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Big Night

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Original title
Big Night
Running time
108 min.
United States United States
Stanley Tucci, Joseph Tropiano
Margot Core
Ken Kelsch
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Samuel Goldwyn Company / Rysher Entertainment
Drama | 1950s. Independent Film (US)
Synopsis / Plot
In this witty drama, a pair of brothers debate integrity versus compromise as they try to succeed in the restaurant business. Primo (Tony Shalhoub) and Secondo (Stanley Tucci) 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 (Ian Holm), 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 -- Louis Prima, 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 and cut them in for the profits, but only if Primo will allow Pascal to draw up the menu and follow his recipes.
1996: Sundance: Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award
1996: Satellite Awards: Nominadted for Best Actor Comedy (Stanley Tucci)
1996: Critics' Choice Awards: Nominated for Best Film
1996: New York Film Critics Circle: Best First Film. 2 Nominations
1996: Angeles Film Critics Association: Nominated for Screenplay
1996: Independent Spirit Awards: Best First Screenplay. 4 Nominations
1996: Chicago Film Critics Awards: Nominated for Best Screenplay
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