The Big Picture (1989 film)
|The Big Picture|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Christopher Guest|
|Produced by||William E. McEuen|
Richard Gilbert Abramson
|Written by||Christopher Guest|
|Music by||David Nichtern|
|Edited by||Martin Nicholson|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
Film student and would-be writer/director Nick Chapman, a native of the Midwest, finds himself the winner of a prestigious student film contest in LA. Overnight, Hollywood VIPs want to make deals with Nick. He settles on a quirky agent to represent him, and signs a deal with a major film studio to make his dream movie.
Nick finds the Hollywood studio "process" distasteful, and is forced to make many creative compromises, but he now has money and meets fast, new Hollywood friends. Likewise, the now-affected Nick throws old friends overboard, as his instant success crowds out his old relationships, including that with his girlfriend, Susan.
Nick's new world is suddenly turned upside down again when a new studio head decides to cancel his film project. Unable to strike any new film deals, college educated Nick is reduced to entry level jobs to pay the bills like bus boy, moving man, cold call sales and message delivery man. His life is re-enacted in film parts.
Ultimately, a humbled and repentant Nick reunites with old friends, and with Susan, carves an unexpected path to getting his film produced, this time on his terms.
- Kevin Bacon as Nick Chapman
- Emily Longstreth as Susan Rawlings
- J. T. Walsh as Allen Habel
- Jennifer Jason Leigh as Lydia Johnson
- Michael McKean as Emmet Sumner
- Kim Miyori as Jenny Sumner
- Teri Hatcher as Gretchen
- Dan Schneider as Jonathan Tristan-Bennet
- Jason Gould as Carl Manknik
- Tracy Brooks Swope as Lori Pressman
- Don Franklin as Todd Marvin
- Gary Kroeger as Mark
- Fran Drescher as Polo Habel
- June Lockhart as Janet Kingsley
- Roddy McDowall as Judge
- Eddie Albert as M.C.
- John Cleese as Bartender
- Martin Short as Neil Sussman (uncredited)
- Elliott Gould as Prosecutor (uncredited)
- Bruce Kirby as Producer at Brown Entertainment
- Beth Chamberlin as Stewardess
- Suzanne M. Slater as Stewardess
Greenlit by David Puttnam, president of Columbia Pictures, who was ousted two weeks after production began. According to Guest, the subsequent regime at the studio was unable to figure out what could be done with the film, as many executives at the studio didn't like the film because they felt like they were being brutally satirized in it. Columbia quietly gave The Big Picture a limited theatrical release (despite opening to positive reviews) before sending it to video.
The Big Picture received positive reviews from critics, as it holds a 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 22 reviews with the consensus: "The Big Picture aims at targets that might not be familiar to viewers who aren't well-versed in movie-biz chicanery, but hits most of them so solidly that laughter is only the option."
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