Big Trouble (1986 film)

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Big Trouble
Big Trouble (1986 film).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJohn Cassavetes
Written byWarren Bogle
StarringPeter Falk
Alan Arkin
Beverly D'Angelo
Charles Durning
Music byBill Conti
CinematographyBill Butler
Edited byDonn Cambern
Ralph E. Winters
Delphi III Productions
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • May 30, 1986 (1986-05-30)
Running time
93 minutes
CountryUnited States

Big Trouble is a 1986 American comedy film. It was director John Cassavetes' last film. He took over from screenwriter Andrew Bergman (who was going to direct). The cast reunited Peter Falk and Alan Arkin, co-stars of The In-Laws, also featured Beverly D'Angelo, Charles Durning and Valerie Curtin.

The film's plot was so similar to that of Double Indemnity that, prior to production, Columbia Pictures was forced to trade the ownership of their unused script called Back to the Future with Universal Pictures (rightsholder for Double Indemnity) to reuse the plot of the earlier film.[1]


Leonard Hoffman is a Los Angeles insurance agent with a problem on his hands. He has teenage triplets who are all gifted musicians, but wife Arlene insists that the kids attend college at Yale, requiring more than $40,000 in tuition, rather than less expensive schools like nearby UCLA.

This situation is on Leonard's mind when he pays a business call to the Beverly Hills mansion of Steve and Blanche Rickey. He is met by a flirtatious and scantily clad Blanche, who explains a problem of her own: Steve is dying, with less than a week to live, but accidentally let his life insurance policy lapse.

A scheme is hatched involving a policy with a double-indemnity clause. Steve has to die in an unexpected fashion for this to happen, but he may or may not cooperate.



Cassavetes himself disliked the film, which he took over during filming from Andrew Bergman, who wrote the original screenplay. Cassavetes came to refer to the film as "The aptly titled 'Big Trouble,'" since the studio vetoed many of his decisions for the film and eventually edited most of it in a way with which Cassavetes disagreed.[15] "That was a mess," said Andrew Bergman. "I never fixed the ending, and that was the problem. You’ve got to have it when you get it on the floor. You can’t say, ‘Later, we’ll get it straight.’ It’s true in every medium. You’ve got to hit the ground running, and we didn’t. I never had the ending straight."[2]


  1. ^ Fleming, Mike. "Blast from the past on "Back to the Future"". Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  2. ^ Snetiker, Marc (9 January 2015). "Andrew Bergman on writing 'Blazing Saddles,' 'Striptease,' 'Honeymoon in Vegas' and more". Entertainment Weekly.

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