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The Movie “Rain Man”

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            In the movie “Rain Man,” Raymond played by  Dustin Hoffman suffered from autism; a neurological disorder that is greatly misunderstood. (1988)

            Charlie, Raymond’s brother doesn’t understand that although his brother doesn’t understand the value of money, he is capable of memorizing the names and phone numbers of thousands of entries in a phonebook and can count toothpicks to the exact number when a waitress spills a box to the floor.

            Autism causes individuals to act out is a compulsive manner. In Raymond’s instance, he insists on wearing boxer shorts from K-Mart and is set on the idea that no other department store or type of underwear will be acceptable. Also, Raymond is compulsively driven to watch the television program, “The People’s Court” and continually says that he wants to see Judge Wapner which indicates that his compulsive tendencies urge him to watch the same programs just as he is compelled to buy his underwear from a specific store.

            Dustin Hoffman is highly successful in demonstrating how autism affects individuals when his character, Raymond behaves like a young child in his everyday mannerisms but can complete huge mathematical equations that most college graduates wouldn’t be able to consider completing while he spills out exact answers in only a short amount of time. Those who are in close contact with Raymond find that this medical condition may really be a gift and are shocked when they learn of his bizarre but miraculous behavior.

            This medical condition forces Raymond’s brother, Charlie, played by Tom Cruise to reconsider his thoughts that he had previously considered about autism and learn to deal with his brother in a more patient and considerate manner. Charlie Babbitt is surprised to learn that his brother is extremely likable and even more interesting than what he could have ever anticipated.

            The general public, when seeing how autism affected Raymond, in “Rain Man” were just as surprised to learn of the miraculous feats that could be completed by someone who they thought would never be capable of much more than speaking a complete sentence. Raymond’s many mathematical mysteries and hilarious compulsiveness made this movie remarkable and one that will never be forgotten by anyone who is fortunate enough to view this film. You often see people mimicking the lines from this movie and although the movie was so funny and entertaining, it was just as educational.

            For many, autism is a condition that is rarely understood and by viewing this film, we have a much more clear understanding of those who suffer from this condition and we can greatly educate ourselves on how we can better communicate and interact with these individuals.

            Charlie Babbitt learns that there’s many more important things in life that are more valuable than money, such as a growing relationship with a brother who teaches him so much about life and the more meaningful relationships that can’t be bought with money. He also learns about patience and wisdom as he discovers that his autistic brother is far more intelligent than anyone, including himself, could ever begin to imagine.


Bass, Ronald; Morrow, Barry. Rain Man. (1988). United Artists.

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