IMDb > The Big Picture (1989)
The Big Picture
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The Big Picture (1989) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 44% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Michael Varhol (story) &
Christopher Guest (story) ...
View company contact information for The Big Picture on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
30 November 1990 (UK) See more »
Film School prepared Nick for everything... everything but Hollywood. See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Bacon 'n' Guest, makin' their best! See more (32 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Kevin Bacon ... Nick Chapman
Emily Longstreth ... Susan Rawlings

J.T. Walsh ... Allen Habel

Jennifer Jason Leigh ... Lydia Johnson

Michael McKean ... Emmet Sumner
Kim Miyori ... Jenny Sumner

Teri Hatcher ... Gretchen

Dan Schneider ... Jonathan Tristan-Bennet
Jason Gould ... Carl Manknik

Tracy Brooks Swope ... Lori Pressman

Don Franklin ... Todd Marvin
Gary Kroeger ... Mark

Alice Hirson ... Mrs. Chapman
Grant Owens ... Mr. Chapman

Fran Drescher ... Polo Habel

Suzy Cote ... Mindy Habel (as Suzy Coté)

Eddie Albert ... M.C. (as Eddie Albert Sr.)

June Lockhart ... Janet Kingsley

Stephen Collins ... Attorney

Roddy McDowall ... Judge
Robert Bauer ... Wounded Soldier
Vladimir Skomarovsky ... Man in Nick's Movie
C.W. Hemingway ... Joey

Holly Fields ... Daughter
Yvonne Peattie ... Mrs. Feldzar
Stan Ivar ... Charlie

David Hayward ... George
Caitlin Clarke ... Sharon

Nancy Valen ... Young Sharon
Wesley Pfenning ... Woman in Cabin

John Cleese ... Bartender
Richard Blake ... Abe Lincoln
Walter Olkewicz ... Babe Ruth

Scott Coffey ... Waiter (as T. Scott Coffey)

Bruce Kirby ... Businessman

Richard Belzer ... Video Show Host
Tom Maier ... Building Manager
Michael Jocum ... PEZ® People
Tim Landers ... PEZ® People
Martin Lund ... PEZ® People
Mike Miller ... PEZ® People
Novi Novog ... PEZ® People

Valen Watson ... Woman in Restaurant
Jennifer Karr ... Woman in Restaurant
Sue-Ann Leeds ... Woman in Restaurant

Buddy Garion ... Man in Restaurant
Jim Pollack ... Man in Restaurant
Scott Williamson ... Restaurant Manager
Victor Steinbach ... Andres Vargiak
Arlene Lorre ... Cleopatra
George Rogan ... Security Guard / Nazi
Perla Walter ... Housekeeper
Pamela Morris ... Cheryl
Lulie Newcomb ... Receptionist
Patty Howeth ... Woman with Fridge

Beth Chamberlin ... Stewardess
Britta Wilson ... Stewardess
Suzee Slater ... Stewardess (as Suzanne M. Slater)
Brad Zutaut ... Surfer
Matthew Eichler ... Piano Player
Nadine Lenore Patterson ... Twin
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Elliott Gould ... Prosecutor - Trial of Janet Kingsley (uncredited)

Martin Short ... Neil Sussman - Nick's Agent (uncredited)
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Directed by
Christopher Guest 
Writing credits
Michael Varhol (story) &
Christopher Guest (story)

Michael Varhol (screenplay) &
Christopher Guest (screenplay) &
Michael McKean (screenplay)

Produced by
Richard Gilbert Abramson .... executive producer
William E. McEuen .... executive producer
Richard Luke Rothschild .... associate producer
Michael Varhol .... producer
Valen Watson .... associate producer
Original Music by
David Nichtern 
Cinematography by
Jeff Jur 
Film Editing by
Martin Nicholson 
Casting by
Nina Axelrod 
Production Design by
Joseph T. Garrity 
Art Direction by
Pat Tagliaferro  (as Patrick Tagliaferro)
Set Decoration by
Jerie Kelter 
Costume Design by
Karen Patch 
Makeup Department
Gina Monaci .... key hair stylist
Lizbeth Williamson .... key makeup artist
Production Management
Richard Luke Rothschild .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Paul Deason .... first assistant director
Keri L. McIntyre .... second second assistant director
Michael Varhol .... second unit director
Kelly Wimberly .... second assistant director
Art Department
G. Roger Abell .... set dresser
Todd Badalato .... swing gang
Ken Deubel III .... construction coordinator
Andrea Dietrich .... storyboard artist (as Andrea Diedrich)
Richard A. Frisch .... set dresser
Rick Galbraith .... construction coordinator (as Richard Galbraith)
Robert Lucas .... leadman
Noel A. Middleton .... swing gang
Michael George Miller .... set dresser
Jérôme Perrin .... key carpenter
Carole Récamier .... draper
Philip Steuer .... property master
Benjamin Stuart Thompson .... carpenter (as Benjamin Thompson)
Jean-Yves Thoreau .... locksmith
Bill Zullo .... assistant property master (as William Zullo)
Tal Wallace .... mason (uncredited)
Tal Wallace .... propmaker (uncredited)
Randall D. Wilkins .... carpenter (uncredited)
Sound Department
Beth Bergeron .... adr editor
Forrest Brakeman .... boom operator
Greg Curda .... foley mixer
Lily Diamond .... assistant sound editor
Dody Dorn .... supervising sound editor
Michael Dressel .... foley editor
John P. Fasal .... sound effects recordist (as John Paul Fasal)
David Fechtor .... foley editor
David Gertz .... sound recordist
Sarah Goldsmith .... sound editor (as Sarah Rothenberg)
Kimberly Harris .... sound editor
Cynthia E. Hill .... sound assistant
John Hoeren .... sound editor
Jon Huck .... production sound mixer
David J. Hudson .... sound re-recording mixer
Doc Kane .... adr mixer
Jonathan Klein .... apprentice sound editor
Blake Leyh .... supervising sound editor
Stephanie Lowry .... assistant sound editor (as Stephanie Ng)
Mel Metcalfe .... sound re-recording mixer
Terry Porter .... sound re-recording mixer
Joan Rowe .... foley walker
Janelle Showalter .... assistant sound editor
Frank Smathers .... sound editor
Kelly Tartan .... sound editor
Jerry Trent .... foley walker
Allen Hurd .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Gary D'Amico .... special effects coordinator (as Gary P. D'Amico)
David A. Poole .... special effects assistant
Ken Speed .... special effects foreman
Visual Effects by
Benoît Revilliot .... cg supervisor
Mark Sullivan .... visual effects
Richard Lundin .... stunt double
Camera and Electrical Department
Ismael Araujo Jr. .... grip
J. Patrick Daily .... key grip
Duane Dell'Amico .... lighting technician
Don Devine .... camera operator
John Doherty .... rigging gaffer (as John J. Doherty)
George Gary .... lighting technician
Paul Hughen .... first assistant camera
Dwight Joseph Lavers .... dolly grip (as Dwight Lavers)
Kelly Elder McGowen .... second assistant camera (as Kelly McGowen)
Charlie McIntyre .... lighting technician (as Charles H. McIntyre III)
Kevin Myers .... rigging gaffer
Deana Newcomb .... still photographer
Charles 'Chaz' Norcross .... grip
Philippe Pierre .... electrician
Ronald J. Pure Jr. .... lighting technician
John 'Fest' Sandau .... best boy electric
Suzanne Tenner .... still photographer
Woogie Thomas .... lighting technician (as 'Woogie' Thomas)
James R. Tynes .... gaffer
Tom West .... best boy grip
Eric Whitehead .... grip
Casting Department
Joel A. Blumenau .... casting assistant
Bess Gilbert .... extras casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Kim Carleton .... wardrobe
Shari Griffin .... wardrobe
Mohamed Rai .... wardrobe: Morocco
Ellen Robinson .... wardrobe
Editorial Department
Lillian C. Best .... negative cutter: 16 mm
Gary Burritt .... negative cutter: 35 mm
Tony Kadell .... first assistant editor
Fred Peterson .... second assistant editor
Diane Witter .... editorial trainee
Music Department
Sally Boldt .... music editor
Laura Livingston .... music recording engineer
Dennis S. Sands .... music scoring mixer (as Dennis Sands)
Transportation Department
Sheridan Ross Batson .... driver (as Sheridan Batson)
Howard Brady Davidson .... driver (as Howard Davidson)
Gary Hellerstein .... transportation coordinator
Marlo Hellerstein .... transportation captain
Steve Humphrey .... driver
Greg Landis .... driver
Gary Paulsen .... driver
Jim Sullivan .... driver
Tom Winchester .... driver (as Thomas Winchester)
Other crew
Debra Baumann .... assistant: Christopher Guest
Patricia Billings .... assistant: Michael Varhol
Suzi Bond .... craft service
Jennifer Zolten Freed .... production accountant (as Jennifer Eden Zolten)
Damian Ganczewski .... assistant production coordinator
Barry Gremillion .... location manager
Dea E. Hickox .... assistant accountant
Steven E. Housewright .... set production assistant
Thomas Lipmann .... making-of director
Richard Lundin .... horse wrangler
Burke Mattsson .... title designer
Karl Lewis Miller .... dog trainer (as Karl Miller)
Valérie Novel .... location scout: Paris
Marshall Peck .... production assistant
Kevin B. Piatt .... first aid
Barbara Pieters .... post-production accountant
Martha Pilcher .... assistant location manager (as Martha C. Pilcher)
Judith Saunders .... script supervisor
Nancy Rae Stone .... production coordinator
Joan Thompson .... welfare worker
Diane Witter .... production assistant
Sophie Jézéquel .... thanks

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
100 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Cameo: [Elliot Gould]lawyer in the first student film.See more »
Continuity: 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 »
Nick Chapman:What is it?
Emmet Sumner:It's this stupid movie. It's called "Coffins from Hell."
Nick Chapman:What is it about?
Emmet Sumner:Coffins from hell.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Blame It on the Bossa NovaSee more »


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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
Bacon 'n' Guest, makin' their best!, 19 December 2009
Author: nixskits from Canada

It's hard to believe it's been twenty years since this came out. Kevin Bacon is established as one of the best American actors (also, one of the greats who've never been nominated for an Oscar!). Teri Hatcher is the star of a huge television hit. Christopher Guest still makes brilliant films and gives his actors more freedom than almost any other director today. And my affection for "The Big Picture" only grows fonder as the time passes.

In "Rolling Stone" magazine's 1989 "Hot Issue", then newcomer Steven Soderbergh was profiled as that season's hot new filmmaker. One remark was about how students in LA based film schools have their works shown at big events, attended by many hot shots in the entertainment industry. Meaning, a young woman or man could have a "bomb" of sorts on their hands before even turning professional! Not the most nurturing environment for youthful talent.

Bacon's "Nick Chapman" gets the full treatment as a guy on the fast track after winning his school's big prize for his project. And things don't go wonderfully well after he starts meeting the movers and shakers in his new world. The late, great J.T. Walsh is a studio head (for the time being) who seduces Chapman into believing all his dreams are possible. Michael McKean is Chapman's friend, a cinematographer who isn't necessarily the first choice to shoot his debut. And John Cleese, Martin Short and Jennifer Jason Leigh have great turns as Chapman's different associates that can't really stop the grimly funny runaway train he's on until his self respect finally returns and he sees everything for what it really is.

Most films about film-making are not that good. This is a major exception to that rule. Very bitter, but also very sweet. Just like life!

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