Synopsis of Movie

“I wish I was big.”

Every young boy’s fantasy came true for little Josh Baskin in 1988’s Big. Thanks to a mystical carnival machine, little Josh became big Josh overnight, only to discover that the adult world wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. With Tom Hanks in the “big Josh” role and former Laverne and Shirley star Penny Marshall directing, Big captured the innocence of childhood with humor, tenderness and insight.

At the start of the film, Josh is still a 12-year-old New Jerseyite, madly in puppy love with an older blonde girl. Josh and best friend Billy head for a local carnival, where right in front of his blonde goddess and a crowd of older kids, Josh is refused admission to a carnival ride. He’s too little. Humiliated, Josh tries the “Zoltar Speaks” machine, which offers him one wish. He wishes he were big.

The next morning, Josh wakes up to find his wish has come true, as Tom Hanks’ thirtysomething face stares back at him in the mirror. Naturally, Josh’s mom doesn’t believe this grown man is her son, forcing Josh to run from home screaming. Billy does believe him, and he convinces Josh to head for New York City, where big people go to play. Josh scores a data entry job at a toy company, but after a kid-to-kid-at-heart bonding session with company owner “Mac” MacMillan at FAO Schwartz (the famous giant piano keyboard sequence), the man-boy is promoted to VP of product development. He soon moves into a gorgeous Manhatten apartment, complete with a pinball machine and giant indoor trampoline.

Fellow exec Paul doesn’t like the new guy, but Susan slowly warms up to Josh’s innocent charms. From an adult perspective, things look pretty rosy for big Josh, but Josh doesn’t see things from an adult perspective. Big has its advantages, but Josh just wants to be himself again.

Big’s sweet, childlike nature won over audiences young and old, who made the film one of the biggest hits of the year. The movie also helped turn Tom Hanks—who was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance—from the gifted goof of Splash and TV’s Bosom Buddies into one of the biggest leading men in Hollywood.

Movie Release History

1988 - Big

Movie Sub Categories


Movie Studio

20th Century Fox


Josh Baskin   Tom Hanks
Susan  Elizabeth Perkins
MacMillan   Robert Loggia
Paul   John Heard
Billy   Jared Rushton
Young Josh   David Moscow
Scott Brenner   Jon Lovitz
Mrs. Baskin   Mercedes Ruehl
Mr. Baskin   Josh Clark
Cynthia Benson  Kimberlee M. Davis
Freddie Benson   Oliver Block
Cynthia's Friend  Erika Katz
Gym Teacher   Mark Ballou
Derek   Allan Wasserman
Ticket Taker   Gary Howard Klar
First Brother   Alec von Sommer
Second Brother   Chris Dowden
Motel Clerk  Rockets Redglare
Spanish Voice   Jaime Tirelli
Schizo  Paul Herman
Administrative Woman   Nancy Giles
Administrative Clerk   Jordan Thaler
Personnel Receptionist  Dana Kaminski
Personnel Director  Harvey Miller
Test Market Researcher   Tracy Reiner
Supervisor  James Eckhouse
Woman in Red Dress   Linda Gillen
Receptionist  Mildred R. Vandever
First Executive   Bert Goldstein
Executive #2   Kevin Meaney
Executive #3   Peter McRobbie
Executive #4   Paul J.Q. Lee
Miss Patterson   Debra Jo Rupp
Payroll Clerk   Keith Reddin
Bank Teller   Lela Ivey
Real Estate Agent   Dolores Messina
Moving Man   Gordon Press
Limousine Driver   George J. Manos
Photon Laser Gunfighter   Vinny Capone
Karen   Susan Wilder
Phil John Rothman
Adam  Judd Trichter
Tenor Dough Man   Pasquale Pugliese
Singing Waiter  Tom Coviello
Singing Waiter  Richard Devia
Singing Waiter  Teddy Holiavko
Singing Waiter  Augusto Mariani
Singing Waiter  Alfredo Monti
Singing Waiter  Sergio Mosetti
Singing Waiter  Armando Penso
Piano Player   Edward Schick
Boy in Leaves   F. Benjamin Stimler
Boy in Leaves   Jonathan Isaac Landau
Girl Friend of Cynthia  Samantha Larkin
Photographer   Bruce Jarchow
Boy on Baseball Field   Vaughn Sandman

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