19 user 12 critic

Big Trouble (1986)

R | | Comedy | 30 May 1986 (USA)
Insurance agent plots with client to kill her nutty husband.


John Cassavetes


Andrew Bergman (as Warren Bogle)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Falk ... Steve Rickey
Alan Arkin ... Leonard Hoffman
Beverly D'Angelo ... Blanche Rickey
Charles Durning ... O'Mara
Robert Stack ... Winslow
Paul Dooley ... Noozel
Valerie Curtin ... Arlene Hoffman
Richard Libertini ... Dr. Lopez
Steve Alterman Steve Alterman ... Peter Hoffman
Jerry Pavlon Jerry Pavlon ... Michael Hoffman
Paul La Greca ... Joshua Hoffman
John Finnegan ... Det. Murphy
Karl Lukas ... Police captain
Maryedith Burrell ... Gail
Edith Fields ... Doris


Insurance agent plots with client to kill her nutty husband.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The tune hummed at the breakfast table was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's 1787 classical piece of music "Eine kleine Nachtmusik". See more »


Leonard Hoffman: Fourteen thousand dollars a year, multiply that by three, that's forty-two thousand dollars a year tuition. They want two hundred thousand dollars to send three kids to Yale for four years.
See more »


Spoofs Double Indemnity (1944) See more »


Happy Brithday to You
Written by Mildred J. Hill and Patty S. Hill
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User Reviews

unusual Cassavetes style comedy
11 July 2002 | by LesHallesSee all my reviews

This is a demanding comedy, because much of the humor depends on references to classic films, and will be lost to someone who is not familiar with them. It does have many incredibly funny scenes on its own right, and some great performance bits.

Plus Beverly D'Angelo is gorgeous and very funny both.

See some later reviews for relevent films, and consider seeing the referenced films first to appreciate the humor more. Without understanding the references and parodies of this film-maker's comedy though, it might be confusing.

Also consider seeing some of Cassavetes work first, to get an idea of what he is usually about. This film melds his own idosyncratic style with a more mainstream American comic style, but has the timing and structure of Godard film.

Big Trouble is a reteaming of some of the acting same talent that made the incredibly funny The In-Laws. It is much more surrealistic and avant-garde, being directed by that greatest of American directors John Cassavetes. Like the films he himself scripted, it is more character than plot driven. Cassavetes is exploring something in this film; it is not a consistently drop-down funny flim like The In-Laws, nor is the action as suspenseful and spine-tingling, but it has some incredibly funny moments, including one of the funniest scenes ever put on film (try some sardine liquor). Not to be missed by Cassavetes fans or die-hard In-Laws fans who want more.

Someone looking for an easy to watch straight-ahead comedy or action/adventure film, however, might be disappointed.

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Release Date:

30 May 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Big Trouble See more »

Filming Locations:

Phoenix, Arizona, USA See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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