One of my favorite Seventies Westerns, starring Jeff Bridges and Barry Brown as Civil War-era draft dodgers living a nomadic life as wannabe outlaws. It’s all fun and games ’til your juvenile outlaw gang gets their adolescent heads blown off and hung from the neck ’til dead by rival outlaws.
The film has a nice mix of humor, tragedy and down-to-earth action and suspense. Imagine if a Badlands-era Terrence Malick made his own Western/road picture version of Stand By Me, with a few dashes of Thunderbolt And Lightfoot-era Michael Cimino thrown in for good measure. Though startlingly violent at times, the film managed a PG rating in 1972.
Ah, the 1970s.
Bridges’ co-star, Barry Brown, only made a few feature films in his too-brief career before suicide brought it to an end. Bridges is terrific, as usual, but it’s Brown’s performance as the story’s main character which made the strongest impression on me.
Another notable feature in the film is its supporting cast of Seventies character actors, also: Geoffrey Lewis, Ed Lauter, John Quade, David “Big Lebowski” Huddleston, Jim Davis and John Savage.
Bad Company‘s been one of my favorite Westerns since 1989, when I first checked it out as a rental VHS at the Coleman Barracks library in Mannheim, Germany. I’ve since owned it on VHS and DVD. It’s a shame this movie hasn’t received a Special Edition Blu-ray treatment yet.
Chalk this FAKE cover up to one of my ‘wishful thinking’ efforts.