Dr. Bruner.............................Jerry Molen
The administrator who is responsible for taking care
of Raymond at the Ohio home where he lives.
Plot Summary Charlie is a young and struggling Los Angeles businessman who sells expensive cars for a living. One day he receives word that his father, a man with whom he had not spoken in years, had died back in Cincinnati, Ohio. Charlie returns to his childhood home to take care of his father's property, only to find out that virtually all of his dad's $3,000,000 estate was left to an unnamed person in a 'trust' (A legal document giving property to another person).
After doing some investigating, Charlie learns that the trust was for a person who lived in a home for the mentally disabled near his childhood house. While exploring this institution with his girlfriend, Susanna, Charlie makes a nearly unbelievable discovery: The person to whom the trust was given is an autistic man named Raymond Babbitt, who it turns out is Charlie's older brother. Charley had never known he had a brother, for his parents had never told him.
In his confusion, anger and greed, Charlie decides to take Raymond back with him. Raymond is probably not prepared to leave the Ohio institution he has lived in his entire life, but Charlie is determined to get what he thinks is his "fair share" of his father's estate. Thus, Charlie decides to fight for legal custody (possession) of his new brother, as a way of being able to get to the $3,000,000 that his father had left for Raymond.
In their journey back to Los Angeles, Raymond nearly drives Charlie crazy with the maddening characteristics that are a function of his autism (see note below). But eventually, Raymond has a profound influence on Charlie, and thus Charlie eventually grows to love and accept his brother exactly as he is.
A note on autism: People who are autistic are believed to suffer from an abnormal psychological state in which they have a severely limited understanding of reality. Perhaps more importantly, it is believed they have little understanding of their own emotions, or the emotions of other people.
There is a wide range of autism that exists. Some people are so autistic they can almost do nothing for themselves, and are completely dependent on others for their everyday needs.
There are other autistics who are considered "high functioning," and thus are able to do much on their own, although they may still be better off living in institutions that care for the mentally disabled. Still other autistics are what are called "idiot savants," in that they have the ordinary limitations of most autistics, but they also have special mental skills that are reflective of pure genius. For example, in the case of Raymond, he appears to have both the memory and basic math abilities of a computer, not a person.
Over the last several years (perhaps in part because of this movie), a growing body of literature on the experience of autism has emerged that you may want to explore. Much of this material is available on the web.
Some Words And Expressions that You may not Know
Charlie desperately tries to close a key business deal, and then learns of the death of his father.
The Environmental Protection Agency
(An agency of the federal government).
A NASA Engineer
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
(The guys who put the rockets into space).
The type of very expensive Italian sports cars
that Charlie buys and sells for a living.
A time frame.
Term used to describe the amount of time that one
has to get something done (In this case, to sell the cars).
I'm into him for $200,000.
Charlie's slangy way of saying that he has already
spent much money working with this car salesmen.
I have all my money tied up in these cars.
If money is "tied up" in something, it has already been spent on it.
If I don't get my money, I am fucked.
In this case, a crude and not common way to say "in big trouble."
I don't give a shit about your problems.
A crude and widely used variation of "I don't care."
I have sharkssnapping at my heals, and they
could have taken my cars and business days ago.
Sharks are the vicious big fish that eat everything they can catch, though this can also refer to "loan sharks," who are people who
loan money for high interest, often associated with organized crime.
"To snap" is to try and bite down on, and a "heal" is the bottom
part of the foot.
Fucking EPA. The whole world is choking on smog and they're
going to solve the problem by keeping my cars off the road.
Reference to the fact that the EPA will not allow cars to be sold unless
it can be proved that they do not cause too much air pollution.
If he doesn't get his money by 5:30, he's going to seize the cars.
"To seize" is a legal term meaning to take physical possession.
Come on, Come on. I need this
The greatest and most versatile of all English phrasal verbs, meaning everything from "Be serious" to "Stop it." Here, meaning "hurry up!"
Mr. Bateman wants to back out on his cars.
"To back out" on a business deal is to
decide you no longer want to do it.
Tell him the cars just passed EPA emissions and paperwork.
"EPA emissions" refers to the smog test that all cars must pass.
"Paperwork" is a useful word that refers to all the forms and other documents that people must fill out and read to conduct business.
Tell him I'm knocking off five grand on each
car because I appreciate their business.
"To knock off" the price of something is to reduce it, in this
case by "five grand," which is a colloquial way to say $5,000.
Do you got it?
"Do you understand?"
They are passing, uh, have passed emission.
An interesting sentence which shows the critical distinction between the present progressive and present perfect verb tenses (Charlie may no little about grammar, but he knows
the difference intuitively, and how it affects his business!).
Ready for Palm Springs?
A well-known vacation town about an hour from Los Angeles.
I'm seconds away from closing this deal and making 75 grand.
In business, "to close a deal" is to conclude it.
You've said 12 words. Consider it foreplay.
A funny line. "Foreplay" is the various sexual activity
that couples engage in before actual intercourse.
What's the big to do about thinking?
An interesting expression with a somewhat bizarre grammatical construction. To "make a big to do" about something is to make
a big deal of, or act if something is important.
Your father's dead. I'm sorry. If there's anything I can do....
Put here to show you some possible things you can say if you are ever told that someone close to the person you're speaking with has died.
We had a falling out a long time ago. We didn't get along.
"To laugh one's ass off" is a slangy way to say laugh a lot.
Charlie discovers the brother he never knew he had.
The name of the mental health institution where Raymond lives.
A truly great American institution. A popular TV game show where people are tested on their knowledge of everything from Ancient History to Chinese Food.
For whose grandson was Camp David named?
The vacation retreat in the state of Maryland where
American Presidents go to get away from the White House.
I took on this burden out of loyalty to your father.
A "burden" is a source of great worry and stress.
In this case, a reference to Raymond.
I think you feel cheated out of a birthright.
Something you're entitled to just because of who you are.
Dad let me drive slow in the driveway.
The path of a house where cars are parked.
The seats were brown leather. Now they're pitiful red.
"Pitiful" is a powerful adjective meaning pathetic, or deserving pity.
He's an autistic savant.
A mentally disabled person with severe emotional problems,
but who is often, as in the case of Raymond, a type of genius.
He has a disability in sensing input.
:: Hey, English. You're talking over my head.
"To talk over the head" of someone is to speak
in such a way that they don't understand you.
Procedures that are characterized by a regular routine, such
as in this case, watching the same show every day at the same time
(It can also have the connotation of a religious ceremony).
What's the fucking point?
"What are you trying to say?"
He doesn't understand the concept of money :: That's poetic.
Literally "like poetry," but here it is used very
sarcastically to mean "this situation is ridiculous."
Whenever he gets nervous, he does "Who's on first?"
A comedy routine by Abbot and Costello, who were famous performers in the 1940s. It is one of Raymond's favorite things to listen to, though he doesn't seem to get the jokes, in which the question "Who's on first?" (referring to first base in a baseball game) is a play on words.
This is because the actual name of the person on first is named "Who" (And the name of the person on second base is named “What”).
He reads whatever he gets his hands on.
A common way to say "whatever he can find."
My main man, Vern.
A colloquial way to say "the person I can count on the most."
Are you taking any prescription medicine?
In the US., drugs are either sold "over the counter," in which case you don't need a doctor, or by "prescription," in which case you need a doctor's approval to buy the drug at the drug store.
When I touched him, he pulled away :: Don't take it personal.
"Don't be offended." (Though you should say "personally.").
The car disturbs him.
"To disturb" someone is to bother or annoy them,
although in this case it is used to mean scare.
I live in L.A.. Want to go see the Dodger's play?
LA. is the way everyone refers to Los Angeles, which
as everyone knows, is America's most wonderful city.
The Dodgers are L.A.'s beloved professional baseball team.
A famous baseball pitcher for the Dodgers in the 1980s.
Charlie, Raymond and Susanna head off for
Los Angeles, definitely without Dr. Bruner's approval.
I'm not supposed to be off the grounds for more than two hours.
An interesting word created by Raymond (meaning "without books).
I have $200,000 about to go to the shithouse.
"I'm about to lose $200,000."
Reference to the fact that at Wallbrook, they
serve pepperoni pizza every Tuesday night for dinner.
I got a bit of a legal problem.
A "bit of" is good alternative way to refer to a small amount.
Look at this studio filled with glamorous merchandise.
"Glamorous" is beautiful, or having great charm. "Merchandise" are the products that stores sell. These are words used by TV game shows to describe products they give away (such as cars or furniture).
Wheel of Fortune. Our big bonanza of cash.
Another popular game show. A "bonanza" is a huge source of wealth.
Flavor of pudding made from a plant root that Raymond likes.
Used to express strong emotions such as surprise or anger.
Those noises are none of your business.
What you say to a person who is trying to find
out about things that you prefer to keep private.
I'm not his brother, for Christ's sake.
Added at the beginning or end of sentences to express anger.
You don't know what I'm going through.
"To go through" something is a good expression that means to experience or endure it. It usually has the connotation that the
person has experienced a lot of negative or exhausting things.
Dr. Bruner told you to bring him hear? :: That is bullshit!
The classic obscenity that generally means nonsense or lies,
or as in this case, refers to behavior that angers you.
Why? Because I'm pissed at him.
A slightly crude but very common way to say "angry at."
I'm going to keep him until I get my
half of the inheritance. I deserve that.
Charlie's curious rationale for why he has
decided to have Raymond stay with him.
What is my god damn crime?
When added as an adjective, it implies anger or other emotion.
(It's somewhat vulgar, so its best to avoid).
You use everybody.
When used as a verb in this sense, it is a powerful word
which means to take advantage of, or manipulate people,
often while claiming to be their friends.
Susanna flies back to Los Angeles,
leaving Charlie to take care of Raymond.
Charlie slowly learns of the genius within his brother.
You're soaking wet.
"To soak" is to completely immerse in liquid. When used
as an adverb in this expression, it means "completely."
My father has stuck it to me.
"To stick it to" someone is to treat them badly.
Very clever boys. I'll be right back.
A more British alternative for smart, or quick-witted.
Tuesday we have pancakes with maple syrup.
A delicious syrup made from maple trees. Yummy!
You bet your butt.
A silly colloquial way to say "What I'm saying is true."
The tiny wooden sticks one uses to get food out of your teeth.
Don't make a scene!
What you tell someone whose behavior
is becoming too loud or excited.
Stop acting like a fucking retard!
A crude insult for stupid, or someone who is mentally retarded.
What the fuck is this?
A cruder version of "the hell" that
can be added to any "Wh question."
Are you fucking kidding me?
"To kid" somebody is to tease them, or perhaps
just lie to them. Note again how grammatically versatile
"fuck" is, with it being used here as a an adverb.
No problem, whatsoever.
A useful word added to the end of negative sentences
for emphasis, which essentially means "not at all."
He's a voluntary patient. :: That's beside the point.
"That's not relevant to what I am saying."
Let's cut through the bullshit.
A direct and somewhat crude way to say "Let's
get to the precise point we need to talk about."
If you don't want to cut a deal, we
can have a custody battle over him.
"To cut a deal" is to reach an agreement. A "custody battle"
refers to a fight in court over who has the legal right to take
care of a child or disabled person.
My loan is past due.
The official status of loan if it has not been paid in time.
Remember, the Buick is in the A-3 main terminal.
A building at the end of a transportation line,
such as at an airport or railroad station.
After a trip to the Cincinnati airport, the
Babbitt brothers decide to drive rather than fly.
Everybody is boarding. Let's go.
"To board" is the verb you use when you're about to get on a plane.
A more official word for "deaths."
I don't have time for this shit.
Crude and common. Note how "shit" can refer
to a general situation or abstract concept.
American. Continental. United. Delta.
The names of major airlines in the US.
A type of airplane produced by the Lockheed company.
Quantas never crashed.
The national airline of Australia, and clearly an airline
that does not fly between Cincinnati and Los Angeles!
You're killing me, man.
Used here a colloquial verb to say "making life so difficult."
Driving a car on the interstate is dangerous.
The interstate highways that cross the country.
Come on Ray, Give me five!
What you say to a person you want to congratulate for having accomplished something. After saying this, you put out your hand to slap the hand of the other person. An American ritual, which is especially common at various ball games.
This guy's a fucking fruitcake.
A somewhat insulting but funny word that refers
to a strange person, or more colloquially, a "weirdo."
"What's the guy's name? Who's on first?"
Questions that are taken directly from the
Abbott and Costello comedy routine about baseball.
I have got to make up some time.
Here, meaning "to get back" (the time that was wasted).
My business is going down the fucking toilet, and were
in bumblefuck Missouri at the Honeymoon Heaven Hotel.
If something is "going down the toilet," it is failing or dying.
"Bumblefuck" is a variant of "Bumfuck," which is a very crude
generic name for any small town in the middle of nowhere.
This mystifies me.
"To mystify" is a great little verb meaning to confuse or fascinate.
Could I get an extension of that loan?
It would make a world of difference.
A cliché which means what it says:
This would change everything.
Wednesday is fish sticks and green lime jello.
Two types of horrible food served in places like schools and mental hospitals. "Jello" is a desert made of water, sugar and food coloring.
What is a sonnet?
A sonnet is a type of (Shakespearean) poem. Note that on Jeopardy, every answer is said in the form of a question.
Legally, Bruner never established
a conservatorship of Raymond?
An official term for legal custody, or possession, of a person.
You set up a date for the custody hearing.
A legal proceeding in front of a judge to
determine who should get custody of a person.
A 1957 Studebaker. 0-60 in under 8 seconds.
A classic sport car. The second sentence
refers to how fast the car can accelerate.
Never touch the steering wheel while I'm driving.
The part of the car that allows you to turn.
These aren't boxer shorts.
A type of men's underwear (the other type are called "briefs").
I got them at the K-mart in Cincinnati.
A well known department store that sells cheap goods.
You don't fool me with this shit for a second.
"I know what you are really thinking."
Cincinnati is a long way off.
Another way to say "far away."
You can't tell me you're not in there, somewhere.
Charlie's way of telling Raymond that he knows there
is more going on in Raymond's brain than he shows.
Charlie continues to learn about his brother the genius,
as Raymond continues to find himself in constant trouble.
Good luck trying to find a shrink in this town.
A "shrink" great slang word for a psychologist.
Note that if you start a sentence with "Good luck doing..."
the speaker is implying that it isn't likely that it can be done.
Hey dip-shit, move it!
An interesting little insult meaning idiot or jerk.
He said, young man, go west!
"Go West, young man" was a famous expression in the
19th century when the American West was being settled.
The mail service in the 19th century that delivered
letters to the Western states from back East.
He's artistic? ::: No autistic. He lives in his own world.
A reasonable way to describe an autistic person.
What he does isn't intended to be annoying.
A good alternative word for irritating or bothersome.
I have just got to deal with this stuff.
Here, Charlie's way of saying "find a solution."
He's very high functioning. Most autistics can't speak.
In this case, with the ability to speak, read and calculate.
It's going to cost you $40,000 just to meet the EPA now.
A reference to the smog emission standards of the EPA.
Forgive me. I lost my secret decoder ring.
A fantasy toy for children and spies. A "decoder"
takes secret code and converts it into plain text.
12 minutes to Wopner.
A reference to Judge Wopner of the TV show
"People's court," in which real people agree to argue
their disputes on the show rather than in a real court.
Ray, you're the $3,000,000 dollar man.
A sarcastic reference to the 1970s TV
show called "The $6,000,000 Man."
Uh oh, fart.
The word for the passing of (intestinal) gas.
How can you stand that?
"How do you live with something so horrible?" If you
"can't stand" something, it means that you hate it.
Act weird and we don't get in.
"Weird" is a great word for strange or odd.
I'm from the A.C. Nielson company.
The company that determines how popular a TV show is by monitoring what a small group of homes watch across the country.
You blew it! You don't get to see your People's Court!
"To blow it" is classic colloquial expression meaning
to do something very badly, or completely fail at it.
They're in their making legal history.
To make any type of history is to be in the process of doing something very important, but note that this expression is usually used sarcastically.
If he doesn't get to see People's Court,
he's going to throw a fit on your porch.
"To throw a fit" is to start screaming and acting like a child.