5.9/10
1,678
15 user 19 critic

The Big Town (1987)

It is 1957. J.C. Cullen is a young man from a small town, with a talent for winning at craps, who leaves for the big city to work as a professional gambler. While there, he breaks the bank ... See full summary »

Directors:

Ben Bolt, Harold Becker (uncredited)

Writers:

Clark Howard (novel), Robert Roy Pool (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Matt Dillon ... J.C. Cullen
Diane Lane ... Lorry Dane
Tommy Lee Jones ... George Cole
Bruce Dern ... Mr. Edwards
Lee Grant ... Ferguson Edwards
Tom Skerritt ... Phil Carpenter
Suzy Amis ... Aggie Donaldson
David Marshall Grant ... Sonny Binkley
Don Francks ... Carl Hooker
Del Close ... Deacon Daniels
Meg Hogarth ... Dorothy Cullen
Cherry Jones ... Ginger McDonald
Alvaro D'Antonio Alvaro D'Antonio ... Prager (as Mark Danton)
David James Elliott ... Cool Guy (as David Elliott)
Steve Yorke Steve Yorke ... Garage Boy
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Storyline

It is 1957. J.C. Cullen is a young man from a small town, with a talent for winning at craps, who leaves for the big city to work as a professional gambler. While there, he breaks the bank at a private craps game at the Gem Club, owned by George Cole, and falls in love with two women, one of them Cole's wife. Infuriated, Cole wagers everything on the craps table, including the Gem Club itself, and he and Cullen have it out. Written by Brian C. Madsen <bcmmovies@earthlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He came to town looking for luck, looking for love . . . If he gets lucky, he'll leave with his life . . . (Video Australia) See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 September 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Arm See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,733,017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was director Ben Bolt's first Hollywood feature, and it was greenlit by newly appointed Columbia chief David Puttnam. Puttnam had worked with Bolt's father, the legendary Oscar winning screenwriter Sir Robert Bolt, on several unmade features. Bolt had been brought in to replace Harold Becker after he had fallen a week behind schedule very early on, and spent an inordinate amount of money on a street set. See more »

Goofs

The sound of dice rolling after Cole announces their total. See more »

Quotes

George Cole: Cullen, you're gonna pay for this!
See more »


Soundtracks

C.C. RIDER
Written by Chuck Willis
Performed by Chuck Willis
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

 
weak stylish gambling movie
15 July 2015 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

It's 1957. Indiana small town kid J.C. Cullen (Matt Dillon) wins the local craps games at the gas station. Hooker sets him up with Ferguson Edwards (Lee Grant) in Chicago. Mr. Edwards (Bruce Dern) is her blind partner. Sonny Binkley takes him around to play. He charms nice girl Aggie Donaldson (Suzy Amis) who has a past with Sonny. He goes to a private game at the Gem Club owned by George Cole (Tommy Lee Jones) where Cole's wife Lorry Dane (Diane Lane) dances. He breaks the bank angering Cole. The next night, Cole sets him up with loaded dice. Then gambler Phil Carpenter (Tom Skerritt) from California comes in.

I've never been a fan of Matt Dillon coming in hard as a cocky young stud lead. He's too pigheaded to like. He's not as charming as he acts. He needs some vulnerability and more introspection. The production style is limited and the directing style is craps. There are some interesting actors but the story lacks sustained life. It has sections where the story is compelling. J.C.'s gambling with Cole over the two nights has good tension but it doesn't keep it going. It gets tied down with a messy story and an unlikeable Dillon. The movie could be good if it simplified to just them and Diane Lane. But I doubt it.


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