Down and Out in Beverly Hills

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.[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.

For the television series based on the film, see Down and Out in Beverly Hills (TV series)
Down and Out in Beverly Hills
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]

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 couple whose 20-year marriage is unfulfilling. Dave is having an affair with Carmen, the live-in maid, while Barbara tries to relieve her constant feelings of anxiety by experimenting with various New Age therapies.

A "down and out" homeless man named Jerry Baskin wanders into the backyard of the Whitemans' Beverly Hills home, and tries to drown himself in the 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.


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

Critical response for the film was mostly positive. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes it has an 81% rating based on 26 reviews.[8] The New York Times' Janet Maslin 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."[9] Shelia Benson's review of it in Los Angeles Times called it "depth-charge comedy"; however, she had reservations on the outcome of Nick Nolte's character.[10]

Television series


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


  3. 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.
  9. Ebert, Roger. "Down and Out in Beverly Hills". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
  10. 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.
  11. "Down and Out in Beverly Hills". AllMusic.
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