Big Night, the Italian-soul-filled tale of two brothers racing to save their restaurant from bankruptcy, opened this day in 1996. The movie tells the story of Chef Primo (Tony Shalhoub), strongly considering a return to his European homeland, but business manager Secondo (Stanley Tucci) wants to do whatever it takes to make it in America. Fortune appears to strike when a rival business owner played by Ian Holm volunteers to help them out and arrange for a famous jazz musician to play at the restaurant. The plan is to help boost publicity and keep the business afloat. Primo sets to work conjuring up a magnificent feast, pouring his soul into the cooking and lavishly spending any money available. With supporting roles from Minnie Driver, Isabella Rossellini and Liev Schreiber, the strong acting propels the movie and adds a comedic touch along the way.
Connections: Stanley Tucci is well renowned for his versatility as an actor, but Big Night marked his debut as a director (co-directing alongside actor Campbell Scott). He would again direct Tony Shalhoub and Ian Holm in his next movie, 1998’s The Impostors.