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Big Fish (2003)

PG-13  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Fantasy  |  9 January 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 336,322 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 808 user | 233 critic | 42 from Metacritic.com

A son tries to learn more about his dying father by reliving stories and myths he told about his life.



(novel), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 46 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Don Price - Age 18-22
Beamen (as Loudon Wainwright)


United Press International journalist Will Bloom and his French freelance photojournalist wife Josephine Bloom, who is pregnant with their first child, leave their Paris base to return to Will's hometown of Ashton, Alabama on the news that his father, Edward Bloom, stricken with cancer, will soon die, he being taken off chemotherapy treatment. Although connected indirectly through Will's mother/Edward's wife, Sandra Bloom, Will has been estranged from his father for three years since his and Josephine's wedding. Will's issue with his father is the fanciful tales Edward has told of his life all his life, not only to Will but the whole world. As a child when Edward was largely absent as a traveling salesman, Will believed those stories, but now realizes that he does not know his father, who, as he continues to tell these stories, he will never get to know unless Edward comes clean with the truth before he dies. On the brink of his own family life beginning, Will does not want to be the ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


An adventure as big as life itself.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for a fight scene, some images of nudity and a suggestive reference | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

9 January 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El gran pez  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$70,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$207,377 (USA) (12 December 2003)


$3,559,255 (Japan) (18 June 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| | (8 channels)


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The town of Ashton, Alabama is actually Wetumpka and Prattville in the same state, combined. See more »


Ed Bloom has scratches on his face after the run-in with the werewolf. The next day the scratches are gone. See more »


[first lines]
Young Ed Bloom: There are some fish that cannot be caught. It's not that they are faster or stronger than other fish, they're just touched by something extra.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Columbia logo runs in reverse. See more »


References From Here to Eternity (1953) See more »


Written by Buddy Holly and Norman Petty
Performed by Buddy Holly
Courtesy of MCA Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Boy Who Cried Wolf!! (Werewolf!!)
19 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"A BIG FISH in a small pond!!!" the phrase applies to a typical local yokel who better not leave his sequestered Podunk town or else he is in for a rude awakening!!.. Venturesome as though he may be, Ed Bloom leaves his Mayberry, joins the circus, and decides to fall in love...True love comes along less than once in a lifetime...The intuition for true love in this movie is succinctly illustrated through a dark angled idealism, and suddenly, problems with falling in love are romanticized by a myriad of quirky determination patterns, as well as utterly human shortcomings!!. Married, having a son, a house, etc, etc, etc and so on and so on and so on and so forth and so forth and so forth, pans out to whereby his emeritus years become those of expounding dissertation about his exciting dare devil nefarious life as an impervious adolescent.. Spinning Yarns? We know better!!...Try telling his son that...Too incredible!! Too spectacular!! Too heroic!!...Ed Bloom's blindly motivational love and devotion towards the woman he cherishes, makes Romeo and Juliet's relationship seem platonic... Crazy dreams, the supernatural, and negligence of compassion via the compelling illustration of the cold cruel world, make Big Fish a reality as far as being a five star film!!

In the end, Big Fish shows how the aspect of positive human nature prevails, and how a person's life is intricate and meaningful!! The impact your father has on you is indelible, and recognition of unconditional love for your family, and the people around you, manifest themselves in many distinguishable ways, all of them being indispensable!! Ed Bloom is the picture-book example of how exaggerations and erroneous behavior in your life are an integral part of your existence!! You have realized you are fortunate to be human because you are not perfect, the adjective perfect is for calculators, Hallmark Cards, and martinis after work...Ed Bloom had an anything but John Doe in an orange crate funeral.. A numerous cross section of socially diverse individuals had a grass roots recognition of who Ed Bloom was, in that sense, Ed Bloom died a very rich man!! Big Fish was a melting pot of proclivities and acute misconceptualizations that established a colorful obituary as being the ultimate trophy we can be the recipients of for our agenda here on earth!! More significantly, the aggregate affection, as well as the life experiences all of the characters in the movie have had, and would not trade for a million dollars, is something that this film brilliantly portrays, by way of a hail Mary pass that winds up being the game winning touchdown!!.. It was this convoluted philosophical disposition that "Big Fish" so perfectly executed that puts this film in the category as one of the best films ever produced. Expediting faulted emotions is a sink or swim endeavor, and, in this case "Big Fish" swam, (No pun intended) Metaphorically, all of these accolades are a way of saying that the ending to this film was very powerful and cohesive...surprisingly and effectively so!! I give Big Fish a five star rating, and a perfect 10!! This website ranks it as one of the top 250 films ever made!! I totally concur!!

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