15 user 18 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 »


, (uncredited)


(novel), (screenplay)

On Disc

at Amazon


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Lady Beware (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Young and good looking Katya, a window dresser for a big department store in Pittsburgh, begins a love story with a journalist, Mac Odell. She is however stalked by Jack, a married man who ... See full summary »

Director: Karen Arthur
Stars: Diane Lane, Michael Woods, Cotter Smith
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

A rock-star who stopped singing after the death of his brother finds a female genie in a vase. She tries to help him live again.

Director: Charles Finch
Stars: Christopher Lambert, Diane Lane, Francesco Quinn
Stormy Monday (1988)
Crime | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A crooked American businessman tries to push the shady influential owner of a nightclub in Newcastle, England to sell him the club. The club's new employee and the American's ex lover fall in love and inadvertently stir the pot.

Director: Mike Figgis
Stars: Melanie Griffith, Tommy Lee Jones, Sting
The Betsy (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

The aging, retired founder of an auto giant comes out of retirement to try to develop a safe, fuel-efficient car.

Director: Daniel Petrie
Stars: Laurence Olivier, Robert Duvall, Katharine Ross
Wild Bill (1995)
Action | Biography | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The early career of legendary lawman Wild Bill Hickock is telescoped and culminates in his relocation in Deadwood and a reunion with Calamity Jane.

Director: Walter Hill
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Ellen Barkin, John Hurt
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A determined student murders his pregnant secret girlfriend and moves onto her twin sister who gradually becomes suspicious of her new lover.

Director: James Dearden
Stars: Matt Dillon, Sean Young, James Bonfanti
The Park Is Mine (TV Movie 1985)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A vietnam vet (Tommy Lee Jones) takes forceful control of Central Park to remember those who served and died in the Vietnam War.

Director: Steven Hilliard Stern
Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Helen Shaver, Yaphet Kotto
Rakuyô (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A Japanese soldier is forced to question alliances when he meets and falls in love with the leader of the rebel movement.

Director: Rou Tomono
Stars: Masaya Katô, Diane Lane, Biao Yuen
Rebel (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

This drama is set in World War II Australia, where an American Marine, Rebel is recuperating from wounds suffered in battle. He is weary of war and is intent on going AWOL and escaping from... See full summary »

Director: Michael Jenkins
Stars: Matt Dillon, Debra Byrne, Bryan Brown
The Executioner's Song (TV Movie 1982)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The story of Gary Gilmore, a convicted murderer who lobbied for his own execution.

Director: Lawrence Schiller
Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Christine Lahti, Rosanna Arquette
Vital Signs (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

This movie follows the lives of medical students who are in their third year, which is the time that they have to decide what they intend to specialize in. At the center is Michael Chatham ... See full summary »

Director: Marisa Silver
Stars: Adrian Pasdar, Diane Lane, Jack Gwaltney
The Package (1989)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Experienced Green Beret sergeant Johnny Gallagher is escorting a prisoner, Airborne Ranger Thomas Boyette, back to the US, but Boyette escapes and Gallagher must risk life and limb to catch him.

Director: Andrew Davis
Stars: Gene Hackman, Tommy Lee Jones, Joanna Cassidy


Cast overview, first billed only:
Mr. Edwards
Ferguson Edwards
Phil Carpenter
Sonny Binkley
Carl Hooker
Del Close ...
Deacon Daniels
Dorothy Cullen
Ginger McDonald
Alvaro D'Antonio ...
Prager (as Mark Danton)
Cool Guy (as David Elliott)
Steve Yorke ...
Garage Boy


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


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


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

25 September 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Arm  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Third collaboration between Matt Dillon and Diane Lane since working on The Outsiders (1983) and Rumble Fish (1983). See more »


Although set in 1957, when J.C. and Aggie get off the street car, there is an '80s model Cadillac in the street behind them, followed by another late-model car. See more »


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


Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Tommy Lee Jones (1993) See more »


Written by Bo Diddley (as Ellis McDaniel)
Performed by Bo Diddley
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

well made but flawed retro-noir
7 November 2010 | by See all my reviews

Matt Dillon plays a hayseed crap shooter with unbeatable luck who, in late 1950s Chicago, joins a Windy City syndicate and falls hard for the femme fatale wife of an unscrupulous gambling boss. Despite some errors in casting this otherwise familiar urban crime story is, at least in presentation, a lot smarter than it may first appear. The relative youth of the two leads is fatally inconsistent with the very grown up crime and passion scenario, but director Ben Bolt wisely underplays the neo-Noir mood by refusing to rely on the trendy smoke-and-strobe-light pyrotechnics so common in modern thrillers. The gritty urban setting is instead recreated in all its cheap romantic glamour, and the script has its arcane gambling slang down pat, but the film is something of an anachronism in today's over-hyped market: a competent (if minor) drama, made thirty years too late.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 15 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

15 Most Bingeable TV Shows

"The IMDb Show" presents the 15 most bingeable TV shows of all time, featuring "Rick and Morty," "The Office," and "Lost."

Watch now