Down and Out in Beverly Hills
is an updated remake of the 1932 Jean Renoir film Boudu Saved From Drowning
. Philandering businessman Dave Whiteman (Richard Dreyfuss) rescues scraggly tramp Jerry Baskin (Nick Nolte) from drowning himself in Dave's swimming pool. Much against his will, Jerry is invited to enjoy the hospitality of Dave, his social-climbing wife, Barbara (Bette Midler), and their sexually ambivalent son, Max (Evan Richards). The hapless hobo bonds only with the family dog, Matisse, which fascinates Barbara to the point that she's willing to share her bed (and a few other things) with him. Dave is twice cuckolded when Jerry makes out with the maid (Elizabeth Peña), with whom he has been carrying on a torrid -- and noisy -- affair. He plans to wreak revenge on the tramp, but several plot twists result in Dave and Jerry becoming bosom companions. Little Richard
appears as the family's easily irritated next-door neighbor. Down and Out in Beverly Hills
was the R-rated film that compelled Disney to create its adult-oriented Touchstone Films division. The property was later cleaned up for TV consumption and converted into a short-lived Fox-network sitcom.