Set in New Orleans. Remy McSwain, lieutenant in Homicide finds that he has two problems, the first of a series of gang killings and Ann Osborne, a beautiful attorney from the D.A.'s police ... See full summary »




On Disc

at Amazon

4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

D.O.A. (1988)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Dexter Cornell, an English Professor becomes embroiled in a series of murders involving people around him. Dexter has good reason to want to find the murderer but hasn't much time. He finds... See full summary »

Directors: Annabel Jankel, Rocky Morton
Stars: Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan, Charlotte Rampling
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The life and career of wildly controversial rock 'n' roll star Jerry Lee Lewis.

Director: Jim McBride
Stars: Dennis Quaid, Winona Ryder, John Doe
Suspect (1987)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A judge commits suicide, and his secretary is found murdered. A homeless deaf-mute man, Carl Anderson is arrested for her murder. Public defender Kathleen is assigned by the court as his ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Yates
Stars: Cher, Dennis Quaid, Liam Neeson
Sea of Love (1989)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A detective investigating a series of murders becomes involved with a woman who may be the culprit.

Director: Harold Becker
Stars: Al Pacino, Ellen Barkin, John Goodman
The Big Easy (1996–1997)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A handsome New Orleans detective and a sexy district attorney heat things up in New Orleans, The Big Easy, as the two investigate crimes in a beleaguered police department.

Stars: Tony Crane, Barry Corbin, Eric George
Innerspace (1987)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A hapless store clerk must foil criminals to save the life of the man who, miniaturized in a secret experiment, was accidentally injected into him.

Director: Joe Dante
Stars: Dennis Quaid, Martin Short, Meg Ryan
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Some thirty years after Arlis witnesses his father murdering a family, he runs into Kay, who happens to be the family's baby who was spared. Kay and Arlis suspect nothing about each other, ... See full summary »

Director: Steve Kloves
Stars: Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan, James Caan
Switch (1991)
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Steve Brooks is a sexist and the prototype macho. Unfortunately one day he is killed by one of his girlfriends. In heaven, though, there is no place for men like him and he is sent back to ... See full summary »

Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: Ellen Barkin, Jimmy Smits, JoBeth Williams
Drama | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A Louisiana football legend struggles to deal with life's complexities after his college career is over.

Director: Taylor Hackford
Stars: Jessica Lange, Dennis Quaid, Timothy Hutton
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An emotionally distant writer of travel guides must carry on with his life after his son is killed and his marriage crumbles.

Director: Lawrence Kasdan
Stars: William Hurt, Kathleen Turner, Geena Davis
Dreamscape (1984)
Adventure | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A young psychic on the run from himself is recruited by a government agency experimenting with the use of the dream-sharing technology and is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of the US president.

Director: Joseph Ruben
Stars: Dennis Quaid, Max von Sydow, Christopher Plummer
Enemy Mine (1985)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A soldier from Earth crash-lands on an alien world after sustaining battle damage. Eventually he encounters another survivor, but from the enemy species he was fighting; they band together ... See full summary »

Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Stars: Dennis Quaid, Louis Gossett Jr., Brion James


Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Kellom
Det. Andre DeSoto
Ed Dodge
Bobby McSwain
Charles Ludlam ...
Lamar Parmentel
Vinnie 'The Cannon' DiMotti
Daddy Mention
Chef Paul
Jim Chimento ...
Freddie Angelo
Patrolman (as Edward St. Pe)
Robert Lesser ...
'Silky' Foster


Set in New Orleans. Remy McSwain, lieutenant in Homicide finds that he has two problems, the first of a series of gang killings and Ann Osborne, a beautiful attorney from the D.A.'s police corruption task force in his office. He begins a relationship with her as the killings continue only to have charges filed against him for accepting bribes as he stumbles on a police corruption Sting. While this is happening, the criminals insist that none of the crime gangs are behind the killings. Written by John Vogel <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Between them lies the fate of the state of New Orleans See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

28 August 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nothing But The Truth  »

Box Office


$17,685,307 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The production company was aided greatly in its ability to film in and around New Orleans by the state's Film Commission. Shortly after this film (which is about political corruption) premiered, several members of the Film Commission were indicted in a kickback scandal. See more »


Both times - on different days - when Ann and Remy are talking on the phone, it is either sunset or sunrise outside her office, but it's cloudy, say mid-day, outside Remy's office See more »


Lamar Parmentel: New Orleans is a marvelous environment for coincidence.
See more »


Followed by The Big Easy (1996) See more »


Performed by Dewey Balfa
Composed by Nathan Abshire
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

One of the first dirty cops films
1 April 2006 | by (Van Buren, Arkansas) – See all my reviews

There have always been dirty cops in movies, but they were the exception rather than the rule. Generally, police were portrayed in a favorable light as dedicated enforcers of the law. There have always been funny cops beginning with the famous Keystone Cops of the silent years. In the 1930's the police were often pictured as comical; in the 1940's and 1950's sometimes as brutes using force to elicit confessions from the accused. In a few films of the hippie era, cops were painted as pigs. Today dirty cops are standard movie fare, a sign of our cynical era. The talented actor, David Morse, has made a good living playing dirty cops. "The Big Easy" was one of the first, if not the first, to picture dirty cops as omnipresent. Even the one good cop has dirty hands.

The setting is New Orleans before the danger waters nearly destroyed the heart and soul of the Big Easy. This film, thanks to the input both on and off the screen by Dennis Quaid, captures the essence of the culture of the quaint jewel of the Mississippi, especially the Cajun ingredient. Quaid plays a New Orleans policeman, Det. Remy McSwain, who is in the midst of investigating the murder of a wise guy. Quaid, on the other hand, is himself a target of investigation by internal affairs headed by an outsider Anne Osborne (Ellen Barkin). The two develop a love-hate type relationship in and out of the boudoir. The script is well-written, filled with twists and maneuvers that lead viewers on a merry chase.

There is a load of humor providing a respite from all the murder, mayhem, and back-stabbing going on. One funny scene has Anne Osborne mistaking Remy McSwain's brother for Remy and going for his balls. Another scene has the marvelous John Goodman as Det. Andre DeSoto emptying his pockets of weapons. He plunks down guns of various shapes and sizes, a pair of brass knuckles, a knife or two, and a billy club. He remarks nonchalantly, "And if that don't work, I'll p*ss on 'em." A few of the jokes would be considered politically incorrect in today's Hollywood. After one particularly brutal set of killings involving an explosion and accompanying fire that leaves a mentally challenged man dead, Remy confides to his partner, McCabe (Lisa Jane Persky), "Now they're killing retards." She replies dryly, "Then why aren't you dead?"

The soundtrack for "The Big Easy" is precious. It contains some of the best Cajun music ever recorded. Professor Longhair, Aaron Neville, The Dixie Cups' "Iko Iko (Jock-A-Mo)," an updated version of the legendary Cajun fiddler Harry Choates' "Jole Blon," and one selection written by Dennis Quaid are just a few of the glorious selections included in the film and on the CD.

Add to this fine acting by a grand cast including a standout performance by Ned Beatty as Jack Kellom, a career officer getting ready for retirement and marriage to Remy's mother. Remy's father used to be Jack's partner. R & B artist Solomon Burke makes the most of his small part as wise guy Daddy Mention, who believes in putting the "Dad" in "Daddy." Note Jim Garrison, infamous New Orleans attorney who publicized one of the major conspiracy theories involving the Kennedy assassination, as the judge. He was later portrayed by Kevin Costner in "JFK." Watch also for veteran actor Marc Lawrence as mob boss Vinnie 'The Cannon' DiMotti in a small yet significant part near the beginning of the movie.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Louisiana dialect dalpeltier9702
Sexiest clothed love scene in the history of film aveen1
missing hospital scene liz69
Gabriel Knight mothboy88
Edited scenes cottersa
Favorite scene? everbrazil
Discuss The Big Easy (1986) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: