The Deadly Companions

Watch The Deadly Companions

  • Approved
  • 1961
  • 1 hr 33 min
  • 6.1  (2,758)

The Deadly Companions is a 1961 Western film directed by Sam Peckinpah and starring Maureen O'Hara, Brian Keith, and Steve Cochran. The film was Peckinpah's feature directorial debut and is noted for its dark and violent themes. The story begins in the aftermath of the Civil War. A woman named Kit Tilden (O'Hara) is seeking revenge against the man who accidentally killed her son. She hires an ex-Confederate soldier named Yellowleg (Keith) to escort her and her son's body to a burial site in a nearby town. Along the way, they are joined by a gambler named Turk (Cochran) and a former Union soldier named Billy Keplinger (Chill Wills).

As they journey on, tensions rise between the group members, each with their own personal motivations for being on the trip. Yellowleg is haunted by his experiences in the war and is seeking to redeem himself by helping Kit. Turk is trying to make a quick buck by stealing money from a bank in the town they are heading to. Billy is a drunken buffoon who mainly serves to lighten the mood of the otherwise tense journey.

As they encounter various obstacles on their journey, including hostile Apache tribesmen and a vengeful Mexican bandit, the group's true motivations are revealed, resulting in a series of violent confrontations that lead to a bloody and unexpected climax.

The Deadly Companions is notable for its unconventional storytelling techniques and its unflinching depiction of violence. Peckinpah's direction showcases his innate talent for cinematic violence, which would become a hallmark of his later films. The film also serves as a commentary on the aftermath of the Civil War, depicting the common people who were left with shattered lives and hopes.

Maureen O'Hara delivers a strong performance as the grief-stricken Kit, drawing upon her innate strength and resilience as an actress. Brian Keith is similarly compelling as the haunted Yellowleg, portraying a man tortured by his own past deeds. Steve Cochran shines as the opportunistic Turk, adding a touch of humor to what is otherwise a very dark and serious film.

The film's cinematography is also impressive, often showcasing the stark beauty of the American Southwest. The score, composed by Sonny Burke, is notable for its use of traditional Western melodies and motifs.

Overall, The Deadly Companions is a strong debut for director Sam Peckinpah and a notable film in the Western genre. It is not without its flaws, including a somewhat convoluted plot and some uneven pacing, but its unflinching nature and strong performances make it a must-see for fans of the genre.

The Deadly Companions is a 1961 western with a runtime of 1 hour and 33 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.1.

The Deadly Companions
Where to Watch The Deadly Companions
The Deadly Companions is available to watch free on Plex, Pluto TV and Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, FlixFling, Fandor, EPIX and Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent The Deadly Companions 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
    6.1  (2,758)