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Rain Man (1988, Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman)

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Tom Cruise plays Charlie Babbitt, a car salesman whose business isn’t doing so good. Then he hears his rich father has died but he’s left a pittance while the fortune goes into trust for an older brother he never knew he had. That lost sibling is Raymond (Dustin Hoffman), who suffers from autism and has been institutionalised for years. Visiting him, Charlie is determined to take him to California (and, in the process, get access to the money) but Raymond refuses to fly, leaving Charlie no choices but to drive him across the country.

Inevitably, the journey becomes an odyssey of discovery for the two, as Charlie learns more about Raymond’s foibles, including a firm belief that the maple syrup must be on the table before the pancakes arrive. But Charlie also learns to love his brother, with the trip ending with the pair re-united as brothers.

Nominated for eight Oscars, the film picked up four, including Hoffman’s second, and Levinson deservedly won best director for the performances he elicited from the two stars, Cruise showing for the first time the depths he had attained while Hoffman convincingly played the autistic Raymond with compassion. The film was also the subject of the censor’s scissors – when airlines purchased it for in-flight entertainment, they all excised Raymond’s famous line about not flying because of the fear of crashing – apart from Qantas, who kept the line in since he extols their perfect safety record.

production details
USA | 134 minutes | 1988

Director: Barry Levinson
Script: Ronald Bass, Barry Morrow,

cast
Dustin Hoffman as Raymond Babbitt
Tom Cruise as Charlie Babbitt
Valeria Golino as Susanna
Gerald R. Molen as Dr. Bruner
Jack Murdock as John Mooney
Michael D. Roberts as Vern
Ralph Seymour as Lenny
Lucinda Jenney as Iris
Bonnie Hunt as Sally Dibbs
Kim Robillard as Township Doctor
Beth Grant as Mother at Farm House
Dolan Dougherty as Farm Kid#1
Marshall Dougherty as Farm Kid#2
Patrick Dougherty as Farm Kid#3
Peter Dougherty as Farm Kid#5
Andrew Dougherty as Farm Kid#6
Loretta Wendt Jolivette as Secretary Dr. Bruner
Donald E. Jones as Minister at Funeral
Bryon P. Caunar as Patient in Waiting Room
Donna J. Dickson as Nurse
Ralph Tabakin as Shift Boss
Ray Baker as Mr. Kelso
Jake Hoffman as Boy at Pancake Counter
Royce D. Applegate as (voice)
Anna Mathias as (voice)
Archie Hahn as (voice)
Luisa Leschin as (voice)
Ira Miller as (voice)
Chris Mulkey as (voice)
Julie Payne as (voice)
Reni Santoni as (voice)
Ruth Silveira as (voice)
Jonathan Stark as (voice)
Lynne Marie Stewart as (voice)
Arnold F. Turner as (voice)
Gigi Vorgan as (voice)
Barry Levinson as Doctor (uncredited)
Mark Winn as Restaurant Patron (uncredited)
June Christopher as (voice)