Tony Mastroianni Review Collection

"Something Big" Is Not Gigantic

Cleveland Press November 23, 1971

As movies go "Something Big" just isn't. Even a good, small western would be welcome about now but "Something Big" is a comedy western that strains for laughs and is extremely short on action.

Dean Martin is cast as a nice-guy outlaw who is planning something big. That's all anyone knows about it and everyone keeps repeating that phrase over and over and over -- something big.

It gets pretty tiresome. So does the movie.

Martin is supposed to be something of an eccentric -- he carries a small dog in a special saddle pouch. His horse's two front teeth are capped with gold. His second in command is a kilted Scot who plays bagpipes when the small outlaw band makes any kind of move.

There's another outlaw (soiled short, tobacco chewing type) who will trade Martin a Gatling gun for a woman. The woman Martin kidnaps from a passing stage coach is Honor Blackman, wife of Brian Keith who is the colonel in command of the nearby Army post.

That ought to stir up fireworks but it doesn't. Mostly "Something Big" just fizzles along. There's a conclusion with Martin manning the Gatling gun, riding round and round in a wagon as he blasts a lot of armed men off the top of a wall. They fall over like pins in a bowling alley.

But if that's the thing you want, better you should go bowling.