6.4/10
11,084
47 user 7 critic

Big Business (1988)

PG | | Comedy | 10 June 1988 (USA)
Two couples of sisters from New York and from the countryside discover that they are connected in an incredible way.

Director:

Jim Abrahams

Writers:

Dori Pierson, Marc Reid Rubel (as Marc Rubel)
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bette Midler ... Sadie Shelton / Sadie Ratliff
Lily Tomlin ... Rose Shelton / Rose Ratliff
Fred Ward ... Roone Dimmick
Edward Herrmann ... Graham Sherbourne
Michele Placido ... Fabio Alberici
Daniel Gerroll ... Chuck
Barry Primus ... Michael
Michael Gross ... Dr. Jay Marshall
Deborah Rush ... Binky Shelton
Nicolas Coster ... Hunt Shelton
Patricia Gaul ... Iona Ratliff
J.C. Quinn ... Garth Ratliff
Norma MacMillan Norma MacMillan ... Nanny Lewis
Joe Grifasi ... Desk Clerk
John Vickery ... Hotel Manager
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Storyline

In the 1940s in the small town of Jupiter Hollow, two sets of identical twins are born in the same hospital on the same night. One set to a poor local family and the other to a rich family just passing through. The dizzy nurse on duty accidentally mixes the twins unbeknown to the parents. Our story flashes forward to the 1980s where the mismatched sets of twins are about to cross paths following a big business deal to closedown the Jupiter Hollow factory. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Mixed up at birth, two sets of twins finally meet their match.

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

10 June 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sopa de gemelas See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,112,577, 12 June 1988

Gross USA:

$40,150,487

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$40,150,487
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The name of the big business was a conglomerate called "Moramax". The name is similar to the name of real-life film company "Miramax", who at the time of the production of this picture, had been an independent group since 1979, and remained one until 1993 when The Walt Disney Company acquired it. Ironically, Big Business (1988) was produced by Touchstone Pictures, which was a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. See more »

Goofs

In the beginning, when Dr. Parker is handed the glass of cider by Nanny Lewis, and he sips it, there's only a tiny bit left. But when Mr. Stokes comes in with the Sheltons moments later, it's more than half full. See more »

Quotes

Roon Dimmick: That's some classical music you got there, right?
Graham Sherbourne: Uh, yes.
Roon Dimmick: I could tell. No lyrics.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Seen about two-thirds of the way through the credits: Don't Go, It's Almost Over See more »

Connections

Version of The Boys from Syracuse (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Sing Sing Sing
Written by Louis Prima
Performed by Benny Goodman
Courtesy of RCA Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Strangely overlooked cerebral farce.
22 August 2002 | by rugger-4See all my reviews

That this 1988 movie contains 2 sympathetic, non-stereotypical gay characters says a lot about the movie makers. There seems to have been some real care taken over what could've ended up a cheaply made throwaway farce.

Lily Tomlin and Bette Midler are simply superb in their roles as separated twins and in my view out-do Jeremy Irons in that year's other twin movie `Dead Ringers' - and he was fantastic.

This film has been criticised for not delivering laughs where you would predict them based on the film's premise. But is that a fault? Big Business builds comedic tension early on and sustains it throughout by clever use of supporting characters and the subtle way that from their scenes with them we learn about the 4 leads.

The eternal dilemma of nature v nurture is portrayed in a fairly non-preachy way coupled with a similar approach to town v country. To do this in a farce containing 4 romances plus all the rest is a tall order for any moviemaker but this rich premise is cleverly negotiated by Jim Abrahams & the writers with only a handful of misfires.

Now I'm not one for romances but the studly Fred Ward, who was unbelievably 46 years old at the time, as the whiter than white Roone Dimmick, manages an amazing feat - his meeting and courting of Lily Tomlin in the space of a few minutes is carried off quite plausibly by this accomplished and underrated actor and is a joy to behold.

10 out of 10 and a real shame that there is no more from these 2 writers.


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