Charlie Babbitt’s Lamborghinis have been seized by the Environmental Protection Agency. Mr Wyatt needs his money by 5.30pm. Charlie’s employee, Lenny, falsifies that the cars have passed their emissions tests. Charlie’s about to make $75,000.
Charlie’s father’s died. Charlie finds his limited edition 1949 Buick Roadmaster convertible. Charlie’s father’s only two loves were his car and his roses.
When he took the Buick out without permission in tenth grade, his father reported it stolen. Charlie was left at the police station for two days. That was the last time ever Charlie saw his father.
Charlie inherits the Buick convertible and the roses. An unnamed beneficiary receives $3m. This person lives at a Wallbrook hospital. Dr Bruner there knew Charlie’s dad very well, but Bruner can’t name the beneficiary.
Raymond Babbitt has joined Charlie’s girlfriend, Susanna, in the Buick. Raymond says he drove it a week ago last Saturday. Charlie removes Raymond, who inadvertently says the seats were originally brown leather. Charlie recognises this observation.
Raymond says his dad’s Sandford Babbitt, giving Charlie’s childhood address. Charlie asks about Raymond’s mother, Eleanor Babbitt. Bruner says Raymond’s Charlie’s brother.
Raymond’s an autistic savant. There are dangers everywhere for him. His routines and rituals protect him. Any break from these is terrifying.
Raymond gets nervous when Charlie visits his room and starts saying “Who’s on First?” by Abbott & Costello. Charlie removes a book and Ray has an emotional outburst. Charlie understands Raymond’s read all the stories in the book Charlie has, but Raymond doesn’t know if he’s read the book. Raymond asks Susanna if she’s taking prescription medication, evidence of attraction.
Charlie suggests they go see a Dodgers game together. Raymond says the Dodgers aren’t playing that day. Even so, Raymond agrees to go with his brother to LA.
Charlie books them into a suite. Dinner’s usually at 6.30pm. Raymond must return to Wallbrook, looking forward to tapioca pudding. He’ll be bookless, so Charlie gives Raymond the phone book. He soon starts reading it.
Susanna wants to return Raymond to Wallbrook. Wheel of Fortune comes on and Raymond repeats all the build-up. His chair and desk are perfectly positioned.
Charlie says he’s angry with his father, so he’s taken Raymond, who inherited $3m. Charlie wants to keep Raymond till he gets his half. Susanna says Charlie uses people like Raymond and her. She leaves.
Next morning, Sally Dibbs is their waitress. Raymond says her phone number. He’s read the phone book as far as G. Raymond has no toothpicks or maple syrup, which must be on the table before the pancakes. Raymond gets upset. Charlie grabs Raymond by the neck.
There’s a “serious injury” list under Charlie’s name. He’s on number eighteen. Raymond writes Charlie “squeezed and pulled and hurt his neck” in 1988.
Charlie tells Dr Bruner he wants $1.5m in exchange for Raymond. Raymond needs a new toothpick. Sally Dibbs drops toothpicks onto the floor and Raymond accurately sees two hundred and forty six. Charlie says he’ll be at LAX in three hours.
Raymond quotes dates of historic airline disasters. Each airline Charlie suggests has at some point crashed, except Qantas. This would involve flying to Australia and back. When Charlie man-handles Raymond, he has an emotional outburst. Three hours’ flying will take three days’ driving. Jeopardy’s on at five o’clock.
That night, there’s a traffic jam. On foot, Raymond wants to leave the highway. Raymond says “Who’s on First?”. On a smaller road, Charlie collects Raymond again.
Raymond never goes outside when it rains. Wednesday’s fish sticks followed by green, lime jelly. Next day, the sun’s shining. Raymond boasts about his driving abilities, then lunges at the steering wheel, swerving the car.
While Charlie finds a psychiatrist, Raymond wanders into the middle of the road, taking literally a “don’t walk” sign. Charlie rescues Raymond who moans about his underwear.
The psychiatrist asks if Raymond has any special abilities. Using a calculator, the doctor gives Raymond some mathematics tests and Raymond gets them all right. But, Raymond thinks a candy bar and a new car both cost about $100.
Charlie takes Raymond’s pen and book to jot down new EPA requirements. TV show “Wapner” is in twelve minutes’ time. Raymond starts hitting the glass.
Charlie wants to finesse the owners of a desolate farmhouse so they can watch Wapner. One minute to go: Raymond’s getting worse. The large family reluctantly watches People’s Court. Charlie calls about his cars and Raymond makes fastidious notes on the TV show.
Charlie’s credit card is rejected. Raymond says “Who’s on First?” Charlie’s got Raymond’s apple juice, pens and paper out on the table, plus twelve cheese balls and tartar control toothpaste.
Raymond thinks Charlie says Rain Man. Charlie was trying to say Raymond and it came out Rain Man. Raymond tells his brother he lived with them. Raymond left January 21st, 1935. It was a Thursday, very snowy out.
Just after their Mom died, Charlie was in the window waving goodbye to Rain Man. Raymond starts singing the song he used to sing. Charlie turns on the bath taps and Raymond has an emotional outburst. They put Raymond in Wallbrook because they thought he’d hurt Charlie.
Raymond’s interested in the table-top jukebox. He says the song playing’s number J7. Charlie tests Raymond who gets every question right. Charlie throws playing cards face up on the car bonnet. Raymond watches. When asked which cards Charlie has left. Raymond’s spot on. They head to Las Vegas.
Tens and picture cards are good for them. Bet one if its bad, two if it’s good. Never show you’re counting cards. Charlie pawns his gold watch. They buy matching suits. Raymond’s pile of chips quickly grows. Over all, they’ve won $86,500. Charlie’s free and clear.
Iris joins Raymond. He says they’ve been counting cards. But, when he asks if she takes any prescription medication, she leaves. Raymond mistakenly understands that they have a date at ten o’clock that evening. He calls Iris very sparkly. He comments that his suit isn’t K-mart. Charlie tells Raymond K-mart sucks.
From their suite, Raymond says Las Vegas is very sparkly, very twinkly. His date is at ten and he must learn to dance. After a successful lesson, Charlie hugs Raymond who has an emotional outburst. Then, Susanna arrives.
Six minutes till his date. He says Iris is a sparkly woman who looks like a holiday, but she doesn’t show. Raymond and Susanna get in the lift. She presses the hold button, wanting Raymond to dance with her. They even kiss. He says it was wet and raises concerns over the lift. As a treat, Raymond’s allowed to drive the Buick around slowly.
Dr Bruner hands Charlie a cheque for $250,000. In exchange, Charlie should disappear. It’s not about the money for Charlie now, it’s that he wasn’t told he had a brother.
Raymond makes waffles. Thick smoke from the grill triggers the fire alarm. Charlie rushes in to help and destroys the fire alarm. Raymond calms down, speaking about Vern, his main man from the hospital. V-E-R-N.
Charlie asks Raymond what kind of pancakes he’d like. Raymond reminds Charlie the maple syrup must already be on the table. Charlie shows the syrup saying “ta da!” Raymond laughs, saying Charlie Babbitt made a joke.
At the hearing, Dr Marston says Wallbrook’s one of the finest institutions in the country and that Dr Bruner is a very respected professional.
Marston asks Raymond what happened the past week. They counted cards in Las Vegas; he danced with Charlie Babbitt; he kissed Susanna in an elevator and Charlie let him drive a car.
Dr Marston asks if Raymond had any emotional outbursts. One was because he didn’t want to fly and his last one happened that morning.
Charlie’s angry because he discovers he has a brother, then straightaway, he should try and forget he does. Dr Bruner says Charlie should have had professional guidance before he spent so much time alone with Raymond.
Bruner says Charlie took Raymond and wanted to trade him for $1.5m. Initially, Raymond was his brother in name only. But, when they had pancakes together, Charlie says they made a connection.
Raymond tells Marston he wants to stay with Charlie and also to return to Wallbrook. Charlie doesn’t like Raymond being humiliated. Raymond says stay back at Wallbrook with Charlie Babbitt. Charlie says the questions have stopped.
Charlie’s Raymond’s main man. Raymond softly leans his head against Charlie’s head in silence. Raymond spells out C-H-A-R-L-I-E — his main man.
At the station, Raymond tells Dr Bruner K-mart sucks. Charlie gives Raymond his bag containing: cheese balls, apple juice, notebooks, pens and his “Who’s on First?” video.
Raymond calls it a very shiny train. Charlie says he’ll visit in two weeks — Raymond easily puts this in terms of minutes, then seconds. Raymond boards the train. He tells Charlie “one for bad, two for good”. Raymond says three minutes till Wapner. Charlie says he’ll make it.
Starring Dustin Hoffman. Tom Cruise. Valeria Golino. Rated 15. Dir Barry Levinson. Released in the UK 1988. Runtime 2hr 13mins