7.3/10
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94 user 55 critic

Big Night (1996)

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New Jersey, 1950s. Two brothers run an Italian restaurant. Business is not going well as a rival Italian restaurant is out-competing them. In a final effort to save the restaurant, the brothers plan to put on an evening of incredible food.
9 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marc Anthony ... Cristiano
Tony Shalhoub ... Primo
Stanley Tucci ... Secondo
Larry Block Larry Block ... Man in Restaurant
Caroline Aaron ... Woman in Restaurant
Andre Belgrader Andre Belgrader ... Stash (as Andrei Belgrader)
Minnie Driver ... Phyllis
Peter McRobbie ... Loan Officer
Isabella Rossellini ... Gabriella
Liev Schreiber ... Leo
Pasquale Cajano ... Alberto N. Pisani
Christine Tucci ... Woman Singer
Gene Canfield ... Charlie
Ian Holm ... Pascal
Allison Janney ... Ann
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Storyline

Primo and Secondo are two brothers who have emigrated from Italy to open an Italian restaurant in America. Primo is the irascible and gifted chef, brilliant in his culinary genius, but determined not to squander his talent on making the routine dishes that customers expect. Secondo is the smooth front-man, trying to keep the restaurant financially afloat, despite few patrons other than a poor artist who pays with his paintings. The owner of the nearby Pascal's restaurant, enormously successful (despite its mediocre fare), offers a solution - he will call his friend, a big-time jazz musician, to play a special benefit at their restaurant. Primo begins to prepare his masterpiece, a feast of a lifetime, for the brothers' big night... Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In love and life, one big night can change everything.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

20 September 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Big Night - italialainen ilta See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,100,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$185,942, 22 September 1996, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$11,881,039, 21 February 1997
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stanley Tucci, who co-wrote and co-directed this movie, and Tony Shalhoub have worked together several times, including Tucci's follow-up film, The Impostors (1998), and on Shalhoub's series Monk (2002). See more »

Goofs

In the final scene of the "big night" dinner the wine bottles across the table and in the kitchen with Secondo all have the trademark pink DOCG label on the bottle stem. The DOCG pink label was released in Italy only in the 1990s; the movie is set in the 1950s. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Primo: [offers a taste asking opinion in Italian]
Secondo: What?
Primo: More Salt?
Secondo: No.
[continues chopping]
Primo: Not too fine, eh? Sometimes you cut it too fine, then all you taste is the garlic!
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Connections

Referenced in Scrubs: My Hero (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Il Pescivendolo
Written and Performed by Matteo Salvatore
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User Reviews

 
A truly great "small" film...
27 January 2004 | by tberardi1See all my reviews

I can't even begin to explain how much I love this film. First, it may be one of the great "food movies" of all time. Anyone who considers him/herself a lover of good food and doesn't drool over the "timpano" alone should check their pulse... And the performances are remarkably restrained, yet lively. Stanley Tucci is sublime, Tony Shalhoub is, as always, a marvel. Truly interesting camerawork that draws one in, yet doesn't detract (or distract) from the story or the characters. Because, at its heart, this is a character-driven piece -- about the love and mutual respect shared by two strong-willed siblings. Someday I will take part in a feast like that shared by the characters in this film, and on that day, I will be an extraordinarily happy man. Until then, I'll watch this movie again and again.


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