The Deadly Companions (1961)

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    Information from IMDb

    Plot Summary
    The veteran Civil War Yankee officer Yellowleg saves the cheater Turk in a card game,
    and together with the gunslinger Billy Keplinger, they ride together to Gila City
    with the intention of heisting a bank.
    Yellowleg has a war scar on the head from a man that tried to scalp him
    and he has been on the trail of his attacker for five years.
    When bandits rob a store, Yellowleg shoots at the outlaws and accidentally
    kills the son of the cabaret dancer Kit Tilden and the grieving woman
    decides to bury her son in the Apache country Siringo, where her husband is also buried.
    Yellowleg calls Billy and Turk to escort Kitty through the dangerous land.
    Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Full Cast
    Maureen O'Hara .... Kit Tilden
    Brian Keith .... Yellowleg
    Steve Cochran .... Billy Keplinger
    Chill Wills .... Turk
    Strother Martin .... Parson
    Will Wright .... Doctor Acton
    James O'Hara .... Cal, General Store (as Jim O'Hara)
    Peter O'Crotty .... Mayor of Hila City
    Billy Vaughan .... Mead Tilden Jr.
    Hank Gobble .... Bartender (uncredited)
    Big John Hamilton .... Gambler (uncredited)
    Chuck Hayward .... Card Sharp (uncredited)
    Riley Hill .... Gambler (uncredited)
    Buck Sharpe .... Apache Indian (uncredited)
    Robert Sheldon .... Gambler (uncredited)

    Writing Credits
    Albert Sidney Fleischman (novel)
    Albert Sidney FleischmanWilliam H. Clothier

    Original Music
    Marlin Skiles

    William H. Clothier

    Turk talks about creating a "Republic of Freedonia". While most people are aware that this is the name of a fictional country in the film Duck Soup, 'Freedonian' was a term used in the USA after the American Revolution until it was replaced by 'American'.

    "Yellowleg" is likely to be a reference to the yellow strip down the trousers of Union cavalry troops.

    Memorable Quotes

    Best Wishes
    London- England

    Edited 5 times, last by ethanedwards ().

  • The Deadly Companions is a 1961 Western.
    It was directed by Sam Peckinpah and
    starred Maureen O'Hara, Brian Keith, Steve Cochran and Chill Wills.
    The film was Peckinpah's motion picture directorial debut.
    It is now in the public domain because of a missing copyright indication.

    Maureen and her other co-stars are oddily
    mis-cast or cast against norm!!

    Maureen for example plays a 'loser' totally
    against her, previous glamour persona.
    Chill Wills, normally jolly, plays a nasty old so and so!
    Brian Keith puts in a great performance,
    but different to his other parts.

    Look out for a couple of our 'Pals'
    Strother Martin and Chuck Hayward,
    and cinematography by William H. Clothier

    With virtually no story line, and no budget,
    this movie is just OK!

    User Review

    Odd, but with historical importance
    Author: (ewnnrj) from United States


    The first theatrical feature from famed 'maverick' director Peckinpah is a very odd film. For one thing, it takes some careful reflection to recognize that it has virtually no story, simply the working out of apposite relationships between people having almost nothing in common with one another. The abortive bank robbery becomes almost forgotten, overshadowed as it is with O'Hara's journey to bury her son near her husband.

    Which brings us to the first important historical point of the film. The attempt to bury the son is going to leave an impression on Peckinpah, who revamps it as black comedy for Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia. (It also apparently left an impression on Tommy Lee Jones, who borrows the idea for his recent "Three Burials" film.) Peckinpah would also rework the Chill Wills character through several films. Brian Kieth's driven Civil War vet becomes the basis of Major Dundee, and of Holden's Pike Bishop in the final battle of The Wild Bunch. Another reviewer remarked that the boy playing the harmonica foreshadows the Bob Dylan character in Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid; but, more importantly, it clearly provided the inspiration for the Charles Bronson Harmonica character in Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West. The arrival of the three would-be bank robbers in the town at the beginning uses camera angles that would recur in the Wild Bunch, just as the arrival in the abandoned village at the end of the film includes camera angles used in the scenes from the Bunch that are set in Mexico. Another reviewer has rightly remarked the resonance of the barroom church service with similar scenes in later Peckinpah films. And the undeniable sexual tensions between Kieth, O'Hara and the two bank robbers would reappear in an almost unrecognizable fashion - not in the Ballad of Cable Hogue, as the reader might have expected, but in Straw Dogs, where it explodes into open violence, only achieving partial resolution in the McQueen/ McGraw relationship in the Getaway.

    Best Wishes
    London- England

    Edited 3 times, last by ethanedwards ().

  • Hi,
    This film leaves in me very strange impression. After reading comments I start understand it better. But I can't say that the movie itself is boring. I watched it with great interest.

  • We have never seen this movie, but it does sound interesting that so many of our "favorites" are cast against type. And it seems amazingly affordable. AMAZON has it available in two different DVDs. I'm not sure what the difference is (beside the cover), but the one is available NEW for only $3.03! Amazon also seems to have a new service called Unbox, where you can download the movie (they offer the download for only $3.88).

    Mrs. C :angel1:

  • :wink_smile:

    According to Maureen, the total fiasco for this little film due in large part, because of the director. Lack of plans for installation fittings, throbbing music, unique costume, no action scene with the Indians ...

    It is very rare that Maureen keeps the same dress from the beginning to the end of a film!

    I did not find this film interesting. For me, a little film despite the reputation of the director

    A small clip ...

    Tell me if you have problems to read

    Unconditional's Maureen O'Hara !
    French-English translation: poor !!!

    Edited 3 times, last by Romy ().

  • :wink_smile:

    ................................ The pictures from the film ..................

    Unconditional's Maureen O'Hara !
    French-English translation: poor !!!

  • Sam Peckinpah's first film, The Deadly Companions, will be released on DVD on February 13, 2013. (Lucky day!)

    Ron Scheer at his Buddies in the Saddle blog posted a great write-up about The Deadly Companions two days ago:…adly-companions-1961.html

    And a little more information from Toby's 50 Westerns from the '50s blog: