Bad Company

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"They're young, desperate, dangerous—a long way from home, but a short way from Hell."
  • PG
  • 1972
  • 1 hr 33 min
  • 6.9  (4,559)

Bad Company is a 1972 Western drama directed by Robert Benton and starring Jeff Bridges, Barry Brown, and Jim Davis. The movie follows a group of young men from Kansas who, in order to avoid being drafted into the army during the Civil War, decide to join a band of outlaws who are headed west to rob banks and trains. From the very beginning, the movie sets the tone with a scene where one of the young men, Drew, finds out that he has been drafted into the army, and his mother tells him to run away, as she does not want to lose another son to war. This sets the backdrop for the rest of the movie, where these young men are forced to grow up fast and learn to fend for themselves in a harsh and unforgiving world.

The main character, Drew (played by Barry Brown), is a quiet and reserved young man who is forced to leave behind his comfortable life on the farm and join the outlaw band. Drew is quickly taken under the wing of the leader of the band, a charismatic and fearless outlaw named Jake (played by Jeff Bridges).

Jake sees himself as a kind of big brother to Drew, and takes it upon himself to teach him how to survive in the dangerous world of the West. Jake is tough, smart, and ruthless when he needs to be, but he also has a softer side that comes out when he is around Drew. Their relationship is the heart of the movie, and it is interesting to watch the two characters grow and evolve over the course of the story.

The movie is not just a simple tale of outlaws on the run, however. It also explores deeper themes like friendship, loyalty, and the cost of violence. The outlaws are not glorified in the movie, and we see them struggling with the decisions they have made and the people they have hurt along the way. The violence is not gratuitous, but rather serves to underscore the dangers of the world these characters inhabit.

The supporting cast is excellent as well. Jim Davis, who plays the brutal and determined lawman who is hunting down the outlaws, is a standout. His scenes are intense and gripping, and he does a great job of conveying the sense of urgency and danger that surrounds him at all times.

The other members of the outlaw band, including a young woman who joins them on their journey (played by Janice Rule), are also well-drawn and interesting. Each character has their own motivations and desires, which creates a dynamic and tense group dynamic.

The cinematography and score of the movie are also noteworthy. The beautiful landscapes of the American West are showcased in all their glory, and the score by composer Harvey Schmidt is hauntingly beautiful and perfectly captures the melancholic tone of the movie.

In conclusion, Bad Company is a well-crafted and thought-provoking movie that explores themes of friendship, loyalty, and the dangers of violence. The excellent performances by its talented cast, as well as its beautiful cinematography and score, make it a must-watch for fans of Westerns and dramas alike.

Bad Company is a 1972 western with a runtime of 1 hour and 33 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.9.

Bad Company
Where to Watch Bad Company
Bad Company is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Bad Company for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 33 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.9  (4,559)