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Something Big

4.3 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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(Oct 09, 2012)
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Editorial Reviews

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.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Dean Martin, Brian Keith, Carol White, Honor Blackman, Ben Johnson
  • Directors: Andrew McGlaglen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: October 9, 2012
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008L3650W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,330 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

An outlaw (Dean Martin) and his gang need a Gatling gun in order to rob the treasure of an infamous Mexican bandit (Jose Angel Espinosa). To this end, he makes a deal with a grungy and lonely bandit (Albert Salmi) to get him a woman (women are scarce in the territory) in exchange for the gun. Martin holds up a stagecoach and kidnaps a woman (Honor Blackman, GOLDFINGER) for the lonely outlaw. The problem is ... she's the wife of a Colonel (Brian Keith) in command of the regional cavalry. Comedy westerns are hard to pull off unless they are of the satire/parody kind like THE PALEFACE and BLAZING SADDLES so it's a pleasant surprise to discover this engaging sleeper. It manages to balance its subtle humor without making a shambles of the genre. I don't want to overpraise it, it's rather modest in its aims and execution but I can't deny I was quite taken with it. Martin, playing it fairly straight, is at his most appealing and Keith brings his own brand of solid magnetism while the leading ladies (Blackman, Carol White) are charming. There's a terrific title song by Burt Bacharach and Hal David that the film's composer Marvin Hamlisch incorporates generously into his underscore. With Ben Johnson, Harry Carey Jr., Denver Pyle, Paul Fix and Joyce Van Patten and Judi Meredith are hilarious as a pair of dangerous, man hungry sisters.

The Paramount DVD is a handsome anamorphic wide screen (1.85) transfer.
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I've watched the disc when it got released today and would like to confirm that, despite Amazon's listing as "Fullscreen," the transfer is in it's intended widescreen aspect ratio.

Transfer is also clean and crisp. Worth the investment for those interested.

Edit: Amazon.com has just updated the listing to the correct "Widescreen" specification.
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I saw this movie when it was first released and the reviews were mixed to downright savage. What reviewers seemed not to realise was that Andrew McGlaglen was an afficianado of John Ford.His father, Victor, acted in many of his films. Something Big was an affectionate parody of Ford's cavalry films, mostly with John Wayne and most of the supporting cast of Something Big. Not meant to be taken too seriously, the film was a vehicle for Dino who was huge on American TV and most other media at the time. It was lambasted for poor taste but compared to what has been released onto the public in recent times it is almost Disneyesque by comparison. 3/4 stars for entertainment value. The one jarring note of the movie was Carol White's Scottish accent but it was no worse than Dick Van Dyke's Cockney accent in Mary Poppins and I enjoyed both films in spite of dodgy accents!
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AT LAST! My wife and I saw "Something Big" on TV about 30 years ago and we never forgot it. Finally, FINALLY we can see it again!

Dean Martin's time as a wild west bachelor is coming to an end. He has been looking to do "something big" for years and his betrothed is sick of waiting. He has one week to make his mark. Meanwhile, Brain Keith almost steals the show with his hysterical low-key role as the retiring commander of a local cavalry troop. His wife, too, is coming to take him back east. And Albert Salmi puts it all together as a desperate desperado in search of a "woman" in exchange for a Gatling gun. What could possibly go wrong?

A unique and almost surreal Western that still stays true to that old-school Western motif. Funny a heck, it is hard to tell who is the outlaw. Some side-splitting moments that will make you fall out of your chair. A wonderful mix of A, B and C-level actors.

Favorite line: "You going to bury your friend?" "Um, maybe something will come down from the hills tonight and drag him off."

Looks great on my 50" plasma; fills the screen, NOT cropped to old-fashioned TV format. A fun and under-appreciated gem. You'll be glad you bought it.
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This film got a bad rap when it came out - for suggestiveness and some crude scenes. By today's standards it gets a PG rating - well, maybe PG-13. For years I waited for it to be available on DVD and have already watched it more than once.
My favorite aspect of "something big . . ." (that was the original formatting of the title) is the wonderful in-jokes for fans of the Westerns of John Wayne, John Ford and other prominent creators of Westerns of the heyday of the A-Western. Watch for tributes to She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, McLintock! and others of that scope and era.
Dean Martin wants to do "something big" out West before returning East to marry his fiancee but he has a dreadful time finding out what to do. Now, if he can find a woman to trade for the big gun, he has a plan. And we all know about the best laid plans.
This film may not satisfy traditionalists but it is pure entertainment. Tongue in cheek humor, Western scenery, a great cast. What more could you want?
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Hi folks,

I picked this up at a local store today.... and I want to confirm the Trailer for the movie is 4x3 but the film itself is a terrific looking 16x9 anamorphic widescreen.

Aside from how good the film looks....its just plain fun for a western fan who grew up watching this sort. Many familiar faces from Dean Martin and Brian Keith to the supporting list. Venerable western star Ben Johnson brings authenticity and humor, Honor (Pussy Galore in Goldfinger) Blackman is appropriately cast ...and Denver Pyle is fun in his short appearance. Merlin Olsen (former LA RAM football great) is hysterically funny and quite endearing in his part as the Sargent who is sensitive. The director , Andrew V McLaglen is a true master of the genre of good action westerns as well as humorous ones like this and of course McLintock McLintock
The title song was written by Burt Bacharach and the score by Marvin Hamlish. It almost sounds like Hamlish was trying to copy a Bacharach score (maybe they could only afford a single Bacharach tune) but the score is very much of its time and tips its hand to Bacharachs score from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) The theme song is sung by Mark Lindsay (Paul Revere and the Raiders fame). Near the end Martins character meets the biggest outlaw in the history of Mexico and HIS name had me hitting the remote to be sure I heard right...its kind of rare and interesting....I should add that while this movie is truly a comedy/western there is a Ramboesque body count at the end ...which is of course bloodless.

I may be rating this a tad high at a 4.... but I certainly enjoyed it and am pleased to have it in my library for repeat viewing.
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