IMDb > The Big Kahuna (1999)
The Big Kahuna
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The Big Kahuna (1999) More at IMDbPro »

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The Big Kahuna -- Oscar® winner Kevin Spacey and Danny DeVito star in this hilarious story of two industrial lubricant salesmen trying to land the biggest client of their careers.
The Big Kahuna -- Two veteran salesman dissect a sales pitch to a particular client, through their young protege.


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6.7/10   12,053 votes »
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Roger Rueff (play)
Roger Rueff (screenplay)
View company contact information for The Big Kahuna on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
19 May 2000 (USA) See more »
Every sale begins with a smile.
Two veteran salesmen dissect a sales pitch to a particular client, through their young protégé. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
1 nomination See more »
(18 articles)
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User Reviews:
A refreshingly intelligent film See more (158 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Kevin Spacey ... Larry Mann

Danny DeVito ... Phil Cooper (as Danny Devito)

Peter Facinelli ... Bob Walker

Paul Dawson ... Bellboy
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Christopher Donahue ... Bartender (uncredited)

Ron Komora ... The Big Kahuna (uncredited)

Frank L. Messina ... Business Man (uncredited)

George F. Miller ... Hotel Patron Leaving Lobby (uncredited)

Directed by
John Swanbeck 
Writing credits
Roger Rueff (play "Hospitality Suite")

Roger Rueff (screenplay)

Produced by
Gerard Guez .... executive producer
Barbara A. Hall .... line producer
Joanne Horowitz .... co-producer
Bernie Morris .... associate producer
Elie Samaha .... producer
Kevin Spacey .... producer
Andrew Stevens .... producer
Original Music by
Christopher Young 
Cinematography by
Anastas N. Michos (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Peggy Davis 
Production Design by
Kalina Ivanov 
Art Direction by
Frank White III 
Set Decoration by
Susie Goulder  (as Suzie Goudler)
Costume Design by
Janie Bryant  (as Katherine Jane Bryant)
Makeup Department
Karyn Huston .... key hair stylist: additional photography
Amy Schmiederer .... key makeup artist: additional photography
Mia Thoen .... key makeup artist
Kenneth Walker .... key hair stylist
Production Management
Eric Bergman .... post-production supervisor
William Perkins .... unit production manager
Libby Richman .... production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Marco Ajello .... second second assistant director
Jeff Jenofsky .... first assistant director: additional photography
Aida Rodgers .... second assistant director (as Aida Rogers)
Amanda Slater .... first assistant director
Michelle Gold .... second assistant director: additional photography (uncredited)
Art Department
Gary Aharoni .... on-set dresser
Helen Baldizzone .... scenic artist
Brian Becker .... construction
Glen Bowen .... construction (as Glenn Bowen)
Susan Bradley .... art director: title sequence
Francis Brady .... shop electric
Rodney Clark .... second key carpenter
Robert Covelman .... property master
Tim Davies .... construction
Christine Frankeberger .... assistant property master (as Chris Frankenburger)
Jim Gilmartin .... scenic artist
Gerald Gloster .... construction
Phil Goldstein .... scenic artist
E.J. Grover .... charge scenic (as E. Jane Grover)
Lincoln Harrice .... construction
Pedro Hernández .... second key construction grip (as Pedro Hernandez)
Shauna Kellin .... scenic artist
Philip Kennedy .... scenic artist (as Phil Kennedy)
George Kousoulides .... scenic artist
Bill Lehne .... construction coordinator
Lauren Levin .... scenic artist (as Lauren Lev)
Frank Lombardo .... property master: additional photography
Paul Loret .... construction
Todd MacNicholl .... construction
Lou Miller .... key carpenter
Laraine Mills .... art department assistant
Lyvan A. Munlyn .... on-set scenic (as Lyvan Munlyn)
Don Nace .... scenic artist
Mel Noped .... construction (as Melvin Noped)
Celia Parker .... scenic artist
Joseph Proscia .... leadman (as Joseph F. Proscia)
Malcolm Reid .... shop craftsperson
Scott Ritenour .... art director: additional photography
Pamela Roy-Stasney .... assistant decorator (as Pam Roy)
Ernie Shulder .... construction (as Ernie Shalder)
Larry Steinberg .... key construction grip
Ken Tanzer .... construction
Dan Vranesich .... construction (as Dan Vranesvich)
Marc Vranesich .... construction (as Marc Vranesvich)
Franz Yeich .... construction
Sound Department
Pembrooke Andrews .... foley editor
Thor Benitez .... adr recordist
Matthew C. Beville .... adr mixer (as Matt Beville)
Matthew C. Beville .... foley mixer (as Matt Beville)
Levon Broussalian .... manager: sound services
Jeff K. Brunello .... sound effects editor
Harry Cohen .... supervising sound designer
Paul Curtis .... dialogue editor
Marc Fishman .... sound re-recording mixer
Elisabeth Flaum .... sound effects editor
Clare C. Freeman .... supervising sound editor
Marshall Garlington .... sound re-recording mixer
Adam Gillick .... assistant sound effects editor
Wayne Gordon .... manager: sound services
John Garret Gorman .... sound recordist
Rebecca Hanck .... sound effects editor
Shawn Kennelly .... adr mixer
Shawn Kennelly .... foley mixer
Paul Koronkiewicz .... boom operator
Vince Nicastro .... foley artist
Nancy Nugent .... assistant dialogue editor
Jeff Pullman .... production sound mixer
Joan Rowe .... foley artist
Katie Rowe .... foley artist
Sean Rowe .... foley artist
Dan Scolnik .... foley editor
Cathie Speakman .... dialogue editor (as Catherine Speakman)
Chris Staszak .... adr recordist
Karl Wasserman .... boom operator
James Wright .... consultant: Dolby (as Jim Wright)
William Schneiberg .... additional boom operator (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Beth Block .... digital artist: Buena Vista Imaging
Leeway Chang .... digital artist: Buena Vista Imaging
Michael Curtis .... digital artist: Buena Vista Imaging
Christofer Dierdorff .... digital supervisor: Buena Vista Imaging (as Chris Dierdorff)
Jim Farrell .... camera operator: Buena Vista Imaging
Patric Kenly .... line-up: Buena Vista Imaging (as Pat Kenly)
William Koshowany .... line-up: Buena Vista Imaging (as Bil Koshowany)
Jolynn LaCasse .... storyboard artist: main title, Buena Vista Imaging (as Jolynn Lacasse)
Van Luong .... systems administrator: Buena Vista Imaging
Jim Mann .... camera operator: Buena Vista Imaging
Ron Peterson .... camera operator: Buena Vista Imaging
Bill Shook .... scanning and recording: Buena Vista Imaging
Michael Sweeney .... effects producer: Buena Vista Imaging
John White .... black & white lab supervisor: Buena Vista Imaging
Manny Siverio .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Richard Audino .... gaffer (as Rich Audino)
Jeff Barco .... gaffer: additional photography
Lucas Bielan .... director of photography: additional photography
Steve Calalang .... first assistant camera: additional photography
Bruce Carothers .... key grip: additional photography (as Robert Bruce Carothers)
John Clifford .... still photographer
Lamont Crawford .... grip
Jack English .... additional lighting equipment provider
James J. Ferris .... electrician (as Jim Ferris)
Kenneth Fundus .... dolly grip (as Ken Fundus)
Jamie Gallagher .... generator operator
Michael Gallart .... best boy electric
Dennis Green .... 24 frame video operator
Lee Kazista .... second assistant camera
Peter Masterson .... first assistant camera (as Peter Carlos Masterson)
Jim McMillan Jr. .... best boy grip (as James McMillan Jr.)
James McMillan .... key grip
Vojislav Mikulic .... gaffer: additional photography (as Voya Mikulic)
Charles 'Ching' Oettel .... second assistant camera: additional photography
Catherine Rios .... camera intern
Tom Weston .... camera operator
Tom Weston .... director of photography: second unit
Pete White .... first assistant camera: additional photography
Brooke Stanford .... electrician (uncredited)
Casting Department
Domenic Andreoli .... additional casting (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Suzanne Kelly .... costume supervisor
Patty Malick .... wardrobe supervisor: additional photography
Sonya M. Andonov .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Patty Malick .... wardrobe supervisor (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Colby Enders .... editorial assistant (as Colby R. Enders)
Jeffrey L. Jamison .... first assistant editor
Andrew Loschin .... assistant editor
Mike Milliken .... color timer
Maureen Norton .... executive in charge of post-production
Location Management
Ed Lippman .... location manager: additional photography
Tom Ross .... location manager
Andrew Saxe .... location manager
Music Department
Pete Anthony .... orchestrator
Anita Camarata .... music supervisor
Kostas Christides .... orchestrator (as Konstantinos Christides)
Paul Cohen .... musician: cello
Sandy DeCrescent .... music contractor (as Sandy De Crescent)
George Doering .... musician: guitar
Chuck Domanico .... musician: bass
Alan Estes .... musician: percussion
Robert Fernandez .... score mixer
Robert Fernandez .... score recordist
Robert Fernandez .... musician: percussion
Kaylin Frank .... music supervisor
M.B. Gordy .... musician: percussion (as Marvin B. Gordy III)
Tanya Noel Hill .... assistant music editor
Michael Lang .... musician: keyboard
David Low .... music manager
David Low .... musician: cello
Rene Mandel .... musician: violin
Frank Marocco .... musician: accordion
Sujin Nam .... scoring coordinator
Gary Nesturek .... musician: keyboard (as Gary Nesteruk)
Sid Page .... musician: violin
Jasper Randall .... scoring coordinator
David Reynolds .... orchestra leader
Rich Ruttenberg .... musician: keyboard
Steve Schaeffer .... musician: percussion (as Steven Schaffer)
Gary Stiffelman .... music business affairs: Ziffren, Brittenham, Branca & Fischer LLP for Jersey Records
Ron Straus .... musician: viola
Karl Vincent .... musician: bass (as Karl Vincent-Wickliff)
Terry Wilson .... supervising music editor
Christopher Young .... orchestrator
Todd Bozung .... preview music editor (uncredited)
Jon Kull .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Flavio Motalla .... score co-producer (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Kenny Gaskins .... transportation captain
Other crew
Alan Aguilar .... catering: Coast to Coast Catering
Rico Omega Alston .... video utility
Elias Axume .... assistant to servicing
Joshua A. Bell .... first assistant accountant
Bruce Bennett .... script intern
Alexandra Billington .... production intern
Susan Bradley .... title designer
Timothy Brooks .... office production assistant
Dana Brunetti .... assistant: Mr. Spacey
Michelle Chang .... copyright owner: Penthouse April 1999 spread, used by permission
Wendy Cohen .... product placement
Jesse Cole .... set production assistant
Beth Conwell .... director of servicing
Yarek Danielak .... international sales assistant
Laurie Dodsworth .... post-production accountant
Kristen Figeroid .... executive administrative assistant
Donovan Girard .... craft service
Peggy Glascoe .... production accountant
David Harris .... production secretary
James Holt .... vice president of finance (as Jim Holt)
Maura Hoy .... vice president of administration and sales
Chiemi Karasawa .... script supervisor
Victoria Lang .... set production assistant
Joshua Levinson .... associate: Mr. Devito (as Josh Levinson)
David Lynch .... script intern
Corinne Marrinan .... assistant: Mr. Swanbeck
Susan Muir .... completion bond: Film Finances Inc.
Malee Nerenhausen .... finance manager (as Mallee Nerenhausen)
Richard Novey .... vice president of international distribution
Robert L. Oppenheim .... business affairs: Oppenheim & Payne
Marianna Palka .... production intern
Katie Petrosky .... production associate (as Kate Petrosky)
Nancy Scanlon .... script editor (as Nancy Lane Scanlon)
Florian Schereck .... production controller
Brian Slocum .... production coordinator
Douglas R. Stone .... attorney: Stone, Meyer & Genow LLP for Trigger Street Productions
Alfonso Trinidad .... key set production assistant
Jeff Wadlow .... set production assistant (as Jeffrey C. Wadlow)
Mike Welch .... assistant: Mr. Spacey
Lisa Wilson .... president: international sales
Joe Cappelletti .... additional voices (uncredited)
Ian Harrington .... assistant: Danny DeVito (uncredited)
Massimo Nouhra .... production financing (uncredited)
George Bishop .... thanks: Wichita artist
Deborah Brock .... special thanks (as Deborah J. Brock)
Jay Cassidy .... special thanks
Peter DiPerro .... thanks: Beverly Hills Luggage (as Peter diPerro)
Molly Prather .... special thanks
Martin Rabinovitch .... special thanks
Eric Rigney .... special thanks
Kandy Tate .... thanks: Wichita artist
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for language
90 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

First (and as of 2014) and only film directed by John Swanbeck.See more »
Continuity: 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 »
Movie Connections:
Young at HeartSee more »


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47 out of 55 people found the following review useful.
A refreshingly intelligent film, 18 October 2000
Author: FlickJunkie-2 from Atlanta, GA

This refreshingly intelligent film delivers raw intellectual power by retaining the look and feel of the play from which it was adapted. The use of a single set and just three actors throws the emphasis entirely upon the in-depth character studies, the incisive dialogue and the actors' outstanding performances. It draws us into the lives of three seemingly ordinary guys at a convention whose interaction broaches questions that are nothing short of an examination of the meaning of life. The dialogue unabashedly strips the characters naked to show the ironies and hypocrisies inherent in their strategies for establishing meaning in the machinations of mundane lives. The laser sharp exchanges slash relentlessly at the souls of each, leaving none of the characters intact by the end of the film. And with each thrust, they drive another introspective probe deep into the psyche of the viewer.

The presentation reminded me a little of `Glengarry Glen Ross' with its theatrical feel and deep reflective tone, although this film was more confronting and less darkly despondent. Roger Roeff's penetrating script approaches the meaninglessness of life from three unique perspectives. We have Larry (Kevin Spacey) the seemingly superficial cynic who has far greater depth than he lets on and who uses his sardonic persona as a defense mechanism to hide his own fears. Phil (Danny DeVito) is the pragmatic but jaded salesman who is great at putting things in perspective for everyone but himself. Bob is the naïve young Christian zealot whose antidote for the futility of life is a strong dose of Jesus.

The juxtaposition of Larry the cynic and Bob the idealist makes for numerous thought provoking exchanges, especially when we learn that Phil (our mediator and voice of reason) is drowning in his own soul-searching quest for meaning. The story poses more questions than it does answers, and sputters a bit at the end, but overall it accomplishes its purpose of making the viewer ponder profundities easily ignored while in the pursuit of everyday priorities.

The acting was brilliant. Kevin Spacey gave what I thought was the best performance of his career. This was so much more interesting and meaty a character than he played in `American Beauty' that Spacey easily eclipsed even that outstanding performance. Larry was such a dynamic and complex character, that Spacey was able to open up the throttle and show us the full measure of his considerable talents. Likewise, Danny DeVito delivered a personal best in a serious dramatic role. His portrayal of the mediator who was trying to keep the peace while he was disintegrating inside was subtle and powerful. Peter Facinelli was also near perfect with an utterly believable and sincere performance as the pure hearted whelp whose heart was suffused with the Lord.

I rated this film a 9/10, but it requires a certain type of viewer to enjoy it. It is a very intellectual film, which precludes it from having much mass appeal. Action junkies will be bored to tears. However, for those who have a philosophical bent, this film will be highly satisfying.

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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Big Kahuna (1999)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Does Phil Cooper kill himself at the end of the picture? Skeptic36
6.5 out of 10 ? Why? plentyofkb
any suggestions about movies like this one? plentyofkb
Best written and delivered dialog ever? brucedgo
Snore-fest DonVonNoidman
Always God... hadirajan
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