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Big Business (1988)

PG | | Comedy | 10 June 1988 (USA)
In the 1940s in the small town of Jupiter Hollow, two sets of identical twins are born in the same hospital on the same night. One set to a poor local family and the other to a rich family ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Iona Ratliff
J.C. Quinn ...
Garth Ratliff
Norma MacMillan ...
Nanny Lewis
Desk Clerk
Hotel Manager


In the 1940s in the small town of Jupiter Hollow, two sets of identical twins are born in the same hospital on the same night. One set to a poor local family and the other to a rich family just passing through. The dizzy nurse on duty accidentally mixes the twins unbeknown to the parents. Our story flashes forward to the 1980s where the mismatched sets of twins are about to cross paths following a big business deal to closedown the Jupiter Hollow factory. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Mixed up at birth, two sets of twins finally meet their match.




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

10 June 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sopa de gemelas  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$40,150,487 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


THe DVD sleeve notes declare that the picture was a "critically acclaimed box-office hit". See more »


When Jason "Sly" is leaving the envelope of money it clearly says Sadie Shelton on it. When Sadie Ratliff is in the room showing Rose the money the envelope only says Sadie. See more »


Sadie Shelton: [Rushing to the elevator] Hold the door. Hold the door! Hold the door!
[turns around and walks away after door closes in her face]
Sadie Shelton: Moron!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Seen about two-thirds of the way through the credits: Don't Go, It's Almost Over See more »


Features Dynasty (1981) See more »


Written by Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil
Performed by George Benson
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Strangely overlooked cerebral farce.
22 August 2002 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

That this 1988 movie contains 2 sympathetic, non-stereotypical gay characters says a lot about the movie makers. There seems to have been some real care taken over what could've ended up a cheaply made throwaway farce.

Lily Tomlin and Bette Midler are simply superb in their roles as separated twins and in my view out-do Jeremy Irons in that year's other twin movie `Dead Ringers' - and he was fantastic.

This film has been criticised for not delivering laughs where you would predict them based on the film's premise. But is that a fault? Big Business builds comedic tension early on and sustains it throughout by clever use of supporting characters and the subtle way that from their scenes with them we learn about the 4 leads.

The eternal dilemma of nature v nurture is portrayed in a fairly non-preachy way coupled with a similar approach to town v country. To do this in a farce containing 4 romances plus all the rest is a tall order for any moviemaker but this rich premise is cleverly negotiated by Jim Abrahams & the writers with only a handful of misfires.

Now I'm not one for romances but the studly Fred Ward, who was unbelievably 46 years old at the time, as the whiter than white Roone Dimmick, manages an amazing feat - his meeting and courting of Lily Tomlin in the space of a few minutes is carried off quite plausibly by this accomplished and underrated actor and is a joy to behold.

10 out of 10 and a real shame that there is no more from these 2 writers.

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