Film Capsule: Big Business

Big Business is a 1988 farcical comedy film starring Lily Tomlin and Bette Midler. Its premise was two pairs of identical twins who were mixed up as babies. One Midler-Tomlin pair ends up in a rich urban family, while the other pair ends up in a poor rural family, and coincidentally the rich twins seek to strip mine the small town, called Jupiter Hollow, in which the poor twins live. Both pairs run into each other at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan in this comical farce.


* Bette Midler – Sadie Shelton / Ratliff
* Lily Tomlin – Rose Shelton / Ratliff
* Michael Gross – Dr. Jay Marshall
* Barry Primus – Michael
* Michele Placido – Fabio Alberici
* Fred Ward – Roone Dimmick
* Seth Green – Jason
* Daniel Gerroll – Chuck
* Edward Herrmann – Graham Sherbourne


* The movie was originally written for Barbra Streisand (Midler’s role) and Goldie Hawn (Tomlin’s role).
* The structure of the film was based loosely on The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare.
* The production company couldn’t get the rights to film at the actual Plaza Hotel in New York City, so it had the hotel re-created on sound stages. To recoup construction costs, Disney built a sitcom called The Nutt House around it. It was an expensive flop.
* Jim Abrahams said he staged one of the boardroom scenes based on an experience he had when a large agency used many employees to get him to sign with them.
* Fred Ward and Michael Gross (best known for his role on Family Ties) both star in this movie; both actors previously starred together in Tremors.
* The song at the end is the 1986 song, Higher Love by Steve Winwood.

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