Down 1,226 this week

The Big Kahuna (1999)

R  |   |  Drama, Comedy  |  19 May 2000 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.7/10 from 11,690 users   Metascore: 56/100
Reviews: 157 user | 56 critic | 27 from

Two veteran salesman dissect a sales pitch to a particular client, through their young protege.



(play), (screenplay)
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video


Top 25 Trivia Items From the Last 25 Years

Here are some amazing facts and figures to deepen your appreciation of the movies you love.

See the full list

Related News

9 Most Depressing Horror Films
| MoreHorror
Oscars 2015 Winners Announced
| EmpireOnline
Final Oscar Nomination Predictions
| FilmExperience

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 43 titles
created 08 May 2011
a list of 33 titles
created 06 Feb 2012
a list of 42 titles
created 03 May 2013
a list of 42 titles
created 27 Aug 2014
a list of 24 titles
created 4 months ago

Related Items

Search for "The Big Kahuna" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Big Kahuna (1999)

The Big Kahuna (1999) on IMDb 6.7/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Big Kahuna.

User Polls

1 nomination. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Brilliant, flamboyant master criminal Michael Lynch is more interested in his image and his posterity than the actual profit from his ill-gotten gains.

Director: Thaddeus O'Sullivan
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Linda Fiorentino, Peter Mullan
Hurlyburly (1998)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Hollywood movers and shakers dissect their own personal lives when everything seems to clash together.

Director: Anthony Drazan
Stars: Sean Penn, Kevin Spacey, Chazz Palminteri
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young, naive Hollywood studio assistant finally turns the tables on his incredibly abusive producer boss.

Director: George Huang
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Frank Whaley, Michelle Forbes
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A swooning study of "Mack the Knife" singer Bobby Darin (Spacey) specifically, and his relationship with his wife Sandra Dee (Bosworth).

Director: Kevin Spacey
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth, John Goodman
Inseparable (2011)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A troubled young man, Li faces pressure at work and problems at home with his moody wife. Chuck, rescues Li from the brink of despair and becomes an unlikely mentor. But who is Chuck really?

Director: Dayyan Eng
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Daniel Wu, Beibi Gong
Shrink (2009)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Unable to cope with a recent personal tragedy, LA's top celebrity shrink turns into a pothead with no concern for his appearance and a creeping sense of his inability to help his patients.

Director: Jonas Pate
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Mark Webber, Keke Palmer
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Leonardo Da Vinci and his muse the Mona Lisa must stand up to the interrogation of their worth in our modern world.

Director: Hamish Jenkinson
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Elliot Cowan, Thandie Newton
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

After 8 years in prison, inventor Robert Axle struggles to win over his estranged family and catch up on current technology as he works to once again become the king of the infomercial.

Director: Trent Cooper
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Camilla Belle, Heather Graham
The Ref (1994)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A cat burglar is forced to take a bickering, dysfunctional family hostage on Christmas Eve.

Director: Ted Demme
Stars: Denis Leary, Judy Davis, Kevin Spacey
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An emotionally-beaten man with his young daughter moves to his ancestral home in Newfoundland to reclaim his life.

Director: Lasse Hallström
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Julianne Moore, Judi Dench
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A music-infused drama about Joe Meek, the flamboyantly gay, tone deaf, songwriter-producer behind the '60s hits "Have I the Right," "Just Like Eddie," "Johnny, Remember Me" and "Telstar."

Director: Nick Moran
Stars: Con O'Neill, Kevin Spacey, Pam Ferris
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A visiting city reporter's assignment suddenly revolves around the murder trial of a local millionaire, whom he befriends.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: John Cusack, Kevin Spacey, Jack Thompson


Complete credited cast:
Phil Cooper (as Danny Devito)


On the last evening of a convention two seen-it-all industrial lubricant salesmen and a youngster from the research department gather in the hotel's hospitality suite to host a delegates party. The main aim is to get the business of one particular big fish. When it becomes apparent that it is the lad who has developed a direct line to the guy, his strong religious beliefs bring him into sharp conflict with his older and more cynical colleagues. Written by Jeremy Perkins <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Every sale begins with a smile.


Drama | Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

19 May 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hospitality Suite  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$80,957 (USA) (28 April 2000)


$3,150,107 (USA) (21 July 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


First (and as of 2014) and only film directed by John Swanbeck. See more »


When Bob leaves the room to find the Kahuna at the other party, he has his name tag on, when he is outside walking there, it is off. It reappears when he is at the party, speaking to the Kahuna. See more »


[first lines]
Phil Cooper: [voice-over] No answer.
Bob Walker: [voice-over] She must be out shopping.
Phil Cooper: [voice-over] God forbid.
See more »


References Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) See more »


Two Please
Written by Danny Pelfrey, Linda Lawley & Rick Rhodes
Performed by The Mighty Turbans
Published by Amusicom Publishing and Tonalvision Music
Courtesy of Amusicom Records by arrangement with Bully Music Associates
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Spacey Good, DeVito Great
29 July 2004 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

Some movies are little more than photographed stage plays. 'The Big Kahuna' is like that. Most of the scenes are set in one hotel room and only 4 people have any lines. It could be said that all they do is talk, philosophize, and soul-search in this film. So if what they talk about is interesting and moves you, then the movie works. With subject matter such as religion, friendship, finding a meaning in life, and even the art of salesmanship, the characters definitely have a lot to say. And they're pretty funny, even if the film is too tragic to be called a comedy. Bottom line is, I'll long remember Danny DeVito's touching, understated performance.

He and Kevin Spacey (Phil and Larry, respectively) play experienced industrial lubricant salesman who've been sent to a convention in Wichita. Accompanying the two longtime friends and colleagues is a young co-worker, Bob (Peter Facinelli). They're hosting a small party in their hospitality suite for the elusive Dick Fuller. This is a client who could conceivably make or break their careers, but might not even show up to talk biz. Fuller represents the title character, although you could also say the kahuna is God. The final third of the picture delves deeply into spiritual belief and the search for the man above. Facinelli is devout, Spacey is not, DeVito rides in the middle lane and tries to keep the peace.

Whether or not they actually make the big deal plays second fiddle to the give-and-take relationship of the 3 very different men. Spacey is as witty and smart as usual, but DeVito is the soul of 'The Big Kahuna'. He's been good before, but he's generally a comic actor. Here, he's the straight man. The writer and director (Roger Rueff and John Swanbeck, who've never made another film) know how to give Spacey his big scenes and they REALLY know how to let DeVito play everything in expressions and tone. The filmmakers aren't breaking new turf, but they let their excellent actors act. Even if this is just another verse in the 'Death Of A Salesman' song, DeVito's got the goods on Willy Loman.

38 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why does no one get that Phil is sleeping with Larry's wife? CaptThorpe
any suggestions about movies like this one? plentyofkb
Best written and delivered dialog ever? brucedgo
6.5 out of 10 ? Why? plentyofkb
Does anyone understand the Ending? flynn o' thick
What's the point??? spin-fu
Discuss The Big Kahuna (1999) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page