IMDb > Big Business (1988)
Big Business
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Big Business (1988) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 11 | slideshow) Videos
Big Business -- Two sets of identical twins are mismatched at birth.


User Rating:
6.3/10   8,691 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
Popularity: ?
Up 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Dori Pierson (written by) &
Marc Reid Rubel (written by)
View company contact information for Big Business on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
10 June 1988 (USA) See more »
Mixed up at birth, two sets of twins finally meet their match.
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... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
The Big Mix Up See more (38 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Bette Midler ... Sadie Shelton / Sadie Ratliff

Lily Tomlin ... Rose Shelton / Rose Ratliff

Fred Ward ... Roone Dimmick

Edward Herrmann ... Graham Sherbourne

Michele Placido ... Fabio Alberici

Daniel Gerroll ... Chuck
Barry Primus ... Michael

Michael Gross ... Dr. Jay Marshall

Deborah Rush ... Binky Shelton

Nicolas Coster ... Hunt Shelton

Patricia Gaul ... Iona Ratliff
J.C. Quinn ... Garth Ratliff
Norma MacMillan ... Nanny Lewis

Joe Grifasi ... Desk Clerk

John Vickery ... Hotel Manager

John Hancock ... Older Harlan

Mary Gross ... Judy

Seth Green ... Jason

Leo Burmester ... Bum
Lucy Webb ... Wenona
Roy Brocksmith ... Dr. Parker

Lewis Arquette ... Mr. Stokes
Eddie Cordell ... Young Harlan
Ritch Brinkley ... Mayor Bill Finker
Tony Mockus Jr. ... Board Member #1

Carmen Argenziano ... Board Member #2
Maureen McVerry ... Hilda
Fred Parnes ... Bellboy

Danny Chambers ... Male Staffer #2 (as Dan Chambers)
Lois De Banzie ... Edwardian Room Hostess
Al Mancini ... Waiter
Nicholas Rutherford ... Lil Levon
Hunter von Leer ... Petey
Andy Epper ... Zeke
Andi Chapman ... Sadie's Secretary
Chick Hearn ... Sports Announcer
Troy Damien ... Hank Ratliff

Ryan Francis ... Merle Ratliff
Louis Rukeyser ... Taxi Victim
Kymberly Gold ... Triplet #1 (as Kymberly Goldman)
Michelle Gold ... Triplet #2 (as Michelle Goldman)
Traci Lee Gold ... Triplet #3 (as Traci Goldman)
Crystal Field ... Bag Lady
Everett Quinton ... Window Dresser
Sandy Davis ... Saleslady in Dress Shop
Natalie Dolishny ... Moramax Employee #1
Nancy Lazarus ... Moramax Employee #2

Shirley Mitchell ... Stockholder
Charles Middleton ... Stockholder #2 (as Charles J. Middleton)
Irving Hellman ... Stockholder #3
Judy Armstrong ... Y.M.C.A. Desk Clerk
Tom La Grua ... Cab Driver
Matthew James Carlson ... Eufus
Brianne Sommers ... Woman with Whippet
Alice Gruenberg ... Attractive Woman with Yorkies
Jane Butenoff ... Professional Hooker in Time Square
Louise Yaffe ... Director's Mother in Lobby
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nancy Cohen ... Steel Drum Dancer (uncredited)
Kathryn Janssen ... Sales Clerk In Boutique (uncredited)

Lynne Lerner ... Blood Clot Lady (uncredited)
Christine MacDonald ... Dancing Woman (uncredited)

Directed by
Jim Abrahams 
Writing credits
Dori Pierson (written by) &
Marc Reid Rubel (written by) (as Marc Rubel)

Produced by
Bonnie Bruckheimer .... associate producer (as Bonnie Bruckheimer-Martell)
Michael Peyser .... producer
Steve Tisch .... producer
Original Music by
Lee Holdridge 
Cinematography by
Dean Cundey (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Harry Keramidas 
Production Design by
William Sandell 
Set Decoration by
Richard C. Goddard 
Costume Design by
Michael Kaplan 
Makeup Department
Laura De'Atley .... body makeup
Susan Germaine .... hair stylist
Barbara Lorenz .... hair stylist
Michael Lorenz .... makeup artist
Eugenia Weston .... makeup artist
Production Management
William S. Beasley .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Tony Adler .... second assistant director: New York
Richard Coad .... second assistant director
Bruce Humphrey .... first assistant director (as Bruce A. Humphrey)
Eric Jewett .... second assistant director
Debra Kent .... DGA trainee: New York
Michael Peyser .... second unit director
Dannielle J. Weiss .... second second assistant director
Stephen Wertimer .... second assistant director: New York (as Steve Wertimer)
Art Department
Barbara Adamski .... property master
William Barclay .... art director: New York
Richard Baum .... assistant property master
Leslie Bloom .... set decorator: New York
William Boyd .... mill foreman
Bruce Di Valerio .... construction foreman
Cal DiValerio .... construction coordinator
Martha Johnston .... set designer
John McDonnell .... property master: New York
Gayle Simon .... assistant art director
James E. Tocci .... set designer
Tom von Badinski .... welder
Tony Potter .... set carpenter (uncredited)
Sound Department
Raul A. Bruce .... boom operator
Thomas Causey .... sound mixer
John S. Coffey .... utility sound
Greg Curda .... foley mixer
David Gertz .... dubbing recordist
Pieter Hubbard .... sound editor
David J. Hudson .... sound re-recording mixer
Bruce Lacey .... sound editor
Dennis Maitland .... sound mixer: New York
Kim Maitland .... boom operator: New York
Mel Metcalfe .... sound re-recording mixer
Sarah Monat .... foley sound effects
Bill Phillips .... supervising sound editor
John Phillips .... sound editor
Terry Porter .... sound re-recording mixer
Hal Sanders .... sound editor
Edward M. Steidele .... foley sound effects
Visual Effects by
Ken Allen .... special visual effects
Michael Backauskas .... visual effects optical line-up
Philip Barberio .... special visual effects
Eric Brevig .... visual effects supervisor
C. Marie Davis .... visual effects editor
Michael Ferriter .... special visual effects
Rick Johnson .... special visual effects
Patric Kenly .... special visual effects
Ronald Longo .... special visual effects
Jeff Matakovich .... special visual effects
David McCue .... special visual effects
Terry Moews .... special visual effects
Marlo Pabon .... special visual effects
Michelle Porter .... special visual effects
Jody Rogers .... special visual effects
Robert Scifo .... special visual effects
Keith Shartle .... special visual effects
Leon Stankevich .... special visual effects
Michael Talarico .... motion control cameraman
James Valentine .... special visual effects
Danny Aiello III .... stunt double: Louis Rukeyser
Danny Aiello III .... stunts
Bill Erickson .... stunt coordinator: Los Angeles (as William Erickson)
Frank Ferrara .... stunt coordinator: New York
Gregory Harris .... stunts
Rosine 'Ace' Hatem .... stunt double
Paul E. Short .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Clyde E. Bryan .... first assistant camera
Ron Cardarelli .... key grip
Larry D. Davis .... second assistant camera
James A. Dolan .... gaffer
James P. Dolan .... gaffer: New York (as James Dolan)
John Donohue .... key grip: New York
Gary B. Kibbe .... additional photographer: second unit
Sid Lucero .... best boy: grip
Dick Mingalone .... camera operator: New York
Laurel Moore .... still photographer
Frederick Louis Perdue .... key grip: second unit
Tom Priestley Jr. .... director of photography: New York second unit
Andrew D. Schwartz .... still photographer: New York
Raymond Stella .... camera operator
Michael Stone .... camera operator: New York
Monte Swann .... video playback operator
Dave Wachtman .... dolly grip
Mark Walthour .... chief lighting technician
Rick Wilhoit .... best boy electric
Anthony Wong .... best boy electric
Casting Department
Howard Feuer .... casting
Todd Thaler .... extras casting: New York (as Todd M. Thaler)
Franklyn Warren .... extras casting
Kristine Weaver .... casting assistant
Judith Bouley .... casting: doubles (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Linda Matthews .... costume supervisor
Diana Wilson .... costumer
Pamela Wise .... costumer
Mark Burchard .... costumer (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Debbie Goldsmith .... apprentice editor
Alexandra Leviloff .... first assistant editor
Janet Fiona Mason .... second assistant editor
Bruce Pearson .... color timer
Lewis Schoenbrun .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Music Department
George Brand .... music editor
Gene N. Fowler .... assistant music editor
Michael Fowler .... assistant music editor
Ira Hearshen .... orchestrator
Brian L. McCarty .... music playback operator
Rick Riccio .... music recording engineer
Marc Shaiman .... music arranger: vocal arrangements
Transportation Department
Randy Burke .... transportation captain: second unit
Bill Curry Jr. .... transportation captain: New York (as William J. Curry Jr.)
Dan Marrow .... transportation coordinator
Other crew
Lauren B. Caplan .... production associate
Christopher Ciaffa .... production associate
Robin Citrin .... location manager
Gregg L. Daniel .... production associate
Melanie Doctors .... photo double: Bette Midler
Jane Nerlinger Evans .... production coordinator: New York
Mauri Syd Gayton .... production coordinator
Alan Hoffman .... technical advisor
Nancy Hopton .... script supervisor
Lisa Lynn Kearsley .... production coordinator
Charlie McNamara .... production assistant
Maureen McVerry .... photo double: Lily Tomlin
Stan Mendoza .... location manager: New York
Janice Polley .... location manager
Brian Pulido .... production assistant
Ronald M. Quigley .... location manager
Bryan Renfro .... dog trainer
Tonya Richardson .... production intern
Steve Rose .... location manager: New York
Reid Rosefelt .... unit publicist
Richard Spector .... production assistant

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
97 min
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The stereophonic sound on the film does not kick in until the end of the prologue ready for the transition to modern day. The sound until that point is mono.See more »
Continuity: At the beginning of the movie, Bette Midler sings a "Hello Jupiter Hollow" song. As she gets up from the stool where she is milking the cow, she nearly falls over. Also, When Bette Midler goes to see the desk clerk before her "night on the town" she is seen wearing a orange angora wrap. In the first shot it is open, in the second wrapped and covering the upper part of her body, and then in the third shot it is open again.See more »
Sadie Shelton:Oh my God, how did I get so fat? I look like a walleyed salmon! What did he use a wide angle lens?See more »
Movie Connections:
References First Blood (1982)See more »


List: The mirror gag
See more »
16 out of 19 people found the following review useful.
The Big Mix Up, 21 June 2005
Author: A_B_Juelfs from United States

The 1988 film "Big Business," directed by Jim Abrahams, stars two well-known actresses, Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin, who both play duel roles of twins mixed up at birth in the 1940s. The names chosen for both sets of twins were Rose and Sadie. The Shelton twins were born to a wealthy couple from New York; the Ratliff twins are from a low-income family that lived in Jupiter Hollow. One of the Shelton twins was given to the Ratliff family and vice-versa. Jump forty plus years to the 1980s. The Shelton twins inherited their father's corporation Moramax in New York City, and the Ratliff twins work at the Hollow-Made Factory in Jupiter Hollow, the town in which they were born. Moramax is planning to shut down the factory and to strip-mine Jupiter Hollow. The Ratliff's come to New York City to save the factory and town from the Shelton's corporation. Both the Ratliff's and Shelton's stay in the Plaza Hotel in NYC, not knowing their real twins were also there. They end up meeting each other right before Moramax's big meeting, and Rose Shelton agrees with Sadie and Rose Ratliff to save the factory and Jupiter Hollow.

"Big Business" presents two central ideas. One idea is that two sets of twins can be born on the same night in the same hospital can be switched at birth and can meet one another later in life. Another idea would be that the "big guy" doesn't always win. The "big guy" in this movie would be the Moramax corporation and the "little guy" would be the Hollow-Made Factory. I say this because at the end of the movie the Ratliff's end up saving their town and factory from the Shelton's large corporation.

I thought that this movie was hilarious; it receives five stars. I watch this movie over and over and never seem to get tired of it. I loved how both Midler and Tomlin play two completely opposite roles, redneck and snobbish. The southern accents (in my opinion) were excellent. This movie is similar to the "Green Acres" television show, only the rednecks end up in New York City. I wish that the director would make a sequel to see how Jupiter Hollow, the factory, and Moramax are doing.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (38 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Big Business (1988)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
line o rama Blackbird_singing
Didn't Country Sadie's family ever wonder.. MrsHectorBarbossa
Plot hole? Gabbie_O
Religion old-skool101
Bette Slugs that Guy lenpreston
Great Movie! blue-bug
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Sullivan's Travels King of New York Giant The Notebook Overboard
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Comedy section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.