GenreComedy, Drama, Romance Music directorDavid Nichtern LanguageEnglish
WriterChristopher Guest, Michael Varhol, Michael McKean Release dateSeptember 15, 1989 (1989-09-15) CastKevin Bacon (Nick Chapman), Emily Longstreth (Susan Rawlings), J. T. Walsh (Allen Habel), Jennifer Jason Leigh (Lydia Johnson), Michael McKean (Emmet Sumner), Kim Miyori (Jenny Sumner) Similar moviesPee-wees Big Adventure (1985), Bowfinger (1999), The Player (1992), Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1941), The Deal (2008)
TaglineFilm school prepared Nick for everything... everything but Hollywood.
The big picture 1989
The Big Picture is 1989 American comedy film starring Kevin Bacon and directed by Christopher Guest. As with Guest's other directorial outings, the film has been critically lauded and very highly rated by reviewing websites, and features performances from highly respected comedic talent.
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 bigwigs 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 adorable and sincere 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.
Ultimately, a humbled and repentant Nick reunites with old friends, and with Susan, and 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 of Columbia Pictures, the president was ousted two weeks after production began, and the subsequent regime at the studio, according to Guest, were 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."