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Down and Out in Beverly Hills is a 1986 American comedy film based on the 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. The film is about a rich but dysfunctional couple who save the life of a suicidal bum. Flamboyant musician Little Richard also makes an appearance, and contributed the song "Great Gosh a'Mighty" to the soundtrack. The song's success led to a revitalization of his career.
Released by Touchstone Pictures, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, Down and Out in Beverly Hills has the distinction of being the first R-rated film ever released by Disney. The R rating is due to profanity as well as a brief scene showing a maid in bed having sex on top, another first for Disney. However, countless R-rated films have since received distribution by Disney, under subsidiaries such as Touchstone, Miramax Films and Hollywood Pictures. Walt Disney Pictures, the flagship family-oriented brand, has yet to release a film with a rating stronger than PG-13.
David "Dave" Whiteman (Dreyfuss) and his wife, Barbara, played by Bette Midler, portray a couple whose 20-year marriage is unfulfilling. Dave is having an affair with their live-in maid, played by Elizabeth Peña, while Barbara tries to relieve the anxiety she constantly feels by experimenting with various New Age therapies.
A "Down and Out" homeless man named Jerry Baskin (Nick Nolte), wanders into the backyard of the Whitemans Beverly Hills home, and tries to drown himself in the couples pool. Dave helps Jerry get back on his feet. The family is initially disgusted by Jerry, but they end up growing fond of him after getting to know him better.
- Nick Nolte - Jerry Baskin
- Bette Midler - Barbara Whiteman
- Richard Dreyfuss - David 'Dave' Whiteman
- Elizabeth Peña - Carmen the Maid
- Little Richard - Orvis Goodnight
- Evan Richards - Max Whiteman
- Tracy Nelson - Jenny Whiteman
Mino Argento - Paintings
The movie was a financial success, on a budget of $14,000,000, the film grossed $92,000,000 in the US alone. The critical response for the film was mostly positive as it currently holds an 84% rating on review aggragator Rotten Tomatoes based on 25 reviews.
Location of Whiteman House
The house used as the Whitemans' house is at 802 N. Bedford Drive off Sunset Boulevard in Beverly Hills. However, the alley in the back of the house was filmed at 722 N. Rexford Drive, one block north of director Paul Mazursky's house on Alpine Drive.
In 1987, Down and Out in Beverly Hills was remade as a 30 minute television series for the fledging Fox network, airing from July 25 to September 12. It has the distinction of being the first ever show to be cancelled by Fox; only 13 episodes were produced.
The cast included Hector Elizondo as Dave Whiteman, Anita Morris as Barbara Whiteman, Eileen Seeley as Jenny Whiteman and Tim Thomerson as Jerry Baskin. Evan Richards and Elizabeth Peña were the only two cast members of the film to reprise their roles for TV.
- "Great Gosh A'mighty! (It's A Matter Of Time)" - Little Richard
- "California Girls" - The Beach Boys
- "El Tecaliteco" - Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan
- "I Love L.A." - Randy Newman
- "Tutti Frutti" - Little Richard
- "Down And Out In Beverly Hills" Theme" - Andy Summers
- "Search For Kerouac" - Andy Summers
- "Nouvelle Cuisine" - Andy Summers
- "Wave Hands Like Clouds" - Andy Summers
- "The Mission Blues" - Andy Summers
- "Jerry's Suicide Attempt" - Andy Summers
- Down and Out in Beverly Hills at the Internet Movie Database
- Down and Out in Beverly Hills at Rotten Tomatoes
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