Following the death of his father, suburbanite Obie runs away from home and winds up on Chicago's South Side. After being mugged, he befriends con artist Scam. The two then embark on a Down... See full summary »




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ricky Busker ...
Johnnie Red
Bill Hudson ...
Uncle Harry
Andrea Bebel ...
Hutton Cobb ...
Bible Salesman (segment "Kid")
Miss Hanks
Mrs. Newton
Mitch Beasley ...
Duane Henderson


Following the death of his father, suburbanite Obie runs away from home and winds up on Chicago's South Side. After being mugged, he befriends con artist Scam. The two then embark on a Down South adventure involving gangsters, the police, and a search for Scam's father. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They stole a Mercedes with a body in the trunk. See more »


PG-13 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

2 October 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amigos para siempre  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$3,390,043 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The script was bought by Lorimar for $1.25m, which was a record for a spec script at the time. See more »


Scam: So, what's your name?
Obie: Obie. Obediah. It's in the bible. What's yours?
Scam: Scam. It's in the bible too.
See more »


Referenced in Tropic Thunder (2008) See more »


Freedom Overspill
Written by Steve Winwood (as Stevie Winwood), George Fleming and James Hooker
Performed by Steve Winwood (as Stevie Winwood)
Courtesy of Island Records
See more »

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User Reviews

12 year-olds save the day! Cool stuff!
24 July 2004 | by (Orlando, Florida) – See all my reviews

For some reason, 'Big Shots' has struck upon some sort of revival, as this seems to be the topic of many inquiries on the messageboards. I remember watching this film as a kid, and again when I rescued it from the video stores a few years ago. I loved it and still love it now, despite some of the innocuous family elements because it allowed the young characters (12 year-olds on the run) to have more independence and recognition that family films sometimes do.

Ricky Busker and Darius McCrary are the main characters of the story. You'll probably recognize little Darius right away, as he later enjoyed a pretty long run older brother 'Eddie' on the old ABC tv series, 'Family Matters.'

Obie (Busker) is broken hearted over the loss of his father, and takes off, kind of running away from his problems. Leaving his Illinois suburbs, he gets himself lost Chicago's South Side, where he befriends a runaway and professional con named Scam (Darius). Together, they embark on a wild adventure and get themselves in quite some trouble when they inadvertently get wind of some gangsters who go out of their way to eliminate the two "loose ends." With the help of Scam's knowledge of the streets, Obie's optimism, and a slick fellow named Johnny Red (the wonderful, late Paul Winfield), they can take care of themselves.

There's a subplot to the boy's adventures involving father's and families. Obie's father died, someone who he was extremely close to. He comes from a decent, upper middle-class home in the safe surroundings of the white Illinois suburbs. Obie's more structered, asking about religion and things like that.

Contrast this with his pal Scam, who grew up fatherless and presumeably, family-less, in the run down streets of Chicago's South Side. Scam operates under a different structure, a different set of rules, doing what he has to in order to stay alive. And in the end, Obie agrees to help Scam look for his father, as a sort of way of connecting Scam to his father in a way he can not with his own.

I loved this movie as a kid. The kids weren't annoying or excessively whining or sentimental (though Obie could sometimes manifest these qualities in the beginning). They were aware of things, of their families, their lifestyles, their surroundings. And they weren't afraid of things, despite being faced with some pretty relentless gangsters. They were cool kids!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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