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Big (1988)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Fantasy  |  3 June 1988 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 143,023 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 193 user | 97 critic | 19 from Metacritic.com

When a boy wishes to be big at a magic wish machine, he wakes up the next morning and finds himself in an adult body.


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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 11 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kimberlee M. Davis ...
Oliver Block ...
Erika Katz ...
Mark Ballou ...
Gary Howard Klar ...
Ticket Taker (as Gary Klar)


A young boy makes a wish at a carnival machine to be big. He wakes up the following morning to find that it has been granted and his body has grown older overnight. But he is still the same 12-year-old boy inside. Now he must learn how to cope with the unfamiliar world of grown-ups including getting a job and having his first romantic encounter with a woman. What will he find out about this strange world? Written by Sami Al-Taher <staher2000@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

wish | job | new york city | toy | friend | See All (97) »


A wonderful new comedy See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

3 June 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Quisiera ser grande  »

Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)


$114,968,774 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (extended edition)

Sound Mix:

| (Todd-AO/Glen Glenn Sound)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Debra Winger was original considered for the Susan Lawrence role but could not take the part because she was pregnant at the time. She recommended Elizabeth Perkins. See more »


The morning after Josh gets "big", he tries to convince his mom that he is really her son. He tells her that his birthday is November 3. Later, we see a milk carton with a "missing" advert on the side about Josh, which says his birthday is 1st January. See more »


Josh: It's a glow-in-the-dark compass ring. So you don't get lost.
See more »


Featured in TV Land Confidential: Movies (2007) See more »


Moonlight Serenade
Written by Glenn Miller
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

This movie captures the innocence of youth beautifully
12 August 2002 | by (Milton Keynes, England) – See all my reviews

I saw this film again yesterday for what must now be the tenth or so time and it's a film that makes me stop whatever I'm doing and immerse myself in the unfolding story. Never mind the fact that I am by now familiar with the premise, which incidentally far exceeds similar ones of the genre released at this time - Vice Versa and 18 Again (the latter being truly dire).

I think this is one of Hanks' finest hours and see it as the pinnacle of his early pre-90's career. His later performance in Philadelphia would eclipse this role, although this was obviously more serious in its message.

It takes real talent to act the young boy in the body of a thirty something and Hanks' copes admirably, from the comical leaping around the bedroom when he is trying to put on the jeans of the child on discovering his transformation to the child-like reaction displayed on Perkins' advances toward him. He captures the essence of youthful innocence both in the company of his younger peers and older 'work' colleagues.

Elizabeth Perkins complements the performance of Hanks' and it seems a shame that on searching the database that her career perhaps hasn't mirrored the success of Hanks' since making 'Big'.

I don't know why, but I always shed a tear at the end of the film. Perhaps it is the longing in all of us to want to return to the days of our youth and that we cannot turn back the clock as one can in the imaginary world of film.

As I grow older, and watch my children grow-up it makes me realise that time is a precious commodity and that life is a gift that should be cherished and nurtured carefully. This film somehow reinforces these feelings.

81 of 87 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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If this happened to you... Which age would you choose to be? kruash
Age of Tom Hanks in Big? murchisonryan
You would not see this today Pinkdaisy678
Choose your own adventure in 1988? Tqmek
If you had a quarter for the Zoltar machine....... quiet451-1
What happened to Josh's father? withdiamonds
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