Down 17,937 this week

Big Time (1988)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.2/10 from 590 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 6 critic

Bringing his unique sense of humor to this bizarre and original piece of moviemaking, Tom Waits takes the audience through a musical journey with his jazzy, quirky, bluesy tunes presented ... See full summary »


0Check in

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 295 titles
created 15 Dec 2010
a list of 75 titles
created 19 Jun 2011
list image
a list of 213 titles
created 17 Apr 2013
a list of 227 titles
created 11 months ago

Related Items

Search for "Big Time" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Big Time (1988)

Big Time (1988) on IMDb 8.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Big Time.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Hank and Frannie don't seem to be able to live together anymore. After a five-year relationship, lustful and dreamy Fanny leaves down-to-earth Hank on the anniversary of their relationship.... See full summary »

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Frederic Forrest, Teri Garr, Raul Julia
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Martin and Hazel Quarrier are small-town fundamentalist missionaries sent to the jungles of South America to convert the Indians. Their remote mission was previously run by the Catholics, ... See full summary »

Director: Hector Babenco
Stars: Tom Berenger, John Lithgow, Daryl Hannah
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

More than 20 contemporary North American poets recite, sing, and perform their work. Several also comment. Early in the film, Charles Bukowski talks about the energy of poets and of a poem.... See full summary »

Director: Ron Mann
Stars: Helen Adam, Miguel Algarín, Amiri Baraka
Mystery Train (1989)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Three stories are connected by a Memphis hotel and the spirit of Elvis Presley.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Masatoshi Nagase, Yûki Kudô, Screamin' Jay Hawkins
Big Time (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Where the line between fantasy and reality blurs as a fake film company comprised of actors mixes with real adult-film stars at their annual convention in Las Vegas.

Directors: Jerry Heiss, Sean McHugh, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Vene L. Arcoraci, Bridget Butler, Kim Kopf
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A series of vignettes that all have coffee and cigarettes in common.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Bill Murray, Tom Waits, Roberto Benigni
Down by Law (1986)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The story of three different men in a Louisiana prison and their eventual journey.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Tom Waits, John Lurie, Roberto Benigni
Ironweed (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A schizophrenic drifter spends Halloween in his home town after returning there for the first time in decades.

Director: Hector Babenco
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep, Carroll Baker
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Three Italian-American brothers, living in the slums of 1940's New York, try to help each other with one's wrestling career using one brother's promotional skills and another brother's con-artist tactics to thwart a sleazy manager.

Director: Sylvester Stallone
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Lee Canalito, Armand Assante
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A film set in a strange afterlife way station that has been reserved for people who have committed suicide.

Director: Goran Dukic
Stars: Patrick Fugit, Shea Whigham, Tom Waits
Big Time (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Director: Jan Egleson
Stars: Mia Sara, Dennis Boutsikaris, Adrian Pasdar
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A struggling musician sets out to find the legendary guitar maker Elmore Silk, with whom he hopes to strike a deal to make himself rich and famous.

Directors: Robert Frank, Rudy Wurlitzer
Stars: Kevin J. O'Connor, Eric Mitchell, Mary Joy


Credited cast:
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Michael L. Blair ...
Ralph Carney ...
Greg Cohen ...
Marc Ribot ...
Willie Schwarz ...


Bringing his unique sense of humor to this bizarre and original piece of moviemaking, Tom Waits takes the audience through a musical journey with his jazzy, quirky, bluesy tunes presented as you would never, ever, ever expect. Written by Sam Hayes <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The concert was "the best live performance of the year." The movie is BIG TIME.


Documentary | Music


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

17 March 1989 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Wielki czas  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$148,426 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Tom Waits: I saw a place just outside on Western, a place that sells 'used erotica'. Think about it... do they clean it? Who cleans it? Are they licensed? All these questions came to my head... how used is it? Who used it? You follow me...
See more »


I'll Take New York
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

5 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Big Time is magnificent,A live tour-de-force by one of America's greatest performers.It is a concert film of his Frank's Wild Years Tour circa 1987,but I am not certain it was filmed live in concert.Some performances,if not all,have a staged studio feel to them,but I'm probably wrong,and it does not matter anyway,as all the performances are truly excellent representations of his songs.There are little vignettes between each number,which are strange and entertaining.A gunshot sound is heard when it cuts from one thing to another,like in Masculine Feminine,Tom Waits appears in nearly all of the between songs vignettes.In one he is seen sitting on the floor of the theater's washrooms snapping playing cards into a hat on the floor several feet away from him,saying"She loves me,she loves me not" and "ooh!Got one-lost one"when a card falls off the hat onto the floor.Symbolizing the fall of the Italian socialist-communist regime.He is seen addressing the "audience" at times in his wonderful winning style of between-song-banter,which will either make you laugh out loud or at least smile real big.In one he is the usher,telling the viewer that you are late.And then wants to sell you a watch from his catalog displayed on his forearm.In another he is working the ticket booth (presumably taking over for the mysterious Oriental lady who was seen doing it earlier in the film,and who appears a few more times)fast asleep until the phone rings and he says blearily "I'm here!" and then starts buying and selling stocks and bonds.Please do not let any of this scare you off from seeing this film,I'm just a terrible reviewer.Instead of concentrating on this little stuff,I should be describing the important stuff,which is of course the music.I would like to list the songs performed,but I don't feel like searching through my clutter for the information.But I can tell you they are all culled from Swordfishtrombones,Rain Dogs and Frank's Wild Years,w/1 or 2 exceptions.It is a shame that it is so difficult to obtain a copy of this film.There are a lot of Waits fans out there doing without.I was extremely lucky to get my VHS copy.I ordered it from Blockbuster and 3 years later they called and said it was there.40 miles away.It was well worth it.If you are a fan of Waits,you owe it to yourself to obtain a copy somewhere,somehow of Big Time.It cries out to be released on DVD,just vewy vewy quiet..."release me"...hear that?

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

Message Boards

Recent Posts
DVD release? keith_schell
Favourite Tom moment cousinolaf
Attention Chicagoans nubsquared
hmm The songs in the video don't match up to the cd joshua-239
Track Listing nmunroe
Discuss Big Time (1988) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: