16 user 23 critic

The Big Fix (1978)

An ex-'60s radical now working as a private eye is hired by an old flame to investigate a political smear campaign. The case becomes more dangerous as it unfolds.


Jeremy Kagan (as Jeremy Paul Kagan)


Roger L. Simon (screenplay), Roger L. Simon (novel)
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Dreyfuss ... Moses Wine
Susan Anspach ... Lila
Bonnie Bedelia ... Suzanne
John Lithgow ... Sam Sebastian
Ofelia Medina ... Alora
Nicolas Coster ... Spitzler
F. Murray Abraham ... Eppis
Fritz Weaver ... Oscar Procari Sr.
Jorge Cervera Jr. Jorge Cervera Jr. ... Jorge
Michael Hershewe Michael Hershewe ... Jacob
Rita Karin Rita Karin ... Aunt Sonya
Ron Rifkin ... Randy
Larry Bishop ... Wilson
Andrew Bloch ... Michael Linker
Sidney Clute ... Mr. Johnson


In Los Angeles, Moses Wine, who was part of the counter-culture of the late 1960s at UC-Berkeley, still has those radical feelings but no longer does anything about them. His wife Suzanne, who has transformed from a 1960s hippie to a 1970s new-ageist, divorced him when his law school background didn't materialize into the upper middle class liberal life she was expecting, she having sole custody of their two young sons, with Moses having visitation rights. Moses fell into work as a private investigator of the gumshoe variety, which usually doesn't cover his monthly child support payments. After not seeing her for ten years, Moses is contacted by Lila Shea, an old girlfriend from Berkeley, to do some investigative work on behalf of her boss, Sam Sebastian, the Southern California coordinator for the gubernatorial campaign of Congressman Miles Hawthorne. Lila felt Moses would be well suited to the job because of running within "the" crowd at Berkeley, even if only knowing the main ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Richard Dreyfuss as Moses Wine, private detective. So go figure... See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Richard Dreyfuss says, "May the Force be with you". A popular catch phrase at the time as the first Star Wars film had recently been released. See more »


Moses Wine: Bakunin? Bakunin was a terrorist monster. You are not an authority on Bakunin just because you used to date every terrorist in Soviet Russia, that does not make you an authority.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The video release deletes Leon Redbone's "I want to be seduced" from the soundtrack. See more »


References Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973) See more »


Written by Eugène Pottier and Pierre De Geyter
Performed by Richard Dreyfuss
See more »

User Reviews

Two levels of nostalgia pervade counterculture gumshoe thriller
16 October 2001 | by bmacvSee all my reviews

When it was released in 1978, there was already a distance built into The Big Fix, based on a detective novel set in the ashes of the counterculture. The story had been commissioned by Rolling Stone magazine from Roger L. Simon, who wrote the script. On its release, the film was already drawing on images of the late 60s that had ceased to be memories but had already entered a misty mythology.

Richard Dreyfuss, fresh from the Spielberg hits (Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind) that had made him a star. not to mention his Academy Award for The Goodbye Girl), plays Moses Wine, aonetime rebel who has fallen on hardtimes. His wife, Bonnie Bedelia, has divorced him (though he dotes --rather tiresomely -- on his two sons), and he earns his keep as aprivate investigator when not smoking up and playing solitaire Clue in his -- there's no other word -- "pad."

Operatives of a political campaign sign him on to find out who is waging a dirty-tricks campaign to link their candidate to a legendary radical, now disappeared deep into the underground. The story has some interesting twists, particularly those involving Susan Anspach, John Lithgow and F. Murray Abraham, but the plot tends to disappear into holes here and there, as though told in a marijuana haze.

Viewed in the new millennium, The Big Fix unfolds behind two scrims of nostalgia: The one in the story itself, where 60s has-beens, unhappy with how the world has turned, yearn for barricades and love-ins; and the one revealed by the talents who made the movie, where that yearning for the heady days of the counterculture -- Berkeley! Vietnam! Hash brownies! -- has developed its own, peculiarly fusty period flavor.

39 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 16 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.





English | Spanish

Release Date:

6 October 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Big Fix See more »


Box Office


$3,800,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed