Compañeros

Production Year: 1970
Release Date: 10/28/2014
Studio: Blue Underground
Director: Sergio Corbucci




If you were to make a list of the best and most influential directors associated with the Italian Western Sergio Corbucci's name would be listed right next to the likes of greats such as Sergio Leone.  While there's no denying the influence of The Dollars Trilogy, it's a pity those three films seem to overshadow films like The Great Silence and Compañeros.  The latter being the more light hearted of Corbucci's western outings, though still just as masterfully directed.



Compañeros is one of the many "Spaghetti Westerns" that lacks a true protagonist (a very common theme of the genre) instead we get a number of selfish characters who are interested in nothing but their own betterment; whether it be guns, gold, or a revolution, typically these characters only care about their own personal gain.  Vasco (Tomas Milian), a bandit who's drunk on what (very little) power he has in the community, and Yodlaf (Franco Nero) a rich Swedish arms dealer, team up to nab Professor Xantos (Fernando Rey) in order to assist with the Mexican Revolution.


Along the way the duo cross paths with John (Jack Palance) and his gang of bandits.  Unfortunately for Vasco and Yodlaf, John and company are less than friendly and end up making their mission pretty difficult.  As it turns out John and Yodlaf have a pretty sordid history with one another, in fact their last encounter resulted in John losing his hand.  Can the unlikely team of the Mexican and the Swede succeed in bringing the professor back to Mexico in one piece?


Compañeros was the second film in Corbucci's "Mexican Revolution" trilogy, it was also one of over a dozen westerns that the director helmed.  While it's not the director's best work in the genre (that title would go to either Django or The Great Silence) it is one of the more enjoyable and light hearted.  Nero and Milian have an undeniable chemistry on screen, their rapport with one another is fantastic and it's a pity the two didn't make more films together.  With Corbucci's talent, a slew of engaging actors, and a score by the legendary Ennio Morricone, Compañeros is an extremely satisfying experience and comes highly recommended.


While not the best looking of Blue Underground's high definition releases, the company does a good job restoring the 1970 western.  The picture is solid throughout the two hour run time displaying a fair amount of detail with a nice, natural color palette.  English and Italian DTS-HD Mono tracks are both available with optional English subtitles.  The soundscape is very even with Morricone's score never drowning out or interfering with the dialogue.  Overall I'd say it's a very decent release.  



Audio Commentary with C. Courtney Joyner and Henry Parke

In the Company of Companeros (17:02 SD) - Interviews with Franco Nero, Tomas Milian, and Ennio Morricone.  While it's a very informative feature I was definitely hoping for some new content for this release.  With that said, I am glad that they carried over this older featurette.

International Trailer (02:27 HD)

Italian Trailer (02:32 HD)

TV Spot #1 (01:02 SD)

TV Spot #2 (0:32 SD)

Poster & Still Gallery

If you've yet to experience a Spaghetti Western outside of the common Dollars films any of Corbucci's flicks would be a great starting point.  Compañeros is a fun ride from beginning to end, Blue Underground has given the film a near solid treatment that's really only lacking in the extras department.  This one gets a definite recommendation.  

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