5.7/10
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28 user 11 critic

Something Big (1971)

A man kidnaps the wife of a cavalry commander in order to exchange her for a Gatling gun that's being sold by a gun runner.

Director:

Andrew V. McLaglen
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dean Martin ... Joe Baker
Brian Keith ... Col. Morgan
Carol White ... Dover McBride
Honor Blackman ... Mary Anna Morgan
Ben Johnson ... Jesse Bookbinder
Albert Salmi ... Jonny Cobb
Don Knight ... Tommy McBride
Joyce Van Patten ... Polly Standall
Denver Pyle ... Junior Frisbee
Merlin Olsen ... Sgt. Fitzsimmons
Robert Donner ... Angel Moon
Harry Carey Jr. ... Joe Pickins
Judi Meredith ... Carrie Standall
Edward Faulkner ... Capt. Tyler (as Ed Faulkner)
Paul Fix ... Chief Yellow Sun
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Storyline

Joe Baker has a dream. He wants to do 'something big.' When he needs a Gatling gun to accomplish this, he seeks out a black marketeer. The price he wants for the gun? A woman! So Baker kidnaps a woman off of the stagecoach, only to find that she is the wife of the commandant of the local Cavalry detachment. Things get further complicated when a girl named Dover McBride shows up. She has come to force Baker to marry her and return east, as he promised to do four years earlier. Written by Alfred Jingle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sooner or later, Baker will find the right girl. And when he does, he'll swap her for a machine gun. And do something big. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some suggestive content and western violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On its original release in the UK, this was commonly shown as the main feature in a double bill, with Darker Than Amber (1970) as the supporting film. See more »

Goofs

[ at about 26 minutes into the movie ] When Tommy McBride is supposed to be playing the bagpipes, his blowing into the bagpipes does not match the music coming out, at all! Music comes out in between his breaths, when he is not blowing.

Yes and the whole point of the bag-pipes is that the bag provides a reservoir so there's always air available and the piper doesn't have to breathe in time to the music. See more »

Quotes

Joe Pickins: I guess I'd still be a horse soldier if I hadn't lost my leg.
Joe Baker: In the war?
Joe Pickins: Naw... See, there was this girl in Virginia... and her father caught us... cut it off. Chopped it clean off! With an axe. While I was sleepin'.
Joe Baker: Really?
Joe Pickins: Cross my heart.
Joe Baker: You're lucky it was only your leg.
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Crazy Credits

Paradoxically--considering its definition--the film's title is presented in all lower case letters, as can be seen in the poster. See more »

Connections

Referenced in My Husband, the Producer (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

Scotland the Brave
(uncredited)
Traditional
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User Reviews

 
Something mediocre
23 March 2018 | by WuchakkSee all my reviews

RELEASED IN 1971 and directed by Andrew V. McLaglen, "Something Big" is a tongue-in-cheek Western starring Dean Martin as aging outlaw, Joe Baker, who unknowingly kidnaps the wife (Honor Blackman) of a cavalry commander (Brian Keith) in order to obtain a Gatling gun from a scumbag gunrunner (Albert Salmi). Ben Johnson plays a scout while Carol White appears as the wannabe fiancé of Baker.

The title refers to 'something big' that Joe Baker is supposed to do before retiring from outlawry with several of the characters citing the line; a quaint idea, but it's not funny and gets old after a while. The opening act is a dud with nothing stimulating happening to draw the viewer into the story. There are several curious props (a skeleton, a dog, bagpipes and a peg leg), but they fail to stir much interest. Things finally perk up in the second half, but not enough to save the movie.

One huge problem is the idea that this antihero we're supposed to like is engaged in something way too unsavory (kidnaping the innocent wife to offer to the odious gunrunner, which amounts to slavery). Martin was able to get away with this type of character in the excellent "Bandolero!" (1968) because his crimes weren't so abhorrent; not so here.

There are some good bits, however, like the two man-hungry women living in the remote wilderness (Joyce Van Patten & Judi Meredith). Nevertheless, it's obvious why "Something Big" has been condemned to cinematic obscurity, never being released to VHS and barely making it to DVD in 2012.

THE MOVIE RUNS 1 hour 48 minutes and was shot in Durango, Mexico. WRITER: James Lee Barrett.

GRADE: C


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

31 December 1971 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

Something Big See more »

Filming Locations:

Durango, Mexico

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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