Down and Out in Beverly Hills

Down and Out in Beverly Hills Movie Poster

"See what happens when a dirty bum meets the filthy rich".  Down and Out in Beverly Hills was a 1986 comedy based on an old French play that had previously been adapter to the silver screen in 1932.  The movie starred Nick Nolte as Jerry Baskin, Richard Dreyfuss as Dave Whiteman, Little Richard as the neighbor, and Bette Midler as Barbara Whiteman.  The movie generally received good reviews back in the day, was a huge box office hit, and continues to be well received.  Some of you may even remember that Fox had a TV series based on the movie that ran for 13 shows in 1987 before being canceled.

In this movie, the Whitemans are a bored, wealthy married couple.  Dave (Dreyfuss) is having an affair with the maid, and Barabara (Midler) drowns her sorrows in New Age therapies like Yoga, aerobics, and meditation.  The rest of the family is no better, with a son confused about his sexuality and an anorexic daughter.  Jerry (Nolte), on the other hand, is a homeless man who lost his dog, and in a state of despair, decides to drown himself in the Whitemans' pool.

Luckily, Jerry is saved by Dreyfuss and brought into his family, who allows him to stay for a while.  Need less to say, Dave's family, including his wife, are forced to re-examine their own lives based on Nolte's experiences.  Hey, and Little Richard lives next door!