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Big Night (1996)

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New Jersey, 1950s. Two brothers run an Italian restaurant. Business is not going well as a rival Italian restaurant is out-competing them. In a final effort to save the restaurant, the brothers plan to put on an evening of incredible food.
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4,337 ( 620)
9 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marc Anthony ... Cristiano
Tony Shalhoub ... Primo
Stanley Tucci ... Secondo
Larry Block Larry Block ... Man in Restaurant
Caroline Aaron ... Woman in Restaurant
Andre Belgrader Andre Belgrader ... Stash (as Andrei Belgrader)
Minnie Driver ... Phyllis
Peter McRobbie ... Loan Officer
Isabella Rossellini ... Gabriella
Liev Schreiber ... Leo
Pasquale Cajano ... Alberto N. Pisani
Christine Tucci ... Woman Singer
Gene Canfield ... Charlie
Ian Holm ... Pascal
Allison Janney ... Ann
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Storyline

Primo and Secondo are two brothers who have emigrated from Italy to open an Italian restaurant in America. Primo is the irascible and gifted chef, brilliant in his culinary genius, but determined not to squander his talent on making the routine dishes that customers expect. Secondo is the smooth front-man, trying to keep the restaurant financially afloat, despite few patrons other than a poor artist who pays with his paintings. The owner of the nearby Pascal's restaurant, enormously successful (despite its mediocre fare), offers a solution, he will call his friend, a big-time jazz musician, to play a special benefit at their restaurant. Primo begins to prepare his masterpiece, a feast of a lifetime, for the brothers' big night. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In love and life, one big night can change everything.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

20 September 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Big Night See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,100,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$185,942, 22 September 1996, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$11,881,039, 21 February 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Mary-Louise Parker was originally cast as Phyillis. See more »

Goofs

When Ann arrives at the restaurant and is standing at the bar, she is wearing black heels. Then, as she walks over to look at the paintings with Primo, she is wearing flat white shoes. When she later dances with Primo, she is wearing black heels again. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Primo: [offers a taste asking opinion in Italian]
Secondo: What?
Primo: More Salt?
Secondo: No.
[continues chopping]
Primo: Not too fine, eh? Sometimes you cut it too fine, then all you taste is the garlic!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Sam Rockwell/Halsey (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Il Pescivendolo
Written and Performed by Matteo Salvatore
See more »

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User Reviews

 
big hit
30 June 1999 | by rupieSee all my reviews

This is an excellent little movie which looks like it's about food but is actually about the search for success, the striving for excellence in a crass and uncaring world, and brotherly devotion. Two Italian brothers run a little restaurant serving superb food as a labor of love, but it's failing, in contrast to the wildly successful spaghetti emporium down the street with execrable food but which is raking in the big bucks. The story line - set in the late 50's U.S.A. - is paper thin, but the movie is populated with interesting, likable people and the tale is lovingly told with an excellent script and superb acting all around, especially from the two brothers and from Ian Holm, the British actor, who does an unexpectedly great job as the owner of the red sauce place (Ian Holm playing an Italian? Yes, stunningly). Caring seriously about food does help one to appreciate this flick; I have never seen the preparation and serving of food presented so beautifully and lovingly in a movie. The final, wordless scene, in which a simple omelette is prepared and the brothers express their reconciliation, is, for me, one of the most eloquently poetic codas I have ever seen. This is a warm-hearted movie with a great deal of humor that rates an A+.


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