Big (film)

Last updated
Big
Big Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Penny Marshall
Produced by
Written by
Starring
Music by Howard Shore
Cinematography Barry Sonnenfeld
Edited by Barry Malkin
Production
company
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
  • June 3, 1988 (1988-06-03)
Running time
104 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$18 million [1]
Box office$151.7 million [1]

Big is a 1988 American fantasy comedy film directed by Penny Marshall, and stars Tom Hanks as Josh Baskin, a young boy who makes a wish "to be big" and is then aged to adulthood overnight. The film also stars Elizabeth Perkins, David Moscow as young Josh, John Heard and Robert Loggia, and was written by Gary Ross and Anne Spielberg.

Fantasy film film genre

Fantasy films are films that belong to the fantasy genre with fantastic themes, usually magic, supernatural events, mythology, folklore, or exotic fantasy worlds. The genre is considered a form of speculative fiction alongside science fiction films and horror films, although the genres do overlap. Fantasy films often have an element of magic, myth, wonder, escapism, and the extraordinary.

Comedy is a genre of film in which the main emphasis is on humour. These films are designed to make the audience laugh through amusement and most often work by exaggerating characteristics for humorous effect. Films in this style traditionally have a happy ending. One of the oldest genres in film, some of the very first silent movies were comedies, as slapstick comedy often relies on visual depictions, without requiring sound. When sound films became more prevalent during the 1920s, comedy films took another swing, as laughter could result from burlesque situations but also dialogue.

Penny Marshall American actress and film director

Carole Penny Marshall was an American actress, director and producer. She came to notice in the 1970s for her role as Laverne DeFazio on the television sitcom Laverne & Shirley (1976–1983), receiving three nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy for her portrayal.

Contents

Plot

Twelve-year-old Josh Baskin, who lives with his parents and infant sister in Cliffside Park, New Jersey, is told he is too short for a carnival ride called the Super Loops, while attempting to impress Cynthia Benson, an older girl. He puts a coin into an unusual antique arcade fortune teller machine called Zoltar, and makes a wish to be "big". It dispenses a card stating "Your wish is granted", but Josh is spooked to see it was unplugged the entire time.

Cliffside Park, New Jersey Borough in New Jersey

Cliffside Park is a borough in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 23,594, reflecting an increase of 587 (+2.6%) from the 23,007 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 2,614 (+12.8%) from the 20,393 counted in the 1990 Census.

The next morning, Josh has been transformed into a 30-year-old man. He tries to find the Zoltar machine, only to see an empty field, the carnival having moved on. Returning home, he tries to explain his predicament to his mother, who refuses to listen and then threatens him, thinking he is a stranger who kidnapped her son. Fleeing from her, he then finds his best friend, Billy, and convinces him of his identity by singing a rap that only they know. With Billy's help, he learns that it will take a long time to find the machine, so Josh rents a flophouse room in New York City and gets a job as a data entry clerk at MacMillan Toy Company. Billy and Josh find out that it will take a month until Consumer company will find the machine.

Flophouse place with cheap lodging

A flophouse, doss-house, or dosshouse is considered a derogatory term for a place that offers very low cost lodging, providing space to sleep and minimal amenities.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States and thus also in the state of New York. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

The Walking Piano, as featured in Big 2004-12-12 - New York (9).jpg
The Walking Piano, as featured in Big

Josh runs into the company's owner, Mr. MacMillan, at FAO Schwarz, and impresses him with his insight into current toys and his childlike enthusiasm. They play a duet on a foot-operated electronic keyboard, performing "Heart and Soul" and "Chopsticks". This earns Josh a promotion to a dream job: getting paid to test toys as Vice President in charge of Product Development. With his promotion, his larger salary enables him to move into a spacious luxury apartment, which he and Billy fill with toys, a rigged Pepsi vending machine dispensing free drinks, and a pinball machine. He soon attracts the attention of Susan Lawrence, a fellow MacMillan executive. A romance begins to develop, to the annoyance of her ruthless former boyfriend and coworker, Paul Davenport. Josh becomes increasingly entwined in his "adult" life by spending time with her, mingling with her friends, and being in a steady relationship. His ideas become valuable assets to MacMillan Toys; however, he begins to forget what it is like to be a child, and he never has time to hang out with his best friend Billy because of his busy schedule.

FAO Schwarz company known for its unique high-end toys, life-sized stuffed animals, dolls, and games

FAO Schwarz is an American toy brand and store. The company is known for its high-end toys, life-sized stuffed animals, interactive experiences, brand integrations, and games.

The Walking Piano

The Walking Piano, also called the Big Piano by its creator, Remo Saraceni, is an oversized synthesizer. Merging dance, music, and play, it is played by the user's feet tapping the keys to make music. Versions of the piano have been installed in museums, children's hospitals, and other public places around the world.

"Chopsticks" is a simple, widely known waltz for the piano. Written in 1877, it is the only published piece by the British composer Euphemia Allen. Allen—whose brother was a music publisher—was sixteen when she composed the piece, with arrangements for solo and duet. The title "Chop Waltz" comes from Allen's specification that the melody be played in two-part harmony with both hands held in a vertical orientation, little fingers down and palms facing each other, striking the keys with a chopping motion. The similar "The Coteletten Polka" also was first heard in 1877, with the piano collection Paraphrases elaborating on the theme by 1879. "Chopsticks" continues to be popular in various forms of media.

MacMillan asks Josh to come up with proposals for a new line of toys. He is intimidated by the need to formulate the business aspects of the proposal, but Susan says she will handle the business end while he comes up with ideas. Nonetheless, he feels pressured, and longs for his old life. When he expresses doubts to her and attempts to explain that he is really a child, she interprets this as fear of commitment on his part, and dismisses his explanation.

Josh learns from Billy that the Zoltar machine is now at Sea Point Park. He leaves in the middle of presenting their proposal to MacMillan and other executives. Susan also leaves, and encounters Billy, who tells her where Josh went. At the park, Josh finds the machine, unplugs it and makes a wish to become "a kid again". He is then confronted by Susan, who, seeing the machine and the fortune it gave him, realizes he was telling the truth. She becomes despondent at realizing their relationship is over. He tells her she was the one thing about his adult life he wishes would not end and suggests she use the machine to turn herself into a little girl. She declines, saying that being a child once was enough, and takes him home. After sharing an emotional goodbye with Susan, he becomes a child again. He waves goodbye to Susan one last time before reuniting with his family. The film ends with Josh and Billy hanging out together, with the song "Heart and Soul" playing over the credits.

Cast

Tom Hanks American actor and producer

Thomas Jeffrey Hanks is an American actor and filmmaker. Hanks is known for his comedic and dramatic roles in such films as Splash (1984), Big (1988), Turner & Hooch (1989), A League of Their Own (1992), Sleepless in Seattle (1993), Apollo 13 (1995), You've Got Mail (1998), The Green Mile (1999), Cast Away (2000), Road to Perdition (2002), Cloud Atlas (2012), Captain Phillips (2013), Saving Mr. Banks (2013), and Sully (2016). He has also starred in the Robert Langdon film series, and voices Sheriff Woody in the Toy Story film series. He is one of the most popular and recognizable film stars worldwide, and is widely regarded as an American cultural icon.

David Raphael Moscow is an American film and stage actor, writer, director, producer and activist. He is best known for his role as the young Josh Baskin in the 1988 film Big.

Elizabeth Perkins actress

Elizabeth Ann Perkins is an American actress. Her film roles have included About Last Night... (1986), Big (1988), The Flintstones (1994), Miracle on 34th Street (1994), and Avalon (1990). She is also well known for her role as Celia Hodes in the Showtime TV series Weeds, for which she received three Primetime Emmy nominations and two Golden Globe nominations.

Reception

Critical response

On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 97% of 74 critics gave it a positive review, with an average rating of 7.9/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Refreshingly sweet and undeniably funny, Big is a showcase for Tom Hanks, who dives into his role and infuses it with charm and surprising poignancy." [2] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 73 out of 100, based on 20 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". [3] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale. [4]

The New York Times praised the performances of Moscow and Rushton, saying the film "features believable young teen-age mannerisms from the two real boys in its cast and this only makes Mr. Hanks's funny, flawless impression that much more adorable." [5]

The film was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actor (Hanks) and Best Original Screenplay.

The film is number 23 on Bravo's 100 Funniest Movies. In 2000, it was ranked 42nd on the American Film Institute's "100 Years…100 Laughs" list. [6] In June 2008, AFI named it as the tenth-best film in the fantasy genre. [7] In 2008, it was selected by Empire Magazine as one of "The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time." [8]

Big was part of a trend of age-changing comedies produced in the late 1980s, including Like Father Like Son (1987), 18 Again! (1988), Vice Versa (1988), and the Italian film Da grande (1987). [9] [10] The latter Italian film has been said to be the inspiration for Big. [11] [12]

The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:

Box office

The film opened #2 with $8.2 million its first weekend. [15] It would end up grossing over $151 million ($116 million USA, $36 million international). [15] It was the first feature film directed by a woman to gross over $100 million.

Adaptations

Broadway musical

In 1996, the film was made into a musical for the Broadway stage. It featured music by David Shire, lyrics by Richard Maltby Jr., and a book by John Weidman. Directed by Mike Ockrent, and choreographed by Susan Stroman, it opened on April 28, 1996 and closed on October 13, 1996, after 193 performances.

Television show

On September 30, 2014, Fox announced that a TV remake, loosely based on the film, was planned. Written and executive produced by Kevin Biegel and Mike Royce, it dealt with what it means to be an adult and kid in present times. [16]

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<i>Big</i> (musical) musical

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References

  1. 1 2 "Big - Box Office Data, DVD and Blu-ray Sales, Movie News, Cast and Crew Information". The Numbers . Retrieved January 16, 2015.
  2. "Big (1988)". Rotten Tomatoes . Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  3. https://www.metacritic.com/movie/big
  4. "Find CinemaScore" (Type "Big" in the search box). CinemaScore . Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  5. Maslin, Janet (June 3, 1988). "Review/Film; Tom Hanks as a 13-Year-Old, in 'Big'". The New York Times . Retrieved September 1, 2009.
  6. "AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs" (PDF). American Film Institute. 2000. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 1, 2009. Retrieved September 1, 2009.
  7. "10 Top 10: Top 10 Fantasy". American Film Institute. 2008. Archived from the original on September 1, 2009. Retrieved September 1, 2009.
  8. "Empire's 500 Greatest Movies Of All Time". Empireonline.com. 2006-12-05. Retrieved 2012-06-22.
  9. Harmetz, Aljean (January 15, 1990). "The Media Business; Buchwald Ruling: Film Writers vs. Star Power". The New York Times . Retrieved September 23, 2011.
  10. "15 Huge Facts About 'Big'". Mental Floss . Retrieved 2016-07-05.
  11. "Cinema Italiano 2010: Master of Ceremonies and Jurors". Cinema Italiano in Hawaii. Retrieved September 15, 2011.
  12. Irazábal Martín, Concha (1996). Alice, Sí Está: Directoras de Cine Europeas y Norteamericanas 1896-1996. Volume 23 of Cuadernos inacabados. Horas y Horas. ISBN   9788487715594.
  13. "AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs" (PDF). American Film Institute . Retrieved 2016-08-06.
  14. "AFI's 10 Top 10: Top 10 Fantasy". American Film Institute . Retrieved 2016-08-06.
  15. 1 2 "Big (1988)". Box Office Mojo . Retrieved September 1, 2009.
  16. Andreeva, Nellie. "'Big' Series In Works At Fox With 'Enlisted's Kevin Biegel & Mike Royce". Deadline.com. Retrieved 3 December 2015.

See also