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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.
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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
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot over a period of thirty-five days. 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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Soundtracks

Giordani, Caro Mio Ben
Performed by Ezio Pinza
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User Reviews

 
Beautiful film that has it all.
1 March 2000 | by thehumanduvetSee all my reviews

This is just amazing, quite unlike any other "american" film I ever saw; a gentle, bittersweet tale of frustrated dreams and artistic integrity, an hilarious comedy of manners performed by an outstanding international cast, a touching blend of awkward romance and the central relationship between the two brothers, brilliantly portrayed by co-creator Tucci and Hollywood's "every-foreigner", the sublime Tony Shalhoub. Big Night dragged me through wider range of emotions than any other movie, it made me want to dance and sing during the party scene (Mambo Italiano), made me laugh out loud at the wacky characters sprinkled throughout, made me angry with the philistines and money-grabbing capitalists who spoil the brothers' dream, made me want to hug Shalhoub's shy gastronomic genius Primo as he tried so clumsily to chat up his flower-girl; the food looked simply amazing, Minnie Driver splashing around in the sea was at her most gorgeous, every actor played their brilliantly scripted part to perfection and the scene at the end with the omelette is the most beautiful and poignant ending I could ever hope to see. All in all this film is one of the best ever made and everyone in the world and especially in Hollywood should be forced to watch it every week until they get some humanity back in them. But not on an empty stomache, get some snacks in first eh.


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