HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Last Warrior, The
Artemis 81
Rampage
Quiet Place, A
Braven
Changeover, The
Isle of Dogs
Funny Cow
Maze Runner: The Death Cure
Mad to Be Normal
Beast of Burden
Dead Men Walk
Game Night
Under the Tree
L'Amant Double
Gonin
Coco
Producers, The
Molly's Game
Forest of the Lost Souls, The
Hatchet III
Birdman of Alcatraz
Pacific Rim: Uprising
Wonderstruck
If It Ain't Stiff, It Ain't Worth a Fuck
Nun, The
Red Sparrow
My Friend Dahmer
Journeyman
Heat, The
   
 
Newest Articles
The Ultimate Trip: The Original Psychedelic Movies
Players of Games: Willy Wonka, Tron and Ready Player One
What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round? The Ends of The Monkees
Flings and Arrows: Conquest vs Flesh + Blood
Orson Around: F for Fake and The Late Great Planet Earth
ITC What You Did There: Retro-Action on Blu-ray
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We Have Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
Manor On Movies: The Astounding She Monster
Manor On Movies: Don't be a dolt. That's not a cult (movie)
Wes Anderson's Big Daddies: Steve Zissou and Others
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
   
 
  Companeros Mexican StyleBuy this film here.
Year: 1970
Director: Sergio Corbucci
Stars: Franco Nero, Tomas Milian, Jack Palance, Fernando Rey, Iris Berben, José Bódalo, Eduardo Fajardo, Karin Schubert, Gino Pernice, Álvaro de Luna, Jesús Fernández, Claudio Scarchilli, Lorenzo Robledo, Giovanni Petrucci, Gérard Tichy, Gianni Pulone
Genre: Western
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Revolutionary Mexico is the place and in an out of the way town that has recently seen some alarm, two men stand by the railway tracks and face each other, hands by their pistols and a religious statue the main bone of contention. But there is more to their relationship than that, and as the man known as The Swede (Franco Nero) ponders his next move opposite the man known as El Vasco (Tomas Milian), he reminisces about the first time they ever encountered each other. They would come to be friends, but where there was money and violence involved, could one really trust the other?

And principles, don't forget principles as these two characters seem to be living on their wits to make as much out of life as they can, but the political climate might force them to consider the bigger picture for a change. For many fans, this is their favourite western from Sergio Corbucci, even above Django, and there's a definite sense of humour here that lifts it above the usual fare of the genre. In its way this was a follow up to the lesser seen The Mercenary, featuring much of the same cast and crew, and running on similar lines.

But it's that wry atmosphere that makes this something of a romp through the clichés of the buddy movie as seen through the filter of the spaghetti western. Stars Nero and Milian are at their most charismatic here and make a great double act, tolerating each other, outwitting their counterpart and providing much of the enjoyment with their banter. When they first meet, El Vasco is a revolutionary leader, having somewhat fallen into the role, but something of a buffoon, a point not lost on the cool and together Swede who gives him a dollar, telling him he just won a bet - it will take the rest of the film for El Vasco to wheedle out of his new companion the reason why.

But maybe The Swede is not as collected as he would like us to think; he can certainly handle himself in a fist fight or with a gun, and is wily enough to extricate himself from most situations, but does need a hand every once in a while when, say, he ends up tied up, standing on an unsteady barrel with a noose around his neck. There are a few villains here, painted more despicably than the likeable heroes, including some Americans looking to secure the oil rights to Mexico's land and some dodgy generals who are exploiting the population for their own power games, but the bad guy you'll remember is John, also known as Wooden Hand.

Why is he known as Wooden Hand? Um, because he has a wooden hand, and he's played by Jack Palance at the height of his "let's have some fun with this" eccentricities. With his eyes permanently screwed up and accent veering off in wild directions, he roams the landscape searching for our two protagonists who have freed peace-loving Communist Professor Xantos (Fernando Rey) from an upcoming execution - also on Wooden Hand's hitlist. And let's mention the man in black's pet, a falcon he describes as his only friend which searches out his quarry and gets fed bits of them should they be caught. Corbucci's film, for which he contributed the story as well as co-writing the script, is rich with memorable scenes and engrossing adventure, and if it has a fault it's that it's too keen to get silly. Still, it has an interesting take on the levels of power and the action is impeccable, as is Ennio Morricone's score; watch out for Nero striking a match with someone's nose, too.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2701 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (2)


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 film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Robert Segedy
Darren Jones
  Asma Amal
  Chris Lawrence
Enoch Sneed
George White
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: