Big Night (1996)

7.31 h 49 min1996X-RayR
In a late 1950s beach town, two brothers (Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub) battle over how to run their Italian restaurant. When jazz great Louis Prima comes to dinner, the two must work together for the success of the family business.
Stanley Tucci
Minnie DriverIan HolmIsabella Rossellini
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Tony Shalhoub
Jonathan Filley
Paramount Pictures Corp.
R (Restricted)
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4.5 out of 5 stars

1369 global ratings

  1. 75% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 13% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 6% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 3% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 4% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

G. BryantReviewed in the United States on June 27, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
A Classic Among Classics to Watch Again and Again
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One of our all time favorite movies! First of all, it's an all-star dream cast- Isabella Rossellini, Stanley Tucci, Tony Shalhoub, Ian Holm, Minnie Driver, Allison Janney, Liev Shreiber, and even Marc Anthony! The acting is on point with every beat. The music, the food, the bantering between Primo and Secondo, the whole 1950's feel of the little east coast town are all delicious. It has you on the edge of your seat in a wonderfully subdued way that pays off even when the big payoff isn't what you think. Awesome movie for family night with teens.
33 people found this helpful
joanReviewed in the United States on May 21, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
A gem!!!
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PLEASE watch this!! This is a little gem of a movie. I saw this years ago. It was the first time I saw Stanley Tucci and I've been a rabid fan ever since. Anything he's in is a great performance. This was the most uplifting movie. A view of real life in a real restaurant with real owners having real frustrations about trying to make a profit, serve exquisite food for customers who should realy dine at McDonald's, because that's all they understand about dining out. and trying to make a profit. You can enjoy the ups and downs and appreciate everyone in it, especially Stanley Tucci.
12 people found this helpful
Bee LindaReviewed in the United States on March 12, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Worthy of Multiple Viewings
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This is a classic foodie movie. It is full of quotes and beautiful scenes of restaurant life. Someone needs to make some posters of some of the great scenes! Best quote: "Sink your teeth into the ass of life and drag it to you." Best scene: The three spellbound chefs with their arms crossed as Minnie Driver walks into the restaurant all glammed up. I don't know why Marc Anthony gets the sole billing here! It is written, produced, and directed by Stanley Tucci, who also is one of the main characters in this wonderfully crafted story of two Italian immigrants. Marc Anthony, I believe, did not have a single line in the entire movie. Ha! Enjoy! If you have seen it, watch it again.
25 people found this helpful
joel wingReviewed in the United States on April 25, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
How food can bring people together
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It’s the 1950s and two broke immigrant brothers Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub run a struggling Italian restaurant. Shalhoub is the chef and will only make authentic Italian cuisine while the customers want Italian-American dishes like spaghetti and meatballs. They have a big night when Jazz performer Louis Prima is coming to dinner who could make their place famous. Tucci and Shalhoub are great together because all they do is argue about the food and business. There’s one scene however before the dinner begins when both brothers are in the kitchen preparing the meal and not a word is said. It’s a moment of bliss symbolizing how food can bring people together. That’s brought forth again when the big dinner is finally served. They show the name of each dish and then serve it. The food looks beautiful and shows that Italian food isn’t just Italian-American where almost everything comes in red tomato sauce.
3 people found this helpful
George GoldbergReviewed in the United States on May 4, 2019
2.0 out of 5 stars
Very slow, very sad movie, which telegraphs its denouement early on.
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If you are in a happy mood, this movie will be the complete cure. Nobody, absolutely nobody in this movie is happy, certainly not for more than a minute or two. The production values are high, the actors are good looking, but it's just no fun watching this miasma of existential sorrow.
11 people found this helpful
MyselfReviewed in the United States on August 2, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Life can be beautiful, and sometimes very painful...cherish it all.
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One of the best movies ever made!...about two Italian brothers who deeply loved one another, but who perceived reality completely differently. Their conflicts were sometimes very funny, and others, painfully heart wrenching to watch...especially the final sequence. All the cast, both the men and women, did a great, great job! Why Big Night did not win a whole basket full of Academy Awards is beyond me...the movie deserved them. A VERY beautiful and moving story. Loved it!
8 people found this helpful
Jennifer KellowReviewed in the United States on December 26, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
A gem of film.
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A good friend of mine, Peter Appel is in this movie. I've actually never seen it all the way through until a few nights ago. My husband is from Italy and he moved here to be with me. Believe me when I say this is an accurate portrait of Italians, not silly stereotypes. The music, food, and dialogue are all authentic. What a gem of a movie. Keep in mind that coming to another country to work and hope for a better life is extremely difficult. All Americans had family somewhere in their past that came here from somewhere else. It's scary, lonely, and it tears at your heart to try to assimilate while holding on to everything that you loved about your culture and your country so that you never forget home. It seems that a DVD or Blu-Ray might be out of print for this film. I urge whatever studio holds the rights to this film to please give it another release – perhaps on Blu-Ray? This film more than deserves it. Bravo.
23 people found this helpful
Karen S.Reviewed in the United States on December 16, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Incredible Cast and Very Good Movie
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Dramatic, fun, touching. This is a well-rounded movie with a very palpable feel. The cast includes
Stanley Tucci, Tony Shalhoub, Minnie Driver, Isabella Rossellini, Campbell Scott, Marc Anthony, and Allison Janney.
The premise is two guys from Italy open a restaurant and try to do it with class..... I highly recommend this movie.
13 people found this helpful
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