1988 Certificate: pg


After telling a fairground fortune machine that he wishes he was 'big', young Josh wakes up in a grown man's body. Tom Hanks reveals his inner child to enchanting (and Oscar-nominated) effect as the wonderfully innocent adult in Penny Marshall's touching, perceptive and incredibly funny fantasy. Elizabeth Perkins gives equally fine support as the toy saleswoman who succumbs to big Josh's boyish charms. A little wonder.


  • Penny Marshall


  • Tom Hanks

  • Elizabeth Perkins

  • Robert Loggia

  • John Heard

  • Jon Lovitz


Fed up with life as a youngster, Josh Baskin (Robert Moscow) makes a wish at a fairground machine to be big.

Needless to say, he wakes up the next morning to find that his wish has come true and he now stands in the body of a 30-year-old (Hanks).

But he's still the same 12-year-old boy on the inside, and now he must learn how to cope with the unfamiliar life of a grown up-as he's thrown into the deep end of the 'Big Bad World'.

His mum kicks him out of the house, believing him to be an intruder, but his best friend helps him get a job at a toy factory, where his freshness and innocence wins the president's respect, his colleagues' envy and a beautiful woman's love.

The movie has aged well and, despite the fact it was made way back in the Eighties, it still makes for very good viewing and has a lot to laugh about.

It came out when Hanks was starring mostly in 'B' movies and, although Splash got him noticed, Big made him bigger and he won his first ever Oscar nomination for the role.

Somehow he makes you believe he really is a child stuck in a man's body, something not many other actors could pull off.

But Hanks has always been good at over the top acting, as he manages to do it in a way that doesn't actually come across as over-the-top.

Its the type of film that, if it's on the telly, you can't help but stop what you're doing and watch it again, regardless of the number of times you've seen it already.

Sweet, innocent and incredibly funny, this classic comedy can be enjoyed by absolutely anybody and it's crying out to be seen.

Dominic Bloch