Charlie Babbit (Tom Cruise) is an arrogant hustler who runs a grey market for Lamborghinis. When Charlie’s father dies, Charlie travels from his home in Los Angeles to Cincinnati, Ohio to settle the estate, which is worth millions. He is shocked to learn an unnamed beneficiary will be inheriting three million dollars through an undisclosed trustee, leaving only a car to Charlie.
Charlie finds the money is going to a mental institution to support an older brother he didn’t know existed. His brother, Raymond (Dustin Hoffman), is severely autistic, yet has an astonishing memory and extraordinary mathematical skills – considered a savant by some of his physicians.
Determined to get what he feels is his share of the estate, Charlie takes Raymond from the institution with plans to go back to Los Angeles and talk to lawyers. The two have to make the trip by car, because Raymond is afraid to fly. Through the course of the cross country journey, the audience watches Charlie change and become more protective of his brother. Charlie is shocked into a startling realization about Raymond when an unremarkable incident brings back a long forgotten memory of Raymond with him when Charlie was just a toddler.
Hollywood at Home: Rain Man, Saturday at 9 p.m. on PBS 6.