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Down and Out in Beverly Hills

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For the television series based on the film, see Down and Out in Beverly Hills (TV series)
Down and Out in Beverly Hills
Down and Out in Beverly Hills.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPaul Mazursky
Produced byPaul Mazursky
Pato Guzman, Geoffrey Taylor
Written byPaul Mazursky
Leon Capetanos
Music byAndy Summers
CinematographyDonald McAlpine
Edited byRichard Halsey
Distributed byBuena Vista Distribution
Release date
  • January 31, 1986 (1986-01-31)
Running time
103 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$14 million[1]
Box office$62,134,225[2]

Down and Out in Beverly Hills is a 1986 American comedy film based on the 1919 French play Boudu sauvé des eaux, which had previously been adapted on film in 1932 by Jean Renoir. Down and Out in Beverly Hills was directed by Paul Mazursky, and starred Nick Nolte, Bette Midler and Richard Dreyfuss.[3] The film is about a rich but dysfunctional couple who save the life of a suicidal homeless man. Musician Little Richard also makes an appearance,[3] and contributed the song "Great Gosh a'Mighty" to the soundtrack.

Released by Touchstone Films, a film label of The Walt Disney Studios, Down and Out in Beverly Hills has the distinction of being the first film released by Disney to receive an R-rating by the MPAA.


Dave Whiteman and his wife, Barbara, are a nouveau-riche couple in Beverly Hills whose 20-year marriage has become stale and sexless. Dave is having an affair with Carmen, the live-in maid, while Barbara tries to relieve her constant feelings of anxiety through shopping and experimenting with various New Age therapies. Their teenage son, Max, has a strained relationship with his parents, communicates with them largely through his avant-garde videos, and is having issues around his gender presentation. Dave feels estranged from his 19-year-old daughter Jenny, who he believes is anorexic and making poor life choices. The family dog is also poorly adjusted.

Jerry Baskin, a down-and-out homeless man, attempts to drown himself in the Whitemans' pool, driven to despair by the loss of his own dog. Dave saves him and offers to let him to recuperate at their home for a few days. He is intrigued by Jerry's colorful accounts of his past life and former success and wealth, and offers to help him back onto his feet. As they spend time together, meeting Jerry's friends, Dave finds liberation in observing Jerry's lifestyle and outlook, which contrasts his own materialistic conformism. Meanwhile, Jerry overcomes Barbara's hostility and begins a sexual relationship with her. This reawakens her sex drive, and she and Dave re-consummate their marriage. Jerry soon also has sex with Carmen, who now rejects Dave's advances as exploitative, thanks to the political literature Jerry introduced her to. He also cures the dog of its behavioral problems through his empathetic skills, and he persuades Max to come out to his parents in his androgynous persona. Finally, he seduces Jenny, just as she vehemently denounces him as a manipulative psychopath. When next seen, at an extravagant party thrown by the Whitemans, she has overcome her apparent anorexia and declares herself deeply in love with him. This development impels Dave to physically attack Jerry, and the major characters end up floundering in the swimming pool. The following morning, Jerry ruefully confesses to inventing the stories he had told of his past and prepares to leave the Whitemans' home. Wandering down the back service alley with the family dog (now his firmly bonded companion), Jerry turns to see the entire household gathering in the alley, gazing after him longingly. Without a word, he turns back to rejoin them, and they re-enter the grounds of the house together, apparently to resume their unorthodox living arrangement.


Production credits


Box office

The film was a financial success. It opened on 806 screens and was number one at the US box office with an opening weekend gross of $5,726,495.[5] It added 10 more theatres and grossed 7% more in its second weekend, remaining at number one.[6] It grossed $62,000,000 in the US alone on a budget of $14,000,000.[7]

Critical response

On Rotten Tomatoes it has an approval rating of 79% based on reviews from 28 critics.[8] On Metacritic the film has a weighted average score of 82 out of 100 based on reviews from 8 critics, indicating "Universal acclaim".[9]

Janet Maslin of The New York Times quipped, "No film of Mr. Mazursky's is without its occasional sentimental excess, and this one even has its silly side; certainly Mr. Mazursky, who wrote the film with Leon Capetanos, knows better than to throw everyone into the pool at the end of a party scene. But as a comedy of manners it has a dependably keen aim, with its most wicked barbs leavened by Mr. Mazursky's obvious fondness for his characters."[3] The final two sentences Roger Ebert's 4-star review of the film read, "Mazursky has a way of making comedies that are more intelligent and relevant than most of the serious films around; his last credit, for example, was the challenging "Moscow on the Hudson." So let me just say that "Down and Out in Beverly Hills" made me laugh longer and louder than any film I've seen in a long time."[10] Shelia Benson's review in Los Angeles Times called it "depth-charge comedy"; however, she had reservations on the outcome of Nick Nolte's character.[11]

Television series

In April 1987, a series based on the film aired on the newly formed Fox Broadcasting Company. Evan Richards (Max) was the only actor to star in both the film and show. It aired five episodes before cancellation, being one of two shows (the other being Karen's Song) that were canceled by the start of the 1987–88 television season by Fox.


Down and Out in Beverly Hills
Soundtrack album by
Various Artists
Released1986 (1986)
  1. "Great Gosh A'Mighty!" - Little Richard
  2. "California Girls" - David Lee Roth
  3. "El Tecaliteco" - Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan
  4. "I Love L.A." - Randy Newman
  5. "Tutti Frutti" - Little Richard
  6. "Down and Out in Beverly Hills Theme" - Andy Summers
  7. "Search for Kerouac" - Andy Summers
  8. "Nouvelle Cuisine" - Andy Summers
  9. "Wave Hands Like Clouds" - Andy Summers
  10. "The Mission Blues" - Andy Summers
  11. "Jerry's Suicide Attempt" - Andy Summers

While not included on the soundtrack album, the film uses a remix of the Talking Heads song "Once in a Lifetime", as featured in their 1984 concert film Stop Making Sense and its companion album, in both the film's opening and closing credits.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986) - Financial Information". The Numbers. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  3. ^ a b c Maslin, Janet (January 31, 1986). "THE SCREEN: BEVERLY HILLS GOTHIC". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
  4. ^ "Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986)". The New York Times.
  5. ^ Greenberg, James (February 4, 1986). "'Down and Out' Panhandles Biggest Opening Of Year At National B.O.". Daily Variety. p. 6.
  6. ^ Greenberg, James (February 11, 1986). "'Down and Out' Up and Over Last Week's Nat'l B.O. Tally". Daily Variety. p. 6.
  7. ^ "New Movies Make Inroads At Box Office". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 2010-12-22.
  8. ^ "Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  9. ^ "Down and Out in Beverly Hills". Metacritic.
  10. ^ Ebert, Roger (January 31, 1986). "Down and Out in Beverly Hills". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
  11. ^ SHEILA BENSON (January 31, 1986). "MOVIE REVIEWS : MAKING MOST OF INFLUENCE : 'Down and Out in Beverly Hills' Is Up and at 'Em With On-Target Satire". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2014-08-12. Retrieved 2018-12-12.
  12. ^ "Down and Out in Beverly Hills". AllMusic.

External links

This page was last edited on 17 October 2020, at 12:05
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