Believe it or not, there was a time when many industry insiders weren’t convinced that rising comedic star Tom Hanks would be able to make a successful transition into the altogether different world of establishing himself as a powerhouse dramatic talent, which sounds ridiculous to hear today given his status as one of the finest actors of the modern era.
However, seven of Hanks’ first nine films were all comedies, and he hadn’t been handed an opportunity to prove himself quite yet. That all began to change following the release of Big in 1988, though, which saw him win a Golden Globe for Best Actor in the Musical or Comedy category, while he also scored the first Academy Award nomination of his career.
Admittedly, the pic was still a comedy, but it allowed the leading man to show the full extent of his range, and even 33 years later it remains one of his most believed movies. Penny Marshall’s coming-of-age classic was only added to the Disney Plus library on the 1st of December, but six months later it’s already gone due to the complicated nature of the various streaming contracts signed by studio Fox before the company was purchased by the Mouse House.
It’s still available to international subscribers, but customers in the United States won’t be able to revisit Big for a while yet. The movie made a huge mark in pop culture, and the body swap subgenre has been heavily indebted to it ever since, but few managed to pull of either the premise or the deft blend of heart and humor better than Tom Hanks in what turned out to be the breakthrough role that sent him straight to the top of the A-list.