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Big Night Details


In this witty drama, a pair of brothers debate integrity versus compromise as they try to succeed in the restaurant business. Primo ([[Performer~P64745~Tony Shalhoub~tonyshalhoub]]) and Secondo ([[Performer~P72023~Stanley Tucci~stanleytucci]]) have journeyed from Italy to New Jersey in the mid-1950s, determined to make a killing with an authentic Italian restaurant, The Paradise. But their food is a bit too authentic; Primo may prepare a superb risotto, but most of his customers are wondering why they can't get a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs. Secondo tries to convince his brother not to berate the customers for requesting more "American" dishes, but Primo stands firm. Meanwhile, Pascal ([[Performer~P32962~Ian Holm~ianholm]]), another local restaurateur, is doing great business with "Italian style" food the brothers wouldn't bother to spit on. Despite Primo's refusal to change his recipes to cater to lowbrow tastes, Secondo goes to Pascal begging for advice. With The Paradise on its last legs, Pascal offers to help -- [[Performer~P107102~Louis Prima~louisprima]], the famous Italian-American bandleader, is coming to town, and Pascal is to arrange a banquet in his honor. He'll stage the banquet at The Paradise in the hopes that Prima and his entourage (and hopefully the accompanying press) will fall in love with the authentic food and sing the praises of the foundering restaurant as he tours the country. The preparations for the big night and the behind-the-scenes family drama that ensues is highlighted by a strong supporting cast of [[Performer~P199950~Minnie Driver~minniedriver]], [[Performer~P61690~Isabella Rossellini~isabellarossellini]], and [[Performer~P199091~Allison Janney~allisonjanney]]. [[Performer~P72023~Stanley Tucci~stanleytucci]], who plays Secondo, co-directed with [[Performer~P64044~Campbell Scott~campbellscott]], who has a small but memorable role as a car salesman. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

  • Release date:January 24, 1996


Awarded by
National Society of Film Critics Joseph Tropiano Best Screenplay (Runner-up) 1996 Winner
Independent Spirit Awards Joseph Tropiano Best First Screenplay 1996 Winner
Sundance Film Festival Joseph Tropiano Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award 1996 Winner
National Society of Film Critics Stanley Tucci Best Screenplay (Runner-up) 1996 Winner
New York Film Critics Circle Stanley Tucci Best New Director 1996 Winner
Independent Spirit Awards Stanley Tucci Best First Screenplay 1996 Winner
Independent Spirit Awards Stanley Tucci Best Actor 1996 Nominee
National Society of Film Critics Tony Shalhoub Best Supporting Actor 1996 Winner
Independent Spirit Awards Tony Shalhoub Best Actor 1996 Nominee
New York Film Critics Circle Campbell Scott Best New Director 1996 Winner
Independent Spirit Awards Campbell Scott Best First Feature 1996 Nominee


Stanley Tucci
as Secondo
Tony Shalhoub
as Primo
Minnie Driver
as Phyllis
Ian Holm
as Pascal
Isabella Rossellini
as Gabriella
Allison Janney
as Ann
Campbell Scott
Marc Anthony
as Cristiano


Stanley Tucci
Campbell Scott
Jonathan Filley
Keith Samples
David Kirkpatrick
Stanley Tucci
Joseph Tropiano
Ken Kelsch
Suzy Elmiger
Andrew Jackness
Production Designer
Campbell Scott
Stanley Tucci
Oliver Platt
Associate Producer
Beth Alexander
Associate Producer
William Sarokin
Sound/Sound Designer
Lynn D'Angona
First Assistant Director
Ellen Lewis