PAUL MAZURSKY’S DOWN & OUT IN BEVERLY HILLS — A REVIEW BY NICK CLEMENT

5

Almost 30 years later and Paul Mazursky’s incisive and always amusing social-class comedy Down and Out in Beverly Hills still holds up. Mazursky was a filmmaker who was always interested in people and their flaws and what it means to be human in a world that often overlooks people and their problems. I love how the opening credits closely resembled those from Harry & Tonto; Mazursky was a filmmaker in love with people’s faces and the untold stories that they tell. Everyone in the cast was perfect; Nolte as the grizzled homeless man looking for a second chance, Dreyfuss as the angry Richie-Rich who needs something to justify his existence, and Bette Midler as the spoiled wife who just absolutely needs to have a dog psychotherapist visit their family pet. Donald McAlpine’s crisp and clean cinematography kept an appropriately upscale vibe. What people found funny in one generation can sometimes feel stale and incredibly unfunny a few generations later – this is definitely not the case with this timeless gem. Released in late January of 1986, I wonder if the studio thought it would become as big of a hit as it did (it grossed nearly $70 million domestic).

2

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