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Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986)

Nick Nolte , Richard Dreyfuss , Paul Mazursky  |  R |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Nick Nolte, Richard Dreyfuss, Bette Midler, Little Richard, Tracy Nelson
  • Directors: Paul Mazursky
  • Writers: Paul Mazursky, Leon Capetanos
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Surround)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 13, 2002
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000065V3I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,881 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Down and Out in Beverly Hills" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Rescued from drowning in the swimming pool of a nouveau riche Beverly Hills couple (Richard Dreyfuss, Bette Midler), a disconsolate bum (Nick Nolte) brings startling and hilarious changes to the entire household -- including the family dog, Matisse (Mike the Dog), in the most uproarious screen debut of the year). Expertly directed by Paul Mazursky, and featuring a stellar cast and a great hit song performed by the legendary Little Richard, you'll be up and laughing at the most outrageously funny, critically acclaimed smash hit comedy!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still great October 11, 2002
Format:DVD
After more than 15 years, this comedy still elicits huge laughs and the primary reason for that is it's sharp. It bites. No comedy can last through the years without some noticeable degree of sharp social irreverence built into it. It just can't be done. And this comedy is nothing if not irreverent.
Based on the '30s French farce Boudu Saved from Drowning, the American director Paul Mazursky does a terrific job of fusing stinging satire with mock pathos as Nick Nolte's street bum Jerry, having lost the last thing important to him--his dog--decides to end it once and for all. Stumbling into the upper crustean Beverly Hills, he manages to locate a swimming pool at whose bottom he decides to meet his maker. The pool, as it happens, belongs to Richard Dreyfuss' Dave Whiteman, a very wealthy wire hanger mogul, and his daffy wife played by Bette Midler.
Dave's maid, the always fetching Elizabeth Pena, is playing hanky-panky with Dave, yet Dave is not without a heart. He catches sight of Jerry right after his plunge and rescues him, and the rest, as they say, is hysterical.
Everybody, as it happens, winds up loving Jerry--Dave's wife, Dave's maid, Dave's dog, Dave's son, and Dave's daughter. And even Dave himself. What 'love' means here depends on who is doing the loving. Dave's neighbor is Little Richard who can't help but toss in a couple of his songs here and there, which adds to the romp that is this film. Jerry manages to teach just about everybody a thing or two about life--even the dog learns how to eat regular dog food from him.
These days, as the rich get slightly--but not a lot--less rich, and the poor definitely get poorer, it's refreshing to see a comedy that irreverently laces into both.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For some reason I really like this film! September 17, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
The story of a tramp who finds his way into the household of a rich family, and gradually changes their lives. I must admit, I often see homeless people and wonder what they would look like if given a new haircut, a bath, and a set of clothes, and cinema has given us some good transformation scenes of this type over the years. Where Nick Nolte excels is that his greying (real) beard just looks so scuzzy (he lived on the streets for a efew weeks before starting filming) yet once clean-shaven with just a moustache he looks really good. He is helped by a very fit body, with no sores or bruises, which is perhaps not so realistic. Nolte's performance in the role vindicates Paul Mazursky's decision to cast him in the role, something studio bosses were cynical about in view of his trouble with alcoholism. Similar reservations were voiced about co-stars Richard Dreyfuss and Bette Midler, yet all three turn in really good and funny performances. There is a great guest appearance from Little Richard, who also performs a couple of numbers in the film.
This seems dated now, but not in a bad way. The hair salon scene and the son's new romantic pop group remind us of the worst excesses of 1980s style, while the remainder of the film reminds us of what we were really like in those days, with our over-reliance on fads (the guru, the dog psychologist, the radio psychologist) and neglect of important issues like homelessness and our own children.
Above all, this is an enjoyable, thought-provoking comedy.
If you can find it, I would also recommend the book by Ian Marter.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fine Piece August 20, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Dubbed as the comeback for the three starring actors, this movie is rather laidback and allows the stars to easily do their best and make the movie work. Nick Nolte easily plays the bum who is taken in and cleaned up by the rich family and who is a charmer. Richard Dreyfuss plays the rich man who takes Nolte in and he does a good job with many funny scenes. Bette kinda steals the show as the rich, stuck up wife who is rather standoffish as she seems as if she's better than others in her own mind. The supporting cast which includes Little Richard, a dog, and others help to make the movie work well as they support everyone else with a nice chemistry throughout. THe movie also works because it is both funny and touching at the same time. Good Job!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nick Nolte at his best!!! June 26, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
What a great comedy, which only goes to prove that Nick N. is truly a great actor. And let us not forget Richard D. and the wonderful Bette Midler!!!How could you miss with this cast!!! A personal fav of mine and glad to get it on DVD!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best comedies ever made July 19, 2003
By A Customer
Format:DVD
Despondent over the loss of his dog, Jerry the bum is rescued from an attempted suicide in the swimming pool of a wealthy Beverly Hills businessman, Dave Whitman, and subsequently teaches Whitman to eat garbage, cures the neurotic dog, seduces Whiteman�s ungreencarded maid, new-aged-gurued wife, and anorexic daughter, gives the gay son permission to come out of the closet, destroys Whitman�s New Year party, teaches the whole family to walk on hot coals and ruins the garden by urinating on the flowers. All of this and a good deal more, produces continuous laughter.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
Although it apparently is not understood in Tybee Island, GA, this is a great movie. Nolte gives a top-notch performance, as does Dreyfuss. And every time Little Richard appears on screen, it is sure to be a very funny scene. Pound-for-pound, one of the best movies of the 80's.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
This is one of my favorite movies
colorful & great pacing
Published 7 days ago by sunbaby
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
brilliant drama ..!!! entertainment at its best
Published 1 month ago by ABE
5.0 out of 5 stars When you're in the mood for some genuine laughs, ...
When you're in the mood for some genuine laughs, put this DVD in the hopper and be ready to be entertained. Read more
Published 2 months ago by James R.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny
If you like dogs and Little Richard this is the movie for you! All the characters are very strange, off-beat and funny. I think the acting was good. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Maxine Bowles
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic movie
Classic and very funny movie. Don't make em like this anymore. Classic movie with great ending and the Talking Heads song.
Published 3 months ago by alan
5.0 out of 5 stars Everybody loves you when you're down and out
Back in the '80s, when I was half the age I am now, I loved Paul Mazursky's modern take on the great 1936 William Powell, Carole Lombard film "My Man Godfrey". Read more
Published 3 months ago by Beth Bailey-Kingdon
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny.
This is riot of a movie. A dis functional family brought together by a bum who stumbles into their house. All the actors are perfect for their parts. Read more
Published 4 months ago by P. A. Flusche
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic movie -funny and action packed
This is one of my all time favorite movies. The entire cast is marvelous. Nolte, Dreyfus and Midler are awesome together.
Published 4 months ago by Kathleen Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars This is a fun movie. Not what I remembered it to be
This is a fun movie. Not what I remembered it to be. But a good watch. Nick Nolte plays a good bum and I like
anything that Bette Midler is in. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Tammy Herzog
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
Great movie, never gets old, good story. Love seeing these actors in their heyday, lots of fun!!! Give it a try
Published 5 months ago by Jaime Hayes
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