“Drop a box of matches”

RORY: You know, Paris, while yes, a little intense, is also very smart.
FRANCIE: So I drop a box of matches on the floor, she can tell me how many there are?

Francie refers to the 1988 drama film Rain Man, directed by Barry Levinson and starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. It’s about a selfish, unscrupulous dealer named Charlie who discovers he has a brother Raymond who is an autistic savant. Charlie removes Raymond from the institution where he has lived most of his life, and they travel across country together.

In one scene of the film, a waitress accidentally spills a packet of toothpicks on the floor, and Raymond instantly calculates that there are 246 toothpicks.

The character of Raymond was partially based on Kim Peek, a real life savant, and partly on Bill Sackter, a man with intellectual disabilities who was a friend of one of the screenwriters. In real life, neither of them were able to perform this feat, although some savants can.

Rain Man was a critical and commercial success, becoming the #1 film of 1988, and won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (for Hoffman), and Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards. As of this moment, it was the last drama that both topped the box office and won the Oscar for Best Picture.

One thought on ““Drop a box of matches”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.