on 11 May 2013
A Swedish arms dealer and a Mexican revolutionary team up in order to save an outspoken political scholar, both for very different reasons...
A top drawer Spaghetti western this, with a fantastic soundtrack from Morricone, that's really memorable. Some superb heroes in Milian and Nero, who lead us through a fun and action packed story, which features Jack Palance as a lead villain, who smokes marijuana, alongside having a pet falcon for a girlfriend!
At one time this would've been in my top ten Spags of all time, now it probably rests in my top twenty (at least!), but is still extremely good. There's plenty of gun battles, along with a socialist plot and some absolute winner dialogue, not to mention the barrage of interesting characters.
If you're a spaghetti western beginner, I highly recommend this. If not, I highly recommend it anyhow!
on 27 June 2011
Yodlaf Peterson (Franco Nero) arrives in the Mexican town of San Bernardino to sell guns to General Mongo (José Bódalo) but the safe containing all the money is locked and the only man who has the code to open it is, revolutionary leader Professor Xantos (Ferdinando Rey) who is held captive in America, so Peterson and young peasant El Vasco (Tomas Milian) set off to free him, but there is also a psychotic gunman (Jack Palance) hot on their trail who has a personal vendetta to settle with Peterson and will stop at nothing until he has killed Xantos.
This film is very similar to Sergio Corbucci's other Spaghetti Western, Mercenary which was made 2 years earlier. Even though it has it's similarities its still a very well made film that is enjoyable from the moment it begins to the second it ends.
Franco Nero this time round plays a Swedish gun runner who is very similar personality wise to his character in Mercenary. Tomas Milian takes over in the Tony Musante role as the Mexican bandit and id say he is slightly better than Musante, but Jack Palance once ages steals the show as the pot smoking gunman John. Thankfully Eduardo Fajardo is killed off in the first 10 minutes
There's a lot of good, well directed shoot-out sequences as Nero guns down hundreds of Federales and there's a catchy score by Ennio Morricone to make the film that little bit more enjoyable.
Overall a brilliant film that is one of the best but I'd still rate Mercenary better by an inch.
on 14 July 2005
Along with Django,Companeros must rank as one of the best non Leone Spaghetti Westerns as well as being yet another classic, written and directed by the legendary Sergio Corbucci.
Compared to previous work in the Corbucci cannon this is a complete change of execution.Less moody than Django and less grim and down right depressing than the excellent The Great Silence,Companeros is much more like a Leone movie with well timed and intelligent comedy,likeable lead players and rousing,well made action scenes not to mention superb if slightly strange Ennio Morricone soundtrack.
The cast are also excellent with two of the best Spag Western stars,Franco Nero and Tomas Milian in superb buddy,buddy lead rolls.Jack Palance also adds a touch of class and a more American feel as the one armed bird loving bad guy.
Very well made and slick,Corbucci shot this one in scope unlike Django and The Great Silence and utilises every inch of the widescreen frame.Thankfully Anchor Bay have released this and as always from this company the results are superb.The transfer is in fantastic shape and anamorphicly enhanced at 2.35:1.Detail and colour are both dead on and grain is non-existant.Sound is a choice of either the English dub or original Italian in Dolby Digital mono.Both sound very good for mono.
Extras consist of a documentary featuring input from stars Nero and Milian as well as music composer Ennio Morricone.
Definatly recommended to Spaghetti Western fans and well worth a look if you enjoyed Leone's Dollars trilogy
on 8 October 2012
In short this is a great western with Milian playing the crude revolutionary and Nero squarely opposite him as the eccentric man for himself. Nero arrives to aide the revolutionaries only with his own needs and wants in sight, aiming to be paid well for his help. The action is decent and well played with Nero carrying along a machine gun and mowing anyone down who gets in his way. Of course the film starts with a confrontation between Franco Nero and Tomas Milian, as they square off about to shoot out in a deadly duel- this then trails back to the events prior showing what led them there as allies then as opponents as each man fights for what he wants. Milian provides another searing performance as the Mexian insurgent, played off superbly by Nero's civilised ruthlessness. I'd recommend this film for ardent western fans who won't be disappointed.
on 21 May 2013
Alongside Leone, Corbucci delivered a number of Euro westerns that stand head and shoulders above most of the competition. Companeros is a more upbeat offering from the `Other Sergio', featuring great lead performances, exciting action scenes and colourful cinematography. There is an enjoyable interplay between Milian and Nero; their characters (uncouth bandito and dandified Swede} are polar opposites despite their shared lack of morals. Jack Palance plays a creepy, pot-smoking American gunman with some degree of relish, adding extra flavour to the melting pot of outlandish characters on offer. The film does not let its more light-hearted moments dominate, avoiding the slapstick elements that started to appear in many later Spaghettis. A rousing and enjoyable ride that will leave you with a smile on your face (and humming the theme tune, too!)
Fabulous transfer by Blue Underground - well done to them and Raro for consistently high standards - take note larger companies!!
on 24 March 2004
This is a fantastic movie, and one which elevates Corbucci out of Leone's shadow thus making him no longer "The Other Sergio". Franco Nero and Tomas Milian are outstanding as the 'Swedish' arms-dealer and the Mexican Revolutionary, and Jack Palance hams it up like only he can.
The pace is fast and meaty, and the musical score.....WOW!!! Morriccone delivers a rousing, passionate and at times comical score that adds hugely to the enjoyment of this wonderful film.
on 5 June 2005
This is a really great film. Lots of adventure, wonderful Morricone music and beautiful photography. The main story of two protagonists becoming friends is wonderfully developed. I would say this is as good as The Good, the Band and the Ugly. Many people do not realise that there are such brilliant European westerns besides the Leone films. That they are not well known is due to the relucatnce of american audiences to appreciate anything that isn't the Magnificent Seven type. This knocks spots of the standard John Wayne fare.
Francisco Nero says in the interview that he always loves watching this film and I can see why.