The Big Picture (1989)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  30 November 1990 (UK)
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Film school grad Nick Chapman thought his career was made after his award winning short film, but discovered Hollywood wasn't as easy as it seems.



(story), (story), 3 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Emily Longstreth ...
Susan Rawlings
Allen Habel
Lydia Johnson
Emmet Sumner
Kim Miyori ...
Jenny Sumner
Jonathan Tristan-Bennet
Jason Gould ...
Carl Manknik
Lori Pressman
Todd Marvin
Gary Kroeger ...
Mrs. Chapman
Grant Owens ...
Mr. Chapman
Polo Habel


Nick Chapman graduates from film school, and his short film wins a special prize. This gives him a high enough profile that he can get Hollywood to back the film he has long dreamed of making. Studio exec Allen Habel is interested. But Nick soon is seduced by Hollywood and makes one concession after another until his original movie is lost altogether. Worse, Nick is lost, too, turning on girlfriend Susan and old buddy Emmet. Will he come to his sense before everything is lost? Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Film School prepared Nick for everything... everything but Hollywood. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


PG-13 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

30 November 1990 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A Grande Comédia  »

Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)


$117,463 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


During filming they rented a luxury house for three days to shoot in, not knowing that actor Charles Bronson had just purchased a home across the street. Before the three days were up the crew had managed to kill Bronson's cat by accident. The story is related in the book "I Killed Charles Bronson's Cat", written by the movies location manager Barry Gremillion. See more »


In Lydia's apartment she begins to raise her beer to her mouth in one shot, but in the next shot it's back by her side. See more »


Neil Sussman: I'm very, very aware... that you are seeing other agents. And I think it's good that you are. Finally, I mean it's healthy. But, this is the thing. If you decide to sign with me, you're gonna get more than an agent. You're gonna get three people.
[Holds up four fingers]
Neil Sussman: You're gonna get an agent, a mother, a father, a shoulder to cry on, someone who knows this business inside and out. And if anyone ever tries to cross you, I'll grab them by the balls and squeeze 'til they're dead.
See more »


References Tess (1979) See more »


The Whites of Their Eyes
Written by Christopher Guest and Michael McKean
Performed by PEZ® People
Sung by Michael McKean
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User Reviews

Overlooked classic
29 April 2003 | by (Oakland,CA) – See all my reviews

I've watched this many times, and feel that this ranks with the best work of Christopher Guest. Kevin Bacon is outstanding as the idealistic young director Nick Chapman, who falls prey to the jaded Hollywood lifestyle - long before he can afford it personally or financially. Martin Short's role as Nick's agent is hilarious, and other good performances are turned in by Jennifer Jason Leigh, Terri Hatcher, and many others. This is Spinal Tap for the film industry, and well worth a look.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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