Rain Man

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Details At A Glance

Category Drama Theatrical Trailer(s) Yes, 1
Rating Other Trailer(s) None
Year Released 1988 Commentary Tracks None
Running Time
127:59 minutes
(not 133 as per packaging)
Other Extras Booklet
RSDL/Flipper RSDL (80:03)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 4 Director Barry Levinson

Warner Brothers
Starring Dustin Hoffman
Tom Cruise
Valeria Golino
RRP $34.95 Music Hans Zimmer

Pan & Scan/Full Frame None MPEG None
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Dolby Digital 5.1
16x9 Enhancement Yes Soundtrack Languages English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
Macrovision ? Smoking Yes 
Subtitles English
English for the Hard of Hearing
Annoying Product Placement Yes 

Plot Synopsis

    Rain Man is a classic drama starring Tom Cruise as Charlie Babbitt, a selfish, arrogant wheeler and dealer who learns of his estranged father's death, and his essential disinheritance from his father's will. A mysterious trust fund has been set up - Charlie Babbitt investigates and in the process finds an autistic brother whom he didn't know he had, Raymond (Dustin Hoffman).

    Charlie is annoyed with this turn of events, so he decides to kidnap Raymond and attempt to gain his share of his father's three million dollar inheritance. This is basically the starting point of the movie, which is all about the development of the relationship between Charlie and Raymond, with supporting roles played by Valeria Golino (Susanna, Charlie's girlfriend) and Jerry Molen (Dr Bruner, the trustee and head of the institution in which Raymond resides).

    This movie hinges on two magnificent performances by Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman, and succeeds magnificently. It is enthralling and moving.

Transfer Quality


    This movie was made in 1988. MGM have given this movie the treatment that it deserves, and the transfer is stunning for a movie of this age.

    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and is 16x9 enhanced. The DVD cover indicates incorrectly that this is a 4:3 transfer rather than a 16:9 transfer.

    The transfer was very sharp and very clear. Even though it is not up to the standards of current transfers, it isn't far behind. Shadow detail was generally very good, with only minor exceptions. No low level noise was apparent.

    The colours were beautifully rendered with vivid greens and reds at times, and stark colouration at other times.

    No MPEG artefacts were seen. Film-to-video artefacts were non-existent. Film artefacts were the only slight giveaway that this movie is 10 years old, and even these were quite non-intrusive.

    This disc is an RSDL disc, with the layer change placed between Chapters 23 and 24, at 80:03. The layer change occurs during a fade to black in the original source material, and is almost unnoticeable.


    There is one audio track on this DVD, English Dolby Digital 5.1.

    Dialogue was always very clear and easy to understand.

    There were no audio sync problems at all with this disc.

    The music by Hans Zimmer is subtle and well-suited to the movie. At times, it does sound a little dated, however.

     The surround channels were used lightly for music. Very occasional sound effects found their way into the rear channels, but basically they were music only. Overall, this was a front soundstage mix, with dialogue predominately in the centre channel and music predominantly in the left & right front channels.

    The .1 channel had a small amount of use for music.


    There are limited extras on this disc.

What's Missing / What's Extra

    Compared with the Region 1 version of this disc, we miss out on;


    The menu design is very plain, but straightforward to navigate. It is 16x9 enhanced.

Theatrical Trailer

    This is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced with Dolby Digital 2.0, mono-sounding sound.


    An 8 page booklet discusses production issues and is worth the reading time.


    Rain Man is a superb movie.

    The video quality is exceptionally good considering the age of the movie.

    The audio quality is of good quality.

    The extras present are limited.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Michael Demtschyna
14th July 1999

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-505, using S-Video output
Display Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 16:9 mode, via the S-Video input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Amplification 2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer
Speakers Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Yamaha B100-115SE subwoofer