The Big Town is Chicago, circa 1957. Matt Dillon stars as a small-town crapshooter who heads to the Windy City to seek his fortune. There he becomes the pawn of two high-rolling professional gamblers, played by Lee Grant and Bruce Dern. He later gets mixed up in a revenge scheme cooked up by Diane Lane, the embittered wife of strip-joint owner Tommy Lee Jones. Before he knows what's happened, Dillon is embroiled in two torrid romances, one with Lane and the other with "nice" girl Suzy Amis; he also nearly loses his life by ending up in the middle of a deadly feud between Dern and Jones. Based on The Arm, a novel by Clark Howard, Big Town tends towards uneveness, a result perhaps of the defection of its first director, Harold Becker.
by Hal Erickson synopsis