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Big Bully (1996)

1:41 | Trailer
A writer returns to his hometown where he faces the childhood nemesis whose life he ultimately ruined, only the bully wants to relive their painful past by torturing him once again.


Steve Miner
3 wins. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Rick Moranis ... David Leary
Tom Arnold ... Rosco Bigger - Fang
Julianne Phillips ... Victoria
Carol Kane ... Faith
Jeffrey Tambor ... Art
Curtis Armstrong ... Clark
Faith Prince ... Betty
Tony Pierce Tony Pierce ... Ulf
Don Knotts ... Principal Kokelar
Blake Bashoff ... Ben
Cody McMains ... Kirby
Harry Waters Jr. ... Alan
Stuart Pankin ... Gerry
Justin Jon Ross ... Young David
Michael Zwiener Michael Zwiener ... Young Fang


David Leary was bullied by Rosco when he was in elementary school. But he got even on the day his parents moved out of town. Now twenty years later, David, who is a successful writer, is invited back to his home town to teach. Everything is great until Rosco, who is still in town, recognizes him. Now suddenly someone is playing mean practical jokes on him. Isn't David a little too old to be running to the Principal saying "Rosco's picking on me." ? Written by Brian W Martz <B.Martz@Genie.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A comedy for the kid in all of us.


Comedy | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mean-spirited pranks, some crude humor and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

26 January 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Big Bully See more »


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,131,094, 28 January 1996

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Alphacine)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The librarian says that "Green Eggs And Ham" is 8862 days late, which is roughly 24 years and is more accurate than when David tells Victoria that he owes $6886.10 at 5¢ a day; that would be 137722 days or 377 years. He actually owes $443.10 at 5¢ a day (at that time). See more »


Kirby puts drops in his ear during class. There are four shots of him at his desk. In one of them, the bright green pen is missing from his desk. See more »


Kirby: Holy cow!
Ben: Holy shit!
See more »


References The Omen (1976) See more »


Hangin' On
Performed by Rich McCready
Written by Brian Dean Maher, Rich McCready, Kevin Hurley, David Ingram
Courtesy of Magnatone Records, Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

This is a terrible movie, although I won't be a "bully" about it...
4 February 2004 | by MovieAddict2016See all my reviews

Rick Moranis has always been a very funny guy. He was the meek nerd doing his best young Woody Allen impersonation in "Little Shop of Horrors" (1986), and he was absolutely perfect as Barney in "My Blue Heaven," which was--at the time--his fourth pairing with Steve Martin. (They ended up making four films together.)

Tom Arnold has never been particularly funny. He showed some signs of talent in "True Lies" (1994), but everything after that just went downhill. Here's a guy who has appeared in some of the worst films and television shows of the last decade, including "McHale's Navy" (1997) and "The Stupids." In fact, I went to the theater to see "McHale's Navy" upon its release and felt like vomiting from the first five minutes into it.

"Big Bully" is Rick Moranis' worst film and one of Tom Arnold's best, if that's saying anything.

I'll admit that the beginning of "Big Bully" was quite funny. There are many laugh-out-loud segments. But, unfortunately, they are drowned out by an over-the-top and truly awful, ridiculous ending, in which a man's old bully from school goes after him again with weapons from a wood-carving class. (Be careful, your kids may never want to go back to school again.)

Rick Moranis is the man who is attacked. His name is David, and the film opens with a younger version of himself being chased down a street and up against a metal gate by a chubby fellow his own age. We assume that he is beaten to a pulp, but before we see anything, it all fades away.

Years later, David has a son of his own, and has since moved out into the big city. But he's tired of the city life, and after his wife leaves him, David decides to move back to his home town, along with his son. They arrive, he finds out he has hundreds of dollars due on a Dr. Seuss book he got out from the library years ago (funny segment there), and he moves into his new home. David soon teaches school, where he finds out that an old bully of his, "Fang" (Tom Arnold), is teaching carving.

David gets scared, runs away from Big Bully (who seems to be nice now, and truly wants a friendship with the man) throughout the film, until, in a scary moment, he realizes "Fang" really is still a psycho, and the two men battle it out in the school, in ridiculous, childish gags and moments.

Alas, that's all the film is comprised of, with scattered--and very predictable--ideas involving romantic interests and such cliches. It's too bad--this was a decent premise to begin with.

"Big Bully" literally massacred Rick Moranis' career, and since then he has appeared in only a few "real" films--unless you count straight-to-video animated and live-action Disney-esque films real movies.

This is just hideous, a film to rival the bad qualities of "McHale's Navy" and "The Stupids." The movie is tolerable in an annoying sort of way until the climactic finale, which is so out of control and awful that it really just makes you want to throw up.

This is one bad movie. I can't imagine a worse result stemming from such a poor comedian mixed with such a great one. Rick Moranis should sue, and Tom Arnold should die. But that's just my opinion. I'm not going to be a bully about it, or anything.

0.5/5 stars.

  • John Ulmer

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