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The Big White

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To remedy his financial problems, a travel agent has his eye on a frozen corpse, which just happens to be sought after by two hitmen.

Release Year: 2005

Rating: 6.4/10 (8,110 voted)

Critic's Score: 31/100

Mark Mylod

Stars: Robin Williams, Giovanni Ribisi, Holly Hunter

In the middle of Alaska, travel agent Paul Barnell is near bankruptcy. Desperate to help himself and his beloved, mentally-ill wife Margaret, Paul discovers a dead body and passes it off as his missing brother Raymond, whose life is insured for up to $1,000,000. Everybody is duped, except for workaholic insurance investigator Ted Waters, who sets out to expose Paul, in hopes of being promoted out of Alaska. Meanwhile, two rookie hit men, Gary and Jimbo, discover Paul took 'their' body and kidnap Margaret, demanding the body back. Then, Raymond turns up alive, wanting in on the action…


Robin Williams

Paul Barnell

Holly Hunter

Margaret Barnell

Giovanni Ribisi

Ted Waters

Tim Blake Nelson


W. Earl Brown


Woody Harrelson

Raymond Barnell

Alison Lohman


Billy Merasty


(as William Merasty)

Marina Stephenson Kerr


Ralph Alderman

Mr. Branch

Frank Adamson


Andrea Shawcross

Hair Stylist

Ryan Miranda

Korean-am Teenager

Craig March


Ty Wood


When you need somebody, any body will do.


Official Website:
Ascendant Pictures |
Official site [Germany] |

Release Date: 3 December 2005

Filming Locations: Alaska, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $18,000,000


Opening Weekend: €76,704
(20 November 2005)
(80 Screens)

Gross: €81,163
(20 November 2005)

Technical Specs



Did You Know?


According to the director's audio commentary on the DVD, financiers wanted Meg Ryan to play Holly Hunter's role. She flirted with the idea for about a year, before eventually dropping it.


Revealing mistakes:
When Paul Barnell discovers the body in the dumpster he says, "911" and proceeds to dial three digits and you hear ringing. The tones the buttons make on the cell phone as the digits are pressed are actually "123".


Paul Barnell:
[Margaret is bound and gagged in back seat of Jimbo's car]
Why did you gag her?

You know!

User Review


Rating: 8/10

The Big White focus on travel agent Paul Barnell (Robin Williams), and
him trying to overcome his financial dilemmas. After failing to cash
out the insurance policy of his brother, who is missing since 5 years
and assumed dead, he stumbles across a frozen corpse. A new opportunity
arises, but not without problems! While trying to get the corpse to
pass of as his dead brother, Paul need to handle the two hit men (W.
Earl Brown and Tim Blake Nelson) wanting their corpse back and keep one
step ahead of insurance agent Ted (Giovanni Ribisi).One heck of a stew
is cooking!

You can't avoid comparing The Big White with the Coen brothers' Fargo,
since they're similar in style and story. Fargo, however, is better.
But this film is far from bad, and it's not as black a comedy as the

Acting and characters are wonderful. The script works perfectly. The
pace is sometimes on the slow side, but not for long. The story is a
mixture of love, comedy, drama, sadness and perhaps a wee bit of
hatred. Good stuff for a movie in other words! You won't get
disappointed by this film, unless you've got something against the
similarities with Fargo. If you loved Fargo, you'll like this one.
Perhaps even more. 8/10