Screening Room

MIPCOM Picks: BEST IN SHOW: The Rainman Twins

In 1988, Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise played an unlikely but lovable duo in the surprise hit Rain Man. Hoffman was magnetic as Raymond Babbitt, an autistic savant with a peculiar bent for Judge Wapner. But there is a real-life pair of 'rain women' who are as dramatic and fascinating as anything Hollywood could imagine. Flo and Kay Lyman are the only identical twin autistic savant sisters known to exist.
October 6, 2008


In 1988, Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise played an unlikely but lovable duo in the surprise hit Rain Man. Hoffman was magnetic as Raymond Babbitt, an autistic savant with a peculiar bent for Judge Wapner.
But there is a real-life pair of ‘rain women’ who are as dramatic and fascinating as anything Hollywood could imagine. Flo and Kay Lyman are the only identical twin autistic savant sisters known to exist. Now over 50 years old, they have committed a lifetime of experience to memory – every fact they’ve come across, every piece of trivia. They can immediately recall the weather on any day of their lives. But, unlike Hoffman’s character, their obsession is with The $100,000 Pyramid and host Dick Clark.
The Rainman Twins leans towards the traditional observational doc. It’s not a complex film, but the two central characters make it absolutely compelling. Sitting down to watch this film, it’s likely most viewers will anticipate Hoffman’s Babbitt, but within a few minutes, the film wins them over and the viewer gets pulled into these characters’ simplistic, yet incredibly complex lives.
As the producers so accurately note: ‘You’ll never forget them… and they’ll never forget you.’ Partners: Somethin’ Else (London) for FIVE, distributed by Electric Sky (Brighton)
Wrapped: July 2008, and aired on FIVE in July 2008
Length: 60 minutes
Rights available: All worldwide, excluding North America, UK and Ireland

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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