceives everything renders it such that it is impossible for him to relate to and join in the 'real world'.
Once Charlie becomes aware of Raymond's brilliance with figures and his unusually powerful and accurate memory, he has a bright idea whereby he can use Raymond's skills to draw in the cash which would help rescue his failing car sales business....and the brothers hot rod down to Las Vegas.
During their travels, Charlie finds it very difficult to understand that Raymond is simply unable to behave like a so-called 'normal' person, and there are a few irritable outbursts, but as the two brothers spend more time together, there are a couple of touching moments when Charlie truly feels he is at last making some sort of a 'connection' with Raymond.
That is just a basic outline of the film, and to find out the rest, you'll have to watch it if you haven't already done so!
Bearing in mind my initial sense of hesitation over Tom Cruise being one of the two leading actors in the film, I have to say that despite me not liking him in anything else, I feel he was superb in Rain Man. He acted out the irascible, tetchy character of Charlie Babbitt with a brilliance that I feel very few others could have matched. In films, facial expression is very important to me, and Tom nailed this skill right down to the core.
As far as Dustin Hoffman is concerned, I feel he outshone even his own stunning acting abilities when he played the part of the lovable autistic savant, Raymond Babbitt. It has been said that Dustin researched the condition of autism very thoroughly, and it certainly shows in his portrayal of Raymond's blank facial expression, his repetitive behaviour patterns, his mounting discomfort when his strict routines are messed around with, and his extreme distress when faced with something that fills him with terror.
Rain Man as a movie can evoke quite a lot of different feelings in me. I'm not the world's most emotional person, at least not outwardly, and I'd certainly not describe any aspect of the film to be in the 'weepie' category, but I found myself experiencing a range of things such as anger at Charlie's impatience and his initial irritation with Raymond, not to mention the way he treated his girlfriend. Raymond brought out my almost non-existent maternal feelings....it was as if I wanted to reach out into the screen, draw him into my life and look after him forevermore, but what was most prevalent in the film for me was amusement - not in the side-splitting, rolling on the floor in hysterical mirth league - but I think it would be a very hard-hearted, humourless soul who didn't find that certain of Raymond's behavioural characteristics raised a little smile. Of course, my amusement was, and still is, in no way intended to belittle the condition of autism or its sufferers. It simply is a feeling of warmth and benevolence towards a very endearing character in a film.
Though it did receive some criticism in certain circles (mainly because of some inaccuracies in the scenery), it's my opinion that Rain Man is one of the best and most enjoyable films ever made. I can't think there's too many people out there over a certain age who haven't seen it, but to anybody who falls within that category, do yourself a favour and watch it!
Rain Man walked away with several awards, Dustin Hoffman receiving an Oscar as one of them, and in my opinion, rightly so. Amongst others, the movie also received the Best Film Of The Year award.
Currently, Rain Man can be purchased from Amazon as follows:-
New: From £2.98 to £16.98
Used: From £2.77 to £20.00
Collectible: £3.98 (only one copy available at the time of writing)
A delivery charge of £1.24 must be added to the above figures.
You can also watch random clips from the film on YouTube if you wish to get an overall and general impression.
Thanks for reading!
~~ Also published on Ciao under my CelticSoulSister user name ~~
This film has a very basic plot, only two main stars and a support actress throughout the film and yet it ticks all the right boxes.
Charlie Babbit, played by Tom Cruise, has just lost his father and found out that the only thing he inherited was a classic car and that everything he should have received went to a brother he never knew he had. Dustin Hoffman is Charlie's older brother, Raymond, an autistic savant living in a care home all this time.
Thinking that Raymond is simply a 'retard' Charlie plans a very last minute road trip with his brother in the hopes of getting the inheritance out of him. What Charlie didn't plan on is, throughout the slightly tricky situation and having to actually look after Raymond, he bonds with him.
Tom Cruise is in fine form as the arrogant, hard done by, spoilt child but it is Hoffman who steals the show.
The film is almost perfect, almost, it can never be perfect in my eyes thanks to a very cringe worthy performance of Susanna by Valeria Golino. For some reason an impromptu love scene was written in this film that makes me almost not want to watch this film again as it taints the memory for me. It is such a shame because otherwise this would be one of my all time favourite films.
This film is more one for the ladies to watch about brothers bonding under unusual circumstances.
Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman star in this critically acclaimed drama whic has stood the test of time and tells the story of two estranged brothers who come together after the death of their father, Cruise who plays the younger of the two, Charlie Babbit, expectsto inherit his fathers fortune after he dies despite the fac that they had a falling out a few years earlier however he finds that all he has got is an old car and also that his autistic brother Raymond played by Hoffman is the beneficiary and residing in a nursing home. Taking him on a cross country journey with the intention of getting control of the money the two form an emotional bond.
It is Hoffman who steals the show in this film as the severly autistic Raymond who demonstrates a strong will when it comes to sticking to his beliefs no matter how irrational they may seem to others and also manages to convery a child like innocence to the character. Cruise is competent rather than spectacular as the scheming younger brother who initially is solely motivated by money and greed.
At times this film does tug on your heart strings a bit and certainly has its emotional moments, not really a chick flick per se but certainly one that will appeal more to the fairer sex, I certainly have enjyed watching it on the two occasions I have seen it and would definately recommend it.
I do remember watching Rain Man at the cinema many years ago but I never had it in my DVD collection until just recently when I spotted it on offer at play.com. The film was made in 1988 and was much acclaimed at the time, winning four Oscars including the best actor in a leading role for Dustin Hoffman, best director and best picture.
For those who do not know, Rain Man tells the story of Charlie Babbitt (played by Tom Cruise) and his discovery of his brother Raymond (Dustin Hoffman) who he never knew existed until the death of their father. Charlie fell out with his dad many years ago but was still hoping to inherit more than three million dollars. This is until he discovers that he has only been left his father's old Buick Convertible and a few plants while the bulk of the estate has been left to an unknown beneficiary. A little detective work leads a very angry Charlie to the Walbrook Institute, where by chance he discovers his brother who has autism. Charlie virtually kidnaps Raymond in an attempt to persuade Raymond's trustee to sign over half the money. However, in taking him halfway across America, Charlie starts to bond with Raymond and starts to learn things about his brother that help him to make sense of the past.
During the course of the film, Charlie takes Raymond on the long journey to his home but he soon learns that living with someone with autism is not easy. Raymond refuses to fly on any airline that has a history of crashing and as the only airline never to have suffered one is Quantas it makes flying out of the question. Then Raymond refuses to go anywhere while it is raining which results in long hours holed up in motel rooms. However, during these times, Charlie does discover Raymond's exceptional memory and observation skills which he takes full advantage of when they travel through Las Vegas! By the time they arrive, Charlie feels that he is starting to bond with his Raymond but is it too much to hope that he will get anything back from his autistic brother?
This is an extremely moving and poignant film and definitely well worth watching. Not only is there the physical journey taken by the two brothers, but Charlie also goes on an emotional journey too. At the start of the film he is a most unlikeable character - brash, arrogant, insensitive and totally self absorbed - but through getting to know Raymond he seems to soften at the ages. He is played incredibly well by a very young Tom Cruise (with very eighties hair I might add!) and I think this was a great performance. I also liked the role played by Charlie's long suffering girlfriend, Susannah (played by Valeria Golino) who helped to demonstrate just how self- centred Charlie is at the start of the film. However, unsurprisingly, the best performance is definitely that by Dustin Hoffman and I don't find it surprising at all that he won the Oscar. Raymond is an incredibly fascinating character and I was totally convinced by Hoffman's portrayal. His lack of emotion throughout is so very well sustained and is extremely moving in its own way.
Rain Man is a very thought provoking film and I think it does well to highlight the characteristics of autism. Charlie's treatment of his brother at first, impatient, irritated and trying to make him conform is a great demonstration of all the wrong ways to behave towards people with autism. It is also quite heartbreaking For Charlie as towards the end when he realises that there is only so much that he can do to forge a brotherly relationship with Raymond.
I really enjoyed this film and it's definitely one that you are likely to want to watch more than once.
As the DVD I have is the Collector's Edition there are a number of extras that are all worth taking a look at. These include:
The journey of Rain Man featurette
The Fog: a look at the mysteries of autism
Audio commentaries by director Barry Levinson and writers Barry Morrow and Ronald Bass
If you are into watching the extras I definitely recommend the first two featurettes.
The Special edition DVD is available on Amazon for £5.88. It has a 15 rating and a running time of 128 minutes.
Rain Man is probably my favourite film of all time. Dustin Hoffman puts in his life's best performance in this movie (Oscar winning in fact) and Tom Cruise is on top form as well here (he's also one of my favourite actors, so perhaps slightly biased, but not much).
Charlie (Tom Cruise) is a high class car salesman (not your run of the mill second hand car salesman you understand). He's arrogant, he's rude and obnoxious, and he doesn't do feelings. When his estranged father dies, he and his girlfriend drive up for the funeral to find he's been cut out of the will and the money has gone to someone else - a brother he never knew he had - Raymond (Dustin Hoffman). A brother who is autistic and lives in an institute. Enraged by this, Charlie takes Raymond on a road trip back home and demand the money from his father's will in return for his brother. The road trip of course brings the two brothers together in a way Charlie never would have thought possible.
The film is a journey of minds. Throughout the film Charlie's whole outlook on life changes. From being hung up about money he realises that family is the most important thing. His brother becomes the most important thing in his life. His character has a complete revamp during the course of the film. Initially Raymond annoys Charlie with his mere presence, but soon Charlie discovers the intelligence and affection and wit that Raymond has. As well as a change of affection towards his brother, Charlie also begins to appreciate what he has with his girlfriend, who walked out on him shortly after he took Raymond from his home.
Both actors give performances of their lives here. Dustin captures Raymond's innocence perfectly and plays the role with such realism and perfection that you are just swept away with the brilliance of it all. You don't for a second believe that Hoffman is acting - he was definitely the best and only choice for this role. Cruise's character gives much needed contrast to this and the pair of them together give some very bitter sweet and poignant moments. There are some funny moments in this film as well - mainly from the brilliance of some of the one liners from Raymond. His illness bless him means he doesn't always grasp the situation or say the right thing and Charlie's short temper and lack of compassion makes for some amusing moments. The underwear scene on the highway is a classic to look out for!
This film is an amazing, captivating drama which you should watch at least once in your life. It's a compelling and touching journey of character and mind and is a film that will have you in tears at least once. The ending is bittersweet and perhaps not the one you want, but is the one that's right. No matter what, Charlie's life has been changed for the better - and so will yours when you've seen this!
On my latest shopping trip and the usual walk past the bargain DVD's I happened to spot this one and wondered to myself my I had never seen it before as it stars two actors which I really do like.
At the start of the film we meet Charles Babbitt, played by Tom Cruise who owns a business and is in desperate need of money to save this business. He is off on a business trip with his girlfriend when he gets news that his father has died. Charles is not sad by this as he hadn't spoken to his father since he was 16. Charles does attend the funeral as he needs to find out what is going to happen to all his father money and property as he really could do with this money.
Charles soon discovers that he has only bee left the car and the money and property have been given to a trustee. With some research Charles is lead to a hospital where he soon discovers he has an elder brother, who has been left all of the $3 million. Raymond, the brother is an autistic savant but he does know of his brother and father and tells Charles stories of when they were little. Charles sees Raymond as a money machine and decides to remove him from the hospital with the intention of getting hold of the money which he believes to be rightfully his.
Charles and Raymond set of on a journey which Charles believes will enable him to get hold of the money but things don't go too well when Charles struggles to deal with Raymond's illness. Will the brothers be able to bond and will Charles even get his hands on the money he needs so much?
I am so shocked that I have never seen this film and I am so glad that I now have. I thought that the storyline was excellent and was put across n such an emotional and powerful way. I thought that they portrayed the suffering of an autistic savant person very well and did not make the character out to be stupid or less of a man than he was. I thought that Dustin Hoffman who played Raymond did an amazing job and I am so glad that he won an Oscar for his performance. He managed to make me feel a whole different range of emotions, one minute I was feeling sorry for him as he was unable to take being out of his routine and the next minute I would be laughing at him for some silly story he was telling Charles. He really did the role justice and had me believing that he really was a sufferer.
Tom Cruise played the role of Charles and at the beginning of the film I did not warm to his character as he was quite arrogant but after about half an hour I did start to warm to him and I liked how he managed to portray the role of dealing with an autistic brother. He showed a lot of sides to his character and he did work really well with Dustin Hoffman and they had a great chemistry together.
The supporting actors in the film were all very good and played their roles well. I did like the role of Charles girlfriend and though she fitted in well.
I will admit that both me and hubby found the sex scene very funny as Raymond just honestly did not know what was happening and without spoiling it I will just say that I bet it took several takes for them to be able to record it with straight faces.
I was pleasantly surprised by some of the amazing views which we were treated to in the film with the brothers driving to Los Angeles and these did add something extra to the film for me. The music was good and very appropriate for the places in which it was used. The film was made in the 1980's so it does look a bit dated now but do not let this put you off as it has such a powerful and moving storyline it still holds its own today and is well worth a watch.
The DVD which we have does only have Chapter search and Original theatrical trailer as the bonus material but this was no great loss to me as I am not a fan of bonus material.
The running time of the film is 2 hours and 8 minutes and I have to say I was hooked to each and ever one of them. The certificate is a 15. I managed to pick this DVD up for just £3 in Tesco so do shop around for a bargain.
I do highly recommend this film to all who have not watched it. The storyline is very powerful and moving and it stars to wonderful actors. A definite 5 stars from both me and hubby.
Whilst many attribute the prime cinematic representation of mental illness to Tom Hanks' fantastic portrayal in Forrest Gump, it was Barry Levinson's Rain Man that came first, 6 years earlier in 1988. Dustin Hoffman played Raymond Babbitt, an autistic man who, when his father dies, is left in charge as the executor of his estate, much to the shock of Tom Cruise's Charlie Babbitt character, shocked not only to find out that Raymond is in charge of his presumed birthright, and also that he has a brother.
Charlie soon enough discovers that his brother is a savant, and intends to exploit this for his own pecuniary gain, ultimately leading to a path of poignant self-discovery for both men. Whilst the film is a mostly positive representation of autism, it is also credited with providing the romanticised representation that they are frequently savants endowed with extremely potent minds for tasks such as counting, something that has entered into the pop culture lexicon as an urban myth of sorts.
Nevertheless, Dustin Hoffman's sensitive portrayal of Raymond earned him an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and has been widely acclaimed. He deserves extra credit for ensuring that a role could very well have become unintentionally hilarious or a parody remained serious and emotionally resonant. This isn't to forget Tom Cruise's work in the film either - although overshadowed by Hoffman, it sits alongside his work in Collateral and Magnolia as the very best of his career.
It may well be overlong, but Rain Man is a cinematic milestone if only for its depiction of a mentally challenged man. It's emotionally resonant but at the same time concludes in a clever and ambiguous fashion that leaves the viewer to think about the psychology of the film's characters. I thoroughly recommend this film - it's a must for any cineastes.
Twenty minutes or so into this movie I was already despising one character and feeling badly for another. The hate was very real to me. Looking back, it is at that moment that I should have realised this movie was a classic. Tom Cruise gave the performance of a lifetime and every time I see Dustin Hoffman I expect him to be suffering from autism.
Cruise is the troubled only (so he thought) son of a wealthy man who runs away from home in his teens. It doesn't take long to think that he was the problem. Hoffman is the shocking long lost brother that Cruise never knew about (he does recollect later young memories). When the wealthy Father dies and leaves Cruise with the roses (a symbol of hard work) and his Father's classic car (one he stole and Father allowed him to spend time in jail for) and 5 million or so in a trust, Cruise isn't satisfied.
In an act of unreasonable behavior, Cruise tracks down the money and his long lost brother. Even worse, his way of getting his share is to remove his brother from necessary care and hold him for ransome. The rest is a series of connections between the two that will have you remembering classic lines forever.
This move is nearly impossible to not like. It is heart warming and a classic example of good acting.
Rainman is an absolutely fantastic film. It stars Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise (I really don't like Cruise but still love this film) as two brothers who are reunited after the death of their father. Cruise plays the part of Charlie Babbitt a car sales man who is about to loose all his money as deals fall apart. His father who he hasn't spoken to in many years dies and leaves Charlie his car but leaves all of his vast amount of money to WallBrook a large house. Charlie visits WallBrook only to find out it is home to Raymond his autistic brother he never knew he had. Charlie and Raymond then embark on a journey across America where a bond grows between the two and Charlie finds a side to himself.
The movie runs for 2hours 8 minutes so is quite lengthy but when your watching it the time passes quickly. The DVD special features include; The journey of rainman, lifting the fog:a look at the mysteries of autism, deleted scene, audio commentary and photo gallery. The film was directed by Barry Levinson and won four academy awards including best picture.
FILM REVIEW ONLY
I'd forgotten just how good this 20-year-old movie actually is until I casually flicked onto Sky Movies yesterday evening.
Rainman, starring Dustin Hoffman and a very young (or at least younger) Tom Cruise, won all the Oscars (best picture, best actor, best director, best screenplay) and accolades when it was first released way back in 1988. It's hard to believe that this movie is actually so old, as it is just as riveting today as it was all those years ago. (It's worn well)
Cruise plays Charlie Babbitt, a totally self centred, self-employed salesman of exotic imported cars. He then learns that his father, who he has been estranged from for years, has died and he attends the funeral and reading of the will in order to pick up his inheritance.
But all is not as it seems, and his dad has cut him out of his will and instead left his $3 million dollar fortune to an older son who Charlie didn't even know existed. Problem is, the older son Raymond is autistic and lives in a world all of his own making in a local psychiatric hospital. His late father has appointed his psychiatrist as the executor of the estate, and he's not about to hand over any of the three million bucks to wee brother Charlie.
So Charlie does what any self respecting used car salesman with a selfish streak as long as the equator would do and kidnaps his older brother, taking him on a road trip with his sexy (but sensitive to boot) girlfriend Susanna. (Valerie Golino)
That's when the fun starts, especially when Charlie finds out that Raymond has a way with numbers that would make Albert Einstein look like a trained chimpanzee! A visit to the Las Vegas casinos soon puts young Charlie's finances back into the black, when Raymond counts the cards at the blackjack tables like a NASA computer.
But along the way Charlie discovers the sensitive side of his nature, and begins to develop a relationship (of sorts) with his older sibling. And there in lies the tale. The growing relationship between the two brothers is the true story of the movie, even if along the way director Barry Levinson manages to inject huge amounts of humour.
My wife and I both sat and watched this movie and both of us enjoyed it thoroughly. It may well be 20 years old, but some themes (family love and humour) are timeless, and on this occasion I would have to agree that the powers that be that decide on what movies get an Oscar got it right.
Rainman is a belter of a movie, with huge performances from both Hoffman and Cruise, and one I will be looking to add to my DVD collection in the very near future. The new "Special Edition" DVD was released by MGM Pictures in 2004, and is currently available at Amazon at only £6.98 brand new, or from £2.98 used. (Bargain!)
© KenJ August 2008
I'd often heard people talk pretty highly of this film but it wasn't until i watched it recently that i realised just how good it is. Rain man is the story of Charlie Babbitt (Cruise) and his autistic brother Raymond (Hoffman). When Charlie's father dies the majority of the inheritance is left to a brother (Raymond) that he never knew he had. In an attempt to get his share of the inheritance Charlie kidnaps his brother from care. The film then follows them on a journey, seeing Charlie slowly grow to love his brother and his motives turn from greed (using his brothers abilities to win money in Las Vegas) to attempting to have his brother legally placed under his care. There are definitely some very memorable scenes in this movie that can't be forgotten in a hurry, and to be honest this is one of the most enjoyable films I've seen in quite a while. It just goes to show how two opposites can find a way to get along and eventually even love each other. I think Hoffman plays Raymond excellently in the movie as too does Cruise play Charlie brilliantly. The way the two come together in the film is probably the main reason I loved it so much, as too pull this off and make it convincing isn't an easy job. Apart from being a moving film it's also quite funny in places. Teaming up a fast-pasted impatient Tom Cruise with a slow autistic Dustin Hoffman is undoubtedly going to be a sometimes-funny combination. All I can say is if a film leaves you with a smile on your face at the end it's obviously something special and this film defiantly did that. I thought Rain Man was a brilliantly scripted and directed film with some superb performances by both Cruise and Hoffman. I'd recommend this film to anyone who feels they could enjoy watching this type of movie.
Cast: Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman...
Director: Barry Levinson
Certificate: 15 (for strong language)
Only 5.99 at Play.com (21 March 2008)
Well another film review and another one with Dustin Hoffman and another one that won an academy award. Im reviewing the 1988 hit drama "Rain Man" starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise. Hoffman's role for this film won him an academy award for best actor and it certainly deserved. Like most films that were made before my time I grew up watching them at a young age, my mum worked for a film marketing company and therefore I was always given a chance to watch all the new films, and some of the old one's. My brother who has seen Rain Man in the cinema, told me that's its one of those films that is an instant classic, it's just something that you would love. I like most mid teenagers, thought it was another one of those drama films with no concept what so ever, I didn't even like it the first time round. It took me at least another 6 or seven years, when I was about 18 that I really enjoyed the film, perhaps this was due to the fact that this film was more for the mature crowd, rather than the little adolescent kid.
I was never a big fan of Tom Cruise, don't know what it is but to this day I just don't like him, didn't say I don't like his movies, but something just didn't feel right about him. Nevertheless, I also thought Cruise did magnificently well playing his character.
Charlie Babbitt (Cruise), is a hot shot car salesmen in LA, hes arrogant, verry cunnig and very detremined. Charlie is experinceing some financial difficulties and decides he needs some vacation time with his girlfreind Susanna. However, in the last minute Charlie receives some bad news about his fathers death and thus travels to Cinncinati to go through his fathers belonging and attend the will hearing. Charlie belives he is in for a big pay day, and will soon be able to sort out his financial problems, however he discovers his father had left $3 million to an unamed person, whislt Charlie would only receive a car and some Rose Bushes. A distraught Charlie, tracks down the unamed person to a mental insitiution and soon discovers that the beneficary is infact his autistic brother Raymond (Hoffman).
Charlie sees an opportunity to rightfully claim what is his and thus takes Raymond home in order to befreind him and make him his legal responsibility, therby in essence loking after the $3 million. The film follows the emotional journey of these twio brothers with to different lives, Charlie who wants the money and Raymond who simply wants to be a part of something. Does Charlie get the money?
For me this is the best role a leading man has done in some time, raymonds charcater was one that was probably very hard for Huffman to portray. The autistic man, with a new found friend, Raymond showed now urgence, he was always portrayed as a slow moving character, with contrast to his brother Charlie. What really made this chracter brilliant was his lack or emotions, he simply didn't have any, he was like a still picture or a ghoust, yet he can communicate effectivly through eye contact, its like his way of saying hello, goodbye and how are you. Raymonds charcater to a certain extent has a bond with Charlie although this isnt visble for say, he finally has someone who he thinks will be with him, to love and care for him, someone other than the nurses and doctors in the hospital.
Charlie: One would be stupid to leave out Tom's role in the movie, he is the exact oppostie of Raymond, he at first has no compassion and no sense of guilt for what he is doing to his brother, this was a general theme of how people can in some cases be cruel to members of society to get what they want. But to be honest the film evolve and develop to an extent that Charlie is the only person who really understabnd his brother, he starts to care for him andshows some serious compassion. A well played out role for Mr Cruise, whos character changes as the film evolves.
For most people this is a film that either you get and like or simply hate, for me it's a likeable film. There are moments were the film can feel dead and slow moving, but perhaps this is due to the nature of Raymonds characters who himself is slow. It's a heart warming film, not wone that makes you cry, but makes you feel sensitiuve and happy about. The film is a reall contrast of two characters and for me it was well written, Hoffman was superb because he was so emotionless it was as if time had stood still for him, his way of thining, moving and acting were brilliant. His had a child like quality to him, someone you would want to nurture and protect from, someone who would be easyly suspeptable to danger by th likes of his brother. Although slow, you got the feelign deep down Raymond was a geniuos, his indivuidal way of thinking may have outside the box, but it was understabdable.
Budget :$25 million
Revenue: $172 million
When Charlie Babbit (Tom Cruise) discovers that the huge inheritance he believed he was entitled to has been put into trust for an autistic brother, Raymond (Dustin Hoffman), that he didn't even know existed, he takes matters into his own hands. Kidnapping Raymond from the care home, that he has lived in for the most of his life, the two go on a road trip back to Los Angeles, and learn about each other and life along the way.
Sometimes the Hollywood glitz machine manages to deliver a film which is not only commercially entertaining but is also educational in its subject matter. One such film is 1988's "Rain Man", an exceptional film which not only won the Oscar for Best Picture but also showed that a film can have everything from a decent story, fine performances, humour, emotion, drama, despair and make them work in perfect harmony to make a touching yet also entertaining experience.
On the surface the storyline to this great film may seem just a simple tale of greed, but below the surface there is a much greater story, one of a journey of understanding, compassion and learning which touches us, the audience, from start to finish. There are no clever twists or cunning subterfuge which make you wonder what is going to happen next, it is the sheer beauty of the developing relationship between the two brothers especially that of Charlie as not only does he realise that he loves his brother but also his understanding of the mental affliction which Raymond lives with day in day out. It is this journey that makes you sit there watching every moment, taking pleasure in the littlest things which although not played for humour makes you smile but at the same time giving you an insight into what Autism is all about. But the film is not perfect and at times the way director Barry Levinson headlines the emotion he wants to draw from the audience is embarrassingly obvious, but it works and it does achieve its goal. It also sometimes feels that Levinson dwells too long on a scene where the emotional punch has been delivered and this dragging out makes it lose its effectiveness. This need to overly dwell is part of the reason that the film feels uncomfortably long at 128 minutes and just cutting out some of these moments who have helped to not only make the film shorter but also move at a much more consistent pace.
Now I will readily admit that I know very little about autism and cannot think of a single person that I have met who suffers from this, but for me the character of Raymond and also the performance of Dustin Hoffman in this role is probably the biggest reason why this film was such a huge success on it's release and why I still enjoy watching it now. Sometimes I feel that the level of affliction Raymond suffers from is a bit over the top but even so it is an amazingly interesting character which helps the audience understand how Autism can affect someone. It is also testament to Hoffman as an actor that he manages to portray such a memorable character without over egging it, from the nervous ticks, to the need for routine and most impressively his mental ability with numbers as well as remembering things. Not only does he achieve great characterisation but he also keeps it going throughout the film, never lapsing for a moment. For Tom Cruise this was a role which proved that whilst he could deliver the over top, cocky performances such as those in "Top Gun" and "Cocktail" he could also do a reasonable job of drama. Coming in between "Cocktail" and "Born on the Fourth of July" this was a huge stepping stone which although still relied on Cruise's ability to be over the top also allowed him to demonstrate that he didn't need to be so flamboyant and basically cheesy. For me the best parts of Cruise's performance appear later on in the film as his understanding of what looking after someone with Autism entails, he manages to say so much with a simple expression rather than his usual grin. That is not to say his performance is perfect and sometimes you get the feeling he was not so much in awe of Hoffman but trying to show off in front of a peer. Is there anyone else in the film, well yes most notably the lovely Valeria Golino as Charlie's girlfriend but to be honest the film is about Charlie and Raymond and there bond.
Whilst I have already criticised director Barry Levinson for a couple of flaws which spoil this film slightly I will applaud him for managing to deliver a film which is as much entertaining as it is educational. You get a sense that he wanted to make a film which raised awareness of autism with out being overly factual and he certainly does this side brilliantly. Also the way he manages to make moments funny with out feeling like he is mocking this illness, such as when Raymond walks into Charlie's bedroom whilst he is having sex is very funny and helps lighten the mood of the film.
> Film Summary
So whilst I readily admit that "Rain Man" has its flaws it is still one of the best films I have seen which manages to combine entertainment with education. The two best things about the film are the brilliant journey of understanding and Hoffman's performance, which even now after nearly 20 years and numerous watches I still enjoy. Even Cruise puts in a performance which for those who dislike him would be reasonably surprised at. I actually find it hard to say if you like such and such then you will more than likely enjoy this as other than the loosely related "I am Sam" I cannot think of another similar film to compare it to.
> Price & Availability
www.amazon.co.uk : £5.97
> Technical Details
Duration: 128 mins
Year of Release: 1988
Director(s): Barry Levinson
Writer(s): Barry Morrow
Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Valeria Golino, Gerald R. Molen, Jack Murdock, Michael D. Roberts, Bonnie Hunt
© Christianfilm October 2007
Rain Man is the kind of touching drama that Oscars are made for--and, sure enough, the film took Academy honours for best picture, director, screenplay, and actor (Dustin Hoffman) in 1988. Hoffman plays Raymond, an autistic savant whose late father has left him $3 million in a trust. This gets the attention of his materialistic younger brother, a hot-shot LA car dealer named Charlie (Tom Cruise) who wasn't even aware of Raymond's existence until he read his estranged father's will. Charlie picks up Raymond and takes him on a cross-country journey that becomes a voyage of discovery for Charlie, and, perhaps, for Raymond, too. Rain Man will either captivate you or irritate you (Raymond's sputtering of repetitious phrases is enough to drive anyone crazy), but it is obviously a labour of love for those involved. Hoffman had been attached to the film for many years, as various directors and writers came and went, but his persistence eventually paid off--kind of like Raymond in Las Vegas. Look for director Barry Levinson in a cameo as a psychiatrist near the end of the film. --Jim Emerson