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.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (story) | 3 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

ON DISC

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Criminal Law (1988)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Oldman plays a lawyer who defends a killer, but, soon after he wins he finds out that the killer is guilty.

Director: Martin Campbell
Stars: Gary Oldman, Kevin Bacon, Tess Harper
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An aspiring director and the marginally talented amateur cast of a hokey small-town Missouri musical production go overboard when they learn that someone from Broadway will be in attendance.

Director: Christopher Guest
Stars: Christopher Guest, Fred Willard, Catherine O'Hara
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Three actors learn that their respective performances in the film "Home for Purim," a drama set in the mid-1940s American South, are generating award-season buzz.

Director: Christopher Guest
Stars: Catherine O'Hara, Parker Posey, Christopher Guest
Kansas City (1996)
Crime | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Robert Altman's jazz-scored film explores themes of love, crime, race, and politics in 1930s Kansas City. When Blondie O'Hara's husband, a petty thief, is captured by Seldom Seen and held ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Miranda Richardson, Harry Belafonte
A Mighty Wind (2003)
Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Mockumentary captures the reunion of 1960s folk trio the Folksmen as they prepare for a show at The Town Hall to memorialize a recently deceased concert promoter.

Director: Christopher Guest
Stars: Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy, Michael McKean
The Hard Way (1991)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An action movie star researching a role is allowed to tag along with a hardboiled New York policeman, who finds him superficial and irritating.

Director: John Badham
Stars: Michael J. Fox, James Woods, Stephen Lang
Miami Blues (1990)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

When Fred Frenger gets out of prison, he decides to start over in Miami, Florida, where he starts a violent one-man crime wave. He soon meets up with amiable college student/prostitute ... See full summary »

Director: George Armitage
Stars: Fred Ward, Alec Baldwin, Jennifer Jason Leigh
Quicksilver (1986)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Jack Casey used to be a hot-shot stock market whiz kid. After a disastrous professional decision, his life in the fast lane is over. He loses his nerve and joins a speed delivery firm which... See full summary »

Director: Thomas Michael Donnelly
Stars: Kevin Bacon, Jami Gertz, Paul Rodriguez
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Dan and Lorie are journalists working in the same office. More often than not they have opposing view of the issue in question. Deciding that this is hot stuff, a television producer gives ... See full summary »

Directors: Ken Kwapis, Marisa Silver
Stars: Kevin Bacon, Elizabeth Perkins, Nathan Lane
Angie (1994)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Favorite quote "We are all broken. Those of us who are less broken need to help those who are more broken."

Director: Martha Coolidge
Stars: Geena Davis, Stephen Rea, James Gandolfini
Georgia (1995)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Sadie is desperately looking up to her older sister Georgia who is a famous C&W artist. Sadie wants to be a famous artist like her sister, but is always doing everything wrong. Her ... See full summary »

Director: Ulu Grosbard
Stars: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mare Winningham, Ted Levine
Under Cover (1987)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

A cop goes undercover in a South Carolina high school. With the help of a local narcotics officer, he investigates the drug ring responsible for another cop's death.

Director: John Stockwell
Stars: David Neidorf, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Barry Corbin
Edit

Cast

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

Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 December 1989 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

A Grande Comédia  »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$117,463 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

During the student awards dinner, after the Crossed Sabres of Truth is shown, Dan Schneider's line "...regrettably killed while filming" could be a reference to Vic Morrow, who was Jennifer Jason Leigh's father. She plays Lydia in the film. Even if not intended to be about him, it was how she lost her father. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Neil Sussman: I don't know you. I don't know your work. But I think you are a genius. And I am never wrong about that.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #22.3 (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

The Christmas Song
Written by Mel Tormé (as Mel Torme) and Robert Wells (as Bob Wells)
Performed by Dick Haymes
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Nick Chapman - an indie-film pioneer?
3 April 2004 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

THE BIG PICTURE is a breezy satire of the movie business from the mind of writer/director Christopher Guest (BEST IN SHOW, A MIGHTY WIND). It tells the story of Nick Chapman (Kevin Bacon), a young film director who gets put through the Hollywood wringer. Studio executives, agents, and starlets all prey on Nick's naivete and he eventually sells out, neglecting his girlfriend and best friend in the process.

What's interesting about THE BIG PICTURE is its grassroots portrayal of how Nick finally launches his Hollywood career - by starting small, doing his own thing, and involving his friends. Those are basically the tenets of independent film, which boomed in the decade following THE BIG PICTURE.

Nowadays, many of those indie directors - among them Steven Soderbergh, Robert Rodriguez, and Christopher Nolan - are getting hired to do big-budget studio pictures. In fact, Soderbergh's "sex, lies, and videotape" was released the same year as this movie.

Was Nick Chapman's "Pez People" video responsible for the indie film movement? Not likely, but THE BIG PICTURE was certainly an advocate of its principles.








8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The Big Picture res5com
"Pez People" Song Sudy_Nym
Martin Short Avalon123
Short Films headrec
Discuss The Big Picture (1989) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?