Best Movies by Farr
Big Night Poster
Released Runtime Category
1996 109 Drama
Director Language
Campbell Scott English
Stanley Tucci, Tony Shalhoub, Minnie Driver, Ian Holm, Isabella Rossellini

Big Night

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What's it About

In this warm, flavorful film, two Italian immigrant brothers, Primo (Shalhoub) and Secondo (Tucci), struggle to launch a restaurant that features authentic Italian cooking in 1950s New Jersey. Unfortunately, Primo's lovingly prepared, delicately seasoned risotto is no match for the spaghetti and meatballs served up in quantity by successful competitor Pascal (Holm). A VIP banquet for their hero Louis Prima just might generate the publicity they've needed.

Why we love it

"Big Night" is a small joy, whose success lies in its recreation of period detail, and in bravura turns by its ensemble cast, particularly Shalhoub, who steals the picture as brother Primo, the shy, eccentric, uncompromising chef. Minnie Driver and Isabella Rossellini offer memorable support, but the main course is, of course, the banquet — a coup for the brothers, if guest of honor Prima shows. Tucci's script, written with his cousin Joseph Tropiano, revolves around food and family, but it also involves a familiar quest: to realize the American Dream without selling out.

BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"