HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Arctic
Fate of Lee Khan, The
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Ladyworld
Rocketman
Kid Who Would Be King, The
Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound
America America
Darkest Minds, The
Along Came Jones
Hummingbird Project, The
Under the Table You Must Go
Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War
Hanging Tree, The
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare
Itsy Bitsy
Witchmaker, The
Prey, The
If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium
Happy Death Day 2U
Full Moon High
Strange But True
Kamikaze 1989
Never Grow Old
Time of Your Life, The
Mountain Men, The
Epic
Best Before Death
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Isabelle
Non-Stop New York
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood
Oblomov
Alita: Battle Angel
We the Animals
Ibiza Undead
Wings of Eagles, The
Beats
Body Parts
   
 
Newest Articles
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
Things Have Changed: Films You'd Be Insane to Make Now
   
 
  Bad Company Stealing AwayBuy this film here.
Year: 1972
Director: Robert Benton
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Barry Brown, Jim Davis, David Huddleston, John Savage, Jerry Houser, Damon Cofer, Joshua Hill Lewis, Geoffrey Lewis, Raymond Gouth, Ed Lauter, John Quade
Genre: Western
Rating:  8 (from 2 votes)
Review: America in the 1860s and the Union Army are scouring the land for recruits. Drew Dixon (Barry Brown) is one of those who is trying to dodge the draft, and after hiding from the soldiers he kisses his mother goodbye and sets off for a wagon train headed towards Virginia City. When he reaches the town the wagon train is due to embark from, he finds it full of soldiers, and becomes paranoid until he meets Jake (Jeff Bridges) who tells him he knows a shortcut to the local church, where Drew can shelter. But he's lying, knocks Drew out in an alleyway and steals his money. That would have been the end of the story, except chance dictates that they meet again, and this time, after a fight, Jake offers to take Drew with him as he and his gang go west.

Written by David Newman and the director Robert Benton, Bad Company was one of the myth-destroying westerns that arrived during the nineteen-seventies. Those two writers had previously scripted Bonnie and Clyde, but this time they did not seek to glamourise their anti-heroes, here the characters can be funny and engaging but they're living in a bleak world where you could be murdered for what little you had in your pockets. There's no great love affair, and any idealism is suffocated by harsh reality; Drew is a well brought up lad who sets out early on to stay true to his personal code of honour, and part of the story's attraction is seeing how far he can go on his principles.

One of the links between road movies and westerns, this film follows the adventures of Jake's gang of young men and one ten year old boy as they lie and steal their way out in the Old West. The Old West turns out to be an uninviting land of rolling grass plains punctuated by the odd tree or lonely soul, either travelling through or eking out an existence. And some of those making their living are bandits, what Jake's callow gang aspire to be but end up being outclassed by early on in their journey. They catch the odd rabbit, which Jake has to skin for them, and get their other food by trading (one rifle toting man couldn't be less welcoming) or, more often, theft.

The atmosphere feels authentic, with no gloss or sentimentality to be seen: there's no place for it once Drew leaves home. That's not to say that the film is relentlessly depressing, however, there are a number of lighter moments to keep the tone from being too downbeat. A frog down the back of someone's trousers raises a laugh, as does the scene where the gang meet a traveller who offers the services of his wife to them for a fee. Jake takes his turn first, and lasts about five seconds with her before proudly returning to the group, boasting he didn't want to wear her out for the rest of them. Bridges is the star of the show here, bringing the untrustworthy but unworldly Jake to life, sympathetic, but not entirely likeable.

As Drew, on the other hand, Brown is strait-laced and genuinely hurt when he is taken advantage of by the people he meets. But as the tale draws on, he grows wiser and his innocence is corrupted: "Bad Influence" would have been just as good a title. Both Jake and Drew are selfish, and think each other hopelessly self-centred, but by the end of the film they discover they have come to rely on their unsteady friendship. At that point, they have grown alike, or rather, Drew has grown to be like Jake, and the outlaws they have met. Not above shock moments as well as unusual characters to catch you off guard (like the excellent David Huddleston's sardonic bandit leader), Bad Company is a minor but worthwhile gem from a time when the meaning of heroism was being questioned. There aren't any heroes here, that's for sure. Piano music by Harvey Schmidt.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 6316 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: