27 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.


Andrew V. McLaglen




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


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


Dean Martin and Brian Keith are up to "Something Big". See more »


Comedy | Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


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 »


[ 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 »


Jonny Cobb: [all cleaned up, holding a bouquet of flowers, with a lacy garter around his left sleeve, in anticipation of Baker bringing him a woman] Baker, where's a woman?
Joe Baker: When I have her, I'll let you know, alright?
Jonny Cobb: [mad] When?
Joe Baker: What do you think I am, Cobb, a magician? You think it's easy to produce a woman out of nowhere? Don't you think if I could find a woman, in this territory, I'd have one or two for myself?
See more »

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 »


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


The Girl I Left Behind Me
See more »

User Reviews

Comedy Western With Old Pros
21 January 2020 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

Way out west, Dean Martin has a plan to do something big. To do it, he needs a Gatling gun. Albert Salmi has one, and is willing to sell it to Martin for a woman - he's stuck out here, where there are none, because he'll be arrested and probably hanged if he goes anywhere else. So Martin goes and lifts Honor Blackman. She's the wife of Retiring cavalry colonel Brian Keith. Also, Martin's fiancée Carol White shows up.

It's a good set-up for a comedy, and Andrew McLaglen directs it drily, with lots of old-time character actors. Paul Fix and his son-in-law Harry Carey Jr., Bob Steele, Ben Johnson, all favorites of McLaglen's mentor, John Ford.

One of the things that McLaglen liked to show in his westerns was that the west was a place for men to work, and in this one, he certainly seems a lot less concerned with making sure the images on the screen look good than in making that point.

It's an end-of-the-road for several of the leading actors. Certainly, Martin's movie career was tailing off after the MATT HELM series. The movie itself is a ramshackle affair, giving an air of nothing really getting done until the very end.

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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


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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