The Movie Review Guy Best Movies for 2013
Dec 31, 2013
The Top 80 movies from the 1980's in 80 Days (DAY 39):
42. “Rain Man” (1988)
Selfish yuppie Charlie Babbitt's father left a fortune to his savant brother Raymond and a pittance to Charlie; they travel cross-country.
Dustin Hoffman—Raymond Babbitt
Tom Cruise—Charlie Babbitt
Jerry Molen—Dr. Bruner
Facts about the this movie:
*Opening Weekend: $7,005,719 (USA) (1248 Screens)
*Ronald Bass's handwritten final rewrites were submitted on the very day that the writer's strike started.
*The script originally had Raymond as happy and friendly, but after an initial reading Dustin Hoffman successfully lobbied for Raymond to be a withdrawn autistic.
*After being interviewed by the psychiatrist, Raymond (Dustin Hoffman) leans his head against Charlie's and says "My main man Charlie". This was unscripted, and improvised by Hoffman.
*Raymond memorizes a phone book up to the names Marsha and William Gottsegen - Dustin Hoffman's real-life in-laws.
*Dustin Hoffman was originally supposed to play Charlie, but he wanted to play Raymond. Raymond was also supposed to be mentally retarded, but Hoffman changed it to an autistic savant.
*J.T. Walsh was originally supposed to play the psychiatrist at the end of the movie. When he couldn't, Barry Levinson filled in, after Hoffman suggested it. Levinson said if he didn't like the way it looked, he would have someone else film it. He ad-libbed repeatedly to "push Cruise's buttons".
*During the shooting of the casino scenes, Dustin Hoffman would go off and play games like blackjack. After production was halted to look for him, someone was assigned to watch him during takes.
*The scene in the airport was cut by most airlines on their plane trips... except Qantas. They even promoted one of the movie's writers to first class once when he traveled on their airline.
*The Amarillo, Texas motel scene was actually filmed at the Big 8 Motel in El Reno, Oklahoma. The motel maintains a sign used in the film that reads: "Amarillo's Finest." Guests sometimes request to stay in the same room where Raymond and Charlie stayed, room #117.
The character of Charlie Babbitt was originally written as a 56-year-old.
*Barry Levinson admitted that Ray's comment about Qantas being the only aircraft company to never have had a fatal crash was made up, and that he didn't know if this was true. In reality, Qantas has had eight crashes, all prior to the making of the film, but they were all propeller-driven planes, not jets.
*The radio station slogan that Raymond is so fond of repeating, "97X - Bam! - The future of rock and roll", is from a real independent Ohio radio station, WOXY. The station still fields questions about the movie.
*During filming, Dustin Hoffman was unsure of the film's potential and his own performance. Three weeks into the project, Hoffman wanted out, telling director Barry Levinson, "Get Richard Dreyfuss, get somebody, Barry, because this is the worst work of my life." Hoffman would nab his second Best Actor Academy Award for his work.
*The elderly man in the waiting room who talks on and on about the Pony Express is Byron P. Cavnar, an 89-year-old local who was in the waiting room when the crew arrived to film there. He got to talking on his favorite subject, the Pony Express, and director Barry Levinson got such a kick out of it that he let Caunar keep on talking as the cameras rolled; all his dialog was spontaneous and not scripted.
*The script originally called for two farm kids, but after Catherine Dougherty brought six of her seven sons to audition for the part, the script was re-written to include the six boys. The boys also have an older brother and one younger sister.
*Dustin Hoffman spent a lot of time with savant Kim Peek, the inspiration for Raymond's character. Rain Man writer Barry Morrow first met Peek in 1986, and on winning an Oscar for the screenplay of "Rain Man" in 1989, gave his Oscar trophy to Kim Peek. Hoffman he made Kim's father (the main caregiver) promise that he would "share [Kim] with the world." For nearly 20 years until his death, Kim Peek went all over the world impressing people with his incredible memory and ability to recall minute details from centuries of history.
*Dustin Hoffman spent a year working with autistic men and their families to understand their complex relationships. Also, when he was a jobbing actor, he had worked in a psychiatric care home, and drew from his experiences then for the film.
*Screenwriter Barry Morrow chose the name of the film by reading through a book of names, deciding which sounded most interesting when mispronounced. He eventually narrowed it down to four names, including "Rain Man" for Raymond and "No-Man" for Norman. Marrow decided that Rain Man was the best. In order to see if this instinct was correct, he asked his children which of the four they preferred and all agreed with his choice.
*Hans Zimmer's first Hollywood score.
*Warner Brothers had, at one point, the opportunity to make both "Rain Man" and Forrest Gump but ended up with neither because of concerns they were too similar. Peter Guber and Jon Peters' production company, which had picked up the script for "Rain Man", had a first look deal with the studio. However, Roger Birnbaum, an executive with the production company, felt that because Warner Brothers was also developing "Forrest Gump", they would likely let "Rain Man" die if they were to pick it up, because of the script's perceived similarity. So, reportedly, he purposely gave a weak pitch to the studio in the hopes that they would reject it and allow it to be pitched to another studio. This did in fact occur and United Artists ended up making the film. After the movie's enormous success, Warner Brothers decided to pass on "Forrest Gump" because they felt that audiences would be unlikely to go to a movie with such a similar theme as "Rain Man". "Forrest Gump," which most people would consider to be an entirely different type of film than "Rain Man", ended up being made by Paramount and became one of the most successful movies of all time, grossing almost $330,000,000 in U.S. theaters.
*The film first opened with a disappointing $6 million in sales. However, in the following weeks, it generated great word of mouth amongst movie viewers, allowing the movie to steadily climb up to the number 1 slot.
*At one point, "Rain Man" was the biggest grossing Best Picture Oscar-winner. It was subsequently surpassed by Forrest Gump which had been put into development at a rival studio at roughly the same time.
*On "Oprah", Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman said the "farting in the phone booth" bit was improvised when Hoffman actually passed gas while the scene was being filmed. Hoffman said it was his favorite scene ever.
*Steven Spielberg considered directing. He began making notes in order to prepare for the project. The reason he backed out is because his friend George Lucas needed him to start work on Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. So Spielberg left the project and gave his notes to Barry Levinson. Sydney Pollack was the next director to work on the film. He ditched an action sequence in which Charlie saves Raymond from some thugs but he wasn't keen on the idea of a road movie.
Why I Picked this movie #42:
1. Just one great movie
2. Great Cast
3. Great Acting
4. One big heart
5. Great script
6. Great chemistry between and Tom Cruise.
7. It a great bro. movie
8. It was last great movie Dustin Hoffman.
9. Dustin Hoffman did not go full retard.
First time seeing it:
Saw it at the movie theater with my mother.