Fanspot
FAO Schwarz

Movie Big Penny Marshall (1988)
Co-written by Anne Spielberg, the famous director's sister, and Gary Ross, Big sees Josh, a young boy, transformed overnight into a wall man after making a wish with a carnival machine. The new Josh attracts the attention of the owner of a famous New York toy store, seduced by his naivety...
FAO Schwarz New York
FAO Schwarz New York. Photo credit: Fantrippers

“- What department did you say you were in?

– Oh, I’m in computers.

– Computers? You just saved me a trip to the gym Son.”

MacMillan (Robert Loggia) and Josh (Tom Hanks)

A long preparation was necessary for the famous scene of the piano, during which Tom Hanks and Robbert Loggia interpret a piece on a giant keyboard, in front of delighted customers.

Tom Hanks spent several months rehearsing while his accomplice had to be dubbed. However, when the time came to shoot, Robert Loggia preferred to go ahead himself.

The scene was finally validated after only one take. A dance performed not on the piano then in place at FAO Schwarz but on a larger model, covering three octaves, built especially for Big.

The success of the film prompted the manufacturer to sell the same model to individuals.

The price? “Only” $15,000. Since then, and until the store closed in 2015, thousands of customers came to try to replicate the act built around Hoagy Carmichael’s Heart and Soul.

2

That’s how many Oscar nominations the film has won. One for Tom Hanks and the other for Gary Ross and Anne Spielberg for Best Original Screenplay. Unfortunately, he didn’t win either of them.

Scene at FAO Schwarz in Big
Scene a FAO Schwarz in Big. Photo credit: Twentieth Century Fox, Gracie Films, American Entertainment Partners II L.P.
Scene at FAO Schwarz in Big
Scene a FAO Schwarz in Big. Photo credit: Twentieth Century Fox, Gracie Films, American Entertainment Partners II L.P.
Scene at FAO Schwarz in Big
Scene a FAO Schwarz in Big. Photo credit: Twentieth Century Fox, Gracie Films, American Entertainment Partners II L.P.

FAO Schwarz

Formerly the world’s largest toy store, FAO Schwarz left the iconic 5th Avenue in 2015 and was reborn in Rockefeller Center three years later.

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Fanspots Stories New York

Fanspots Stories New York

Discover the secrets of the cult places of the greatest masterpieces of pop culture in New York!

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By Gilles Rolland

Friday, September 24, 2021

Passionné de cinéma, de rock and roll, de séries TV et de littérature. Rédacteur de presse et auteur des livres Le Heavy Metal au cinéma, Paroles de fans Guns N' Roses, Paroles de fans Rammstein et Welcome to my Jungle : 100 albums rock et autres anecdotes dépareillées. Adore également voyager à la recherche des lieux les plus emblématiques de la pop culture.

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