Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

A failing Italian restaurant run by two brothers gambles on one special night to try to save the business.
9 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Mostly Martha (2001)
Comedy | Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When a headstrong chef takes charge of her equally stubborn 8-year-old niece, the tensions between them mount... until an Italian sous-chef arrives to lighten the mood.

Director: Sandra Nettelbeck
Stars: Martina Gedeck, Maxime Foerste, Sergio Castellitto
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In a remote 19th-century Danish village, two sisters lead a rigid life centered around their father, the local minister, and their church. Both had opportunities to leave the village: one ... See full summary »

Director: Gabriel Axel
Stars: Stéphane Audran, Bodil Kjer, Birgitte Federspiel
The Impostors (1998)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In an attempt to resurrect the slapstick comedy of Laurel and Hardy or The Marx Brothers, Stanley Tucci and Oliver Platt team-up as two out-of-work actors who accidentally stowaway on a ... See full summary »

Director: Stanley Tucci
Stars: Oliver Platt, Stanley Tucci, Walker Jones
Dinner Rush (2000)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Is it just another evening at the hugely popular Italian restaurant of proprietor and bookmaker Louis Cropa in New York? Anything but as tonight's guests include; a local police detective ... See full summary »

Director: Bob Giraldi
Stars: Danny Aiello, Edoardo Ballerini, John Rothman
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A senior chef lives with his three grown daughters; the middle one finds her future plans affected by unexpected events and the life changes of the other household members.

Director: Ang Lee
Stars: Sihung Lung, Yu-Wen Wang, Chien-Lien Wu
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When a happily married woman discovers a love letter written by her husband to an unknown party, she enlists her dysfunctional family to discover the truth.

Director: Greg Mottola
Stars: Hope Davis, Stanley Tucci, Parker Posey
Tampopo (1985)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A truck driver stops at a small family-run noodle shop and decides to help its fledgling business. The story is intertwined with various vignettes about the relationship of love and food.

Director: Jûzô Itami
Stars: Ken Watanabe, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Nobuko Miyamoto
Tortilla Soup (2001)
Comedy | Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A Mexican-American master chef and father to three daughters has lost his taste for food but not for life.

Director: Maria Ripoll
Stars: Hector Elizondo, Jacqueline Obradors, Tamara Mello
Shadowlands (1993)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

C.S. Lewis, a world-renowned Christian theologian, writer and professor, leads a passionless life until he meets a spirited poet from the U.S.

Director: Richard Attenborough
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Debra Winger, Julian Fellowes
Local Hero (1983)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An American oil company sends a man to Scotland to buy up an entire village where they want to build a refinery. But things don't go as expected.

Director: Bill Forsyth
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Peter Riegert, Fulton Mackay
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A documentary about three unique restaurants and their respective owners.

Director: Joseph Levy
Stars: Grant Achatz, Cindy Breitbach, Mike Breitbach
Diva (1981)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Two tapes, two Parisian mob killers, one corrupt policeman, an opera fan, a teenage thief, and the coolest philosopher ever filmed. All these characters twist their way through an intricate and stylish French language thriller.

Director: Jean-Jacques Beineix
Stars: Wilhelmenia Fernandez, Frédéric Andréi, Richard Bohringer
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Larry Block ...
Man in Restaurant
...
Woman in Restaurant
Andre Belgrader ...
Stash (as Andrei Belgrader)
...
...
Loan Officer
...
...
Leo
Pasquale Cajano ...
Alberto N. Pisani
...
Woman Singer
...
Charlie
...
...
Ann
Edit

Storyline

Primo and Secondo are two brothers who have emigrated from Italy to open an Italian restaurant in America. Primo is the irascible and gifted chef, brilliant in his culinary genius, but determined not to squander his talent on making the routine dishes that customers expect. Secondo is the smooth front-man, trying to keep the restaurant financially afloat, despite few patrons other than a poor artist who pays with his paintings. The owner of the nearby Pascal's restaurant, enormously successful (despite its mediocre fare), offers a solution - he will call his friend, a big-time jazz musician, to play a special benefit at their restaurant. Primo begins to prepare his masterpiece, a feast of a lifetime, for the brothers' big night... Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In love and life, one big night can change everything.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

20 September 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Big Night - italialainen ilta  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,100,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$185,942 (USA) (20 September 1996)

Gross:

$11,881,039 (USA) (21 February 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Stanley Tucci co-wrote the film because he wanted a decent part for himself. See more »

Goofs

When Bob is talking to Segundo in the Cadillac, his lollipop is alternately in/out of his mouth between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Primo: [offers a taste asking opinion in Italian]
Secondo: What?
Primo: More Salt?
Secondo: No.
[continues chopping]
Primo: Not too fine, eh? Sometimes you cut it too fine, then all you taste is the garlic!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mike & Mike: Episode dated 17 August 2016 (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Oh Marie
Written by Eduardo Di Capua
Performed by Louis Prima
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Culturally Rich Slice of Life
13 May 2007 | by (Cincinnati, OH, United States) – See all my reviews

Big Night is a peaceful joy to watch because its themes and the overall feeling of the film is so normal. The characters, so beautifully rich, are realistic and so are their problems. The characters are mainly wonderfully, infectiously bombastic Italians, and entire scenes are sometimes constructed of the process of making Italian food from scratch. The subtlety and unaffronting reality of these qualities are so endearing to me. In fact, the scene that leaves an imprint on me more than any of the others, despite how fun it is to see the actors have a blast playing fiery, thick-mustachioed men with heavy Italian accents, is a scene that hardly has a connection with any of the others. An Italian ballad is playing over the soundtrack through the previous scene and continues into this scene, wherein Marc Anthony, playing a low-level restaurant bus boy, a small, quiet, incidental character, begins dancing with himself as he mops the floor of the restaurant. When other characters enter, the music, coming from nowhere but the film's soundtrack itself, cuts off and he continues mopping the floor as if the dancing never happened. It's so touching for that scene to have been slipped in, giving a person who is only against the background of everyone's lives a dreamy, sensitive personality that he keeps to himself.

The focal point of the film is the chemistry between the characters of Stanley Tucci, playing a hard-working, pleading, frustrated restaurant owner, whose head carries only logic and a goal for success, and Tony Shalhoub, his brother, whose aggressive passion is for the food he cooks and the mystery and subtext within it, yet his interaction with people is painfully shy. Their clashes of pride, their battles with each other's completely different perspectives, and yet their sharing of the same dream are what drives the story.

A lot of the film's humor comes from the hilarity of Ian Holm. Ian Holm, a stiff-limbed Englishman, plays here a loud, very animated, hot-tempered Italian entrepreneur with a seamless and wonderfully entertaining delivery of an Italian accent and Italian movements. It's my favorite performance of his because I had never before imagined that he would play a role like this.

Big Night is not a masterpiece nor do I think it was even meant to be one, but what it is is subtle and interesting for purely human reasons. It's soundtrack is also a fantastic celebration of Italian music.


11 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Big Night ending... happy or sad? number6village
Absolutely Cr*p kalidor-2
Car salesman... gay? TheLaughingWolf
Post if you love good food... happiscotsman
food in film plugster
I can't believe I cooked the whole thing roark-12
Discuss Big Night (1996) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?