Rubin and Ed (1991)

Crispin Glover, Howard Hesseman, Karen Black, Michael Greene,
Rubin and Ed is a movie starring Crispin Glover, Howard Hesseman, and Karen Black. An unsuccessful, nervous businessman gradually comes to befriend an eccentric, asocial nerd on a trip to Utah to bury a deceased cat.
  • 7.0 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Writer:
  • Trent Harris, Director:
  • Paul Webster, Producer:

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8 / 10

Quirky, weird, and utterly delightful

This movie is a story of two failures who get thrown into each other's worlds for one of the most bizarre journeys ever captured on film. As an avid lover of truly weird films, I find Rubin and Ed to be an irresistible comedy.

Crispin Glover is, as always, wonderful. He portrays Rubin, a social outcast and complete shut-in who's forced to go out into the world to prove to his mother that he is making friends, so she'll give him back his stereo.

He comes across Ed (Hessman), who is a "fraud failure" trying his hand as a member of "the organization," which is portrayed as some sort of real estate cult. The two wind up traveling into the Utah West Desert to bury Rubin's recently murdered cat, and come to hate each other entirely as they become the most unlikely pair of friends.

This movie is not for everyone, and indeed it is not easy to find even in Utah (where it is set, and from whence director Trent Harris hails). Rubin and Ed is a remarkably strange and offbeat film. It's the epitome of a cult classic, and as such will inevitably leave you thinking, "huh?" However, if you're tired of Hollywood's sanitized story lines and obvious repetition, I highly recommend trying to find a copy of this movie.

10 / 10

Superb Display of Acting

I presume this film to have been a "work of love" for Crispin Glover and Howard Hessman - two actors reveling in their trade just for the fun of it and for the personal challenge. The result is both hilarious (I don't use that word lightly) and gratifying, as the two never let us down, but sustain their wonderful best to the end. The budget must have been super-lean, yet the work is crafted to fit within it, resulting in a piece of comic theater that should even provide the two actors themselves with nostalgic sidesplits in years to come.

This film brought to my mind visions of "Rozmarné Léto" (Capricious Summer, by Jiri Menzel) for its humanist humor, and, less obviously, Ataque Verbal, by Albaladejo and crew, for its acting virtuosity - though by Albaladejo, I would sooner recommend Cielo Abierto to anyone unfamiliar with his work.

At first viewing, though I felt the acting good, I considered it narrow in scope. On second viewing, the depth of the characters' problems struck me: one a virtual agoraphobic recluse with little future ahead, the other a whimsical business misfit whose wife's left him. Neither has a clear view of how to escape his predicament, but both see through - or have no choice but to wrestle with - much of the phoneyness of Americana materialism and mercenary dreams.

I just wish this film were more available - and on DVD - I'd like to buy several copies to send to friends.

8 / 10

For those with a strange sense of humor

Rubin & Ed is an odd movie. It's a funny movie. There are one-liners in this flick that my friends and I still use to this day ("How do we make money!?" "Work?" "NO!!! REAL ESTATE!!!"). Is it a movie for everyone? Definitely not.

For starters, it's not a movie that many people would call "good" or "funny". You have to have a specific sense of humor to find this movie entertaining. I can easily see how some would think this movie was terrible, or at the very least bewildering.

In the end, this is nothing more than a "buddy movie". The only reason it works (for some) is the interplay between Rubin (Glover) and Ed (Hesseman). Rubin is, quite simply, a complete odd-ball. Ed is the quintessential middle-aged dork trying desperately to be something more than he really is.

The plot, if you could call it that, centers around Rubin attempting to find a suitable place to bury his dead cat, and Ed's pathetic attempts to win his ex-wife back (sort of). All of this is strung together with the strange conversations and "adventures" the two manage to get in.

In closing, if you're a person who enjoys "odd-ball" comedies, this movie is definitely worth a viewing.

I gave it 8/10

7 / 10


I first saw this movie with friends 5 or six years ago, and to this day the images are as crystal clear as they were that first viewing (and I have watched this movie many, many times since). The premise is wacky, but if that's what you're looking for (unadulterated enjoyment) definitely check this baby out. As another member commented, the lines are quotable, we constantly interjected "My cat can eat a whole watermelon" and, "rub it in your hair and stick it up your butt" into everyday converstaion...every line is a winner!! Crispin Glover and Howard Hessman were perfect for this movie, they could not have cast it better! I highly, highly recommend this movie!!

10 / 10

Doesn't suck a big one

As a studier of the human mind, no movie has shown such truth as Rubin and Ed. This film is an eye-opener to the comedic tragedy of human nature, as well as a sign of hope for the seemingly hopeless. Rubin and Ed are classic characters, who surprisingly find help from each other when no one else can help them. This is the movie to see for anyone who wants to laugh, be moved, or be truly enlightened. Definitely weird, absolutely original, positively funny.