Big Business

Last Updated on: June 26th, 2024

Big Business

**Big Business**

“Big Business” is a classic 1988 comedy film directed by Jim Abrahams, starring Bette Midler, Lily Tomlin, Fred Ward, and Edward Herrmann. The movie’s hilarious plot centers around two sets of identical twins who are accidentally separated at birth and go on to lead drastically different lives.

In the small town of Jupiter Hollow, two pairs of twin sisters are born in a rural hospital on the same day. The wealthy Shelton sisters, Sadie Shelton (Bette Midler) and Rose Shelton (Lily Tomlin), are the owners of the successful Moramax Corporation, while the poverty-stricken Ratliff sisters, Sadie Ratliff (Bette Midler) and Rose Ratliff (Lily Tomlin), live a modest life on a farm.

Twenty years later, a corporate mix-up brings the Shelton sisters back to Jupiter Hollow to strike a business deal. However, fate intervenes when a massive storm diverts their plans and leaves them stranded in the small town. Unbeknownst to them, the Ratliff sisters are also on their way to Jupiter Hollow to contest the Moramax Corporation’s takeover of their family’s ancestral land.

As fate would have it, the four sisters continuously cross paths, leading to a series of comical misunderstandings and hilarious scenarios. The characters brilliantly played by Midler and Tomlin are not only convincing in their roles as the sophisticated Shelton sisters, but also as the down-to-earth Ratliff sisters, each with their distinctive quirks and personalities.

Throughout the movie, “Big Business” explores themes of class distinctions, corporate greed, and the importance of family. The clever writing and comedic performances keep the audience entertained, while the heartwarming moments remind viewers of the power of unity and reconciliation.

In the end, “Big Business” serves up a feel-good resolution that brings the sisters together in a manner that only a well-executed comedy can deliver. The film remains a beloved touchstone of the comedy genre, showcasing the talents of Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin, and continues to be celebrated for its memorable characters, witty dialogue, and delightful plot twists.

Additional Details


  • Bette Midler: Sadie Shelton/Sadie Ratliff
  • Lily Tomlin: Rose Ratliff/Rose Shelton
  • Fred Ward: Roone Dimmick
  • Michael Gross: Dr. Jay Marshall
  • Edward Herrmann: Graham Sherbourne
  • Barry Primus: Michael
  • Michele Placido: Fabio Alberici
  • Seth Green: Jason
  • Daniel Gerroll: Chuck
  • John Hancock: Harlan
  • Deborah Rush: Binky Shelton
  • Nicolas Coster: Hunt Shelton
  • C. Quinn: Garth Ratliff
  • Joe Grifasi: Desk Clerk
  • John Vickery: Hotel Manager
  • Mary Gross: Judy
  • Carmen Argenziano – Board Member
  • Chick Hearn: as Himself
  • Don Pierson – Screenwriter
  • Marc Reid Rubel – Screenwriter
  • Shirley Mitchell – Stockholder


  • Director: Jim Abrahams
  • Producer: Steve Tisch and Michael Peyser
  • Music: Lee Holdridge

Movie Trailer:

About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other site isDMR.