Charlie Babbit, a callow, two-bit hustler, is reunited with a long-lost brother when their father dies and Charlie discovers that his sibling stands to inherit three million dollars. In an attempt to lure the inheritance away from Raymond, an autistic savant who has spent his entire life in an institution, Charlie kidnaps him, and takes him on a road trip across America. It turns out to be a life-changing journey in which Charlie, getting to know his childlike brother for the first time, discovers in himself a capacity for love and compassion that he never knew existed.
After their father dies, a smooth-talking businessman is reunited with his autistic older brother to whose caretakers his father left a fortune. Needing the money himself, he kidnaps him for a rocky cross-country drive only to discover the void his brother had filled in his empty childhood. Academy Award Nominations: 7. Academy Awards: 4, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best (Original) Screenplay, Best Actor--Dustin Hoffman.
Rated BBFC 15 by the British Board of Film Classification.
Estimated budget $24 to $25 million.
Filmed on location Cincinnati, Ohio; Oklahoma City, Hinto, El Reno, Guthrie, and Cogar, Oklahoma; Las Vegas, Nevada; Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; and Southgate, Kentucky, in DeLuxe color.
Began shooting May 2, 1988; completed shooting July 28, 1988. Shown at a benefit screening in Cincinnati, Ohio December 13, 1988. Released in North America December 16, 1988. Released on video August 30, 1989.
Shown in competition at the 1989 Berlin Film Festival February 19-20 and the 1989 Panorama of World cinema in Sofia, Bulgaria November 20-30.
Autistic behavior consultants on the film were: Bernard Rinland of the Institute For Child Behavior Research, San Diego, California; Darold A. Treffert of Brookside Medical Center, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin; Ruth C. Sullivan of the Autism Services Center, Huntington, West Virginia; Bodil Sivertsen of the Jay Nolan Center, Los Angeles, California; Peter E. Tanguay of UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute, Los Angeles, California; and Arnold M. Rosen of Gracie Square Hospital, New York, New York.
Richard Price, David Rayfiel and Kurt Luedtke were uncredited authors on the screenplay.
Martin Brest was originally to direct, but he resigned over creative differences. Barry Levinson took over and shot the film in 9 weeks.
Dustin Hoffman won the Italian David Award for Best Actor in a Foreign Film.
Available to buy in the UK.