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Deadly Companions [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

2.9 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

Price: £46.95
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Product details

  • Language: English
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001GH77C
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 450,034 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bob Salter TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 April 2009
Verified Purchase
Well here I go again championing the cause of a film that went unnoticed on its release in 1961, and is the least known work of the legendary film director Sam Peckinpah. So little known is the film, that for many years I thought Peckinpah's first film was the wonderful "Ride the High Country"(62). But now I will put the record straight. Once again I leave my footprints in the sand of a deserted Island hoping that someone may chance upon them. It is a film that certainly deserves more recognition, and because at the time of this review no other person has taken the trouble to review it, I will do so in a little more detail than usual.

This was Sam Peckinpah's first film after creating and directing the cult TV series "The Westerner" which ran from 1959-1960. This series starred the Brian Keith and John Dehner. When Keith was aked to star in the low budget Western "The Deadly Companions" he suggested Peckinpah as the director. The film stars Brian Keith as Yellowleg who has been trailing the debauched and deranged Turk for many years. Turk is played by the veteran Chill wills in what is probably his best screen performance. Turk had tried to scalp him during the Civil War. He finds Turk and rescues him from hanging. The two of them together with Turks sidekick Billy Keplinger, played superbly by Steve Cochran then travel to Gila city intending to rob the bank. They are about to rob the bank when another gang beat them to it and a gunfight ensues in which an innocent boy is accidentally killed by Yellowleg in the crossfire. The boys saloon girl mother Kit Tilden played by the still very beautiful Maureen O'Hara decides that the boy will be buried in the ghost town of Sringo next to his father.
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By Keith M TOP 500 REVIEWER on 8 April 2016
Format: DVD
Director Sam Peckinpah had little artistic control over this 1961 feature debut, having been brought into the project at the suggestion of lead actor Brian Keith and being presented with a screenplay by Sid Fleischman. However, outside of one or two overly corny moments (the film’s feature song sung by lead actress Maureen O’Hara over the opening credits being a case in point), The Deadly Companions otherwise provides a thoughtful, character-based piece of cinema, which would provide ('revisionist’) pointers to later Peckinpah films, in particular to the following year’s Ride The High Country. As for the later film, The Deadly Companions finds a 'man with a past’ (here, Keith’s ex-army 'Yankee’, Yellowleg), flawed by a past Apache gunshot wound and riding with 'strangers’ – here, O’Hara’s widow Kit Tilden, determined to bury her son (accidentally shot by the incapacitated Yellowleg), and a pair of ne’er-do-well, ex-'greycoats’, Chill Wills’ card sharp, Turk, and Steve Cochran’s gunslinger Billy.

Peckinpah and Fleischman set up the film’s quartet of outsiders nicely (and semi-comically) - Yellowleg assuming 'natural control’ of the quartet, resented by Kit, whilst Turk and Billy alternately lust after the glamorous Kit and remain set on returning to town (Hela City) to rob the bank there. Both (the increasingly John Wayne-like) Keith and O’Hara do solid jobs here – the former playing up nicely a festering sense of guilt – and the film-makers treat the pair’s antagonism morphing through mutual respect to romance with unusual dispassion.
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I'm highly disappointed about the poor quality of this DVD. This movie would be worth a better print. It's the first western directed by Sam Peckinpah and it's a pretty good one. Brian Keith and Maureen O'Hara are superb in their roles. Unfortunately bloody Sam hadn't full control of this movie that's why Deadly Companions didn't get that good as it should have been. If you find anywhere a better release of this wonderful little western try to get it. The Movie is it worth but this DVD not.
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It's Sunday afternoon ... it's raining ... for some reason they are showing the same Columbo for the third week running ... time for a good old fashioned western ... with every cliché in the book ... you can't beat it
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Format: DVD
It's hard to know which tagline is the more misleading - `Pages torn from the diary of a frontier dance hall girl!' or `The stars of The Parent Trap trapped together again by their past,' but both serve warning that Sam Peckinpah's first feature The Deadly Companions aka Trigger Happy is not one of his finer hour-and-a-halfs. Opportunistically thrown together on the cheap by Maureen O'Hara's brother to capitalise on the success of her teaming with Brian Keith in The Parent Trap, it's not an unpromising idea but it is one that rarely comes to life thanks to a poor script, one note performances and the kind of production where finishing on time and under budget was more important than making it good. Peckinpah was Keith's choice of director (they had struck up a friendship on the TV series The Westerner), which apparently didn't go down too well with his producer or leading lady. Peckinpah wasn't the easiest director to work with if you weren't on his wavelength but reputedly banned from even talking to O'Hara on the set, let alone directing her, his suggestions for rewrites ignored and barely tolerated by his the ever-watchful producer who promptly re-edited the ending, it may be some sort of achievement that he delivered a fairly competent job, but it's a defiantly dull movie with few hints that Peckinpah had the stuff of greatness in him. It really could have been turned out by almost any capable Western hack and would be almost completely forgotten were it not for his later notoriety.

Keith is the Yankee drifter who saves Chill Wills' lowlife from an impromptu lynching for cheating at cards and persuades him and flashy partner Steve Cochran to come with him to a small town with a new bank and an old sheriff.
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