Companeros (1970)

3.0 out of 5

With a director in Sergio Corbucci, a stellar cast including Franco Nero, Tomas Milian, Jack Palance, Fernando Rey and an Ennio Morricone score Companeros appears to have all the constituent elements in place to rival some of the very best spaghetti westerns ever made. Whilst it never reaches the dizzy heights of Corbucci's, or for that matter Leone's, very best work it still has plenty to offer any Italian western fan. There's certainly some parallels with Leone's The Good,the Bad and the Ugly going on with two opposing characters caught in the middle of a conflict.

Nero and Milian's on screen chemistry is magnificent, with their constant bickering and oneupmanship over each other. If anything their relationship is what keeps this film going, especially in the slightly saggy middle section. It's just a crying shame that this is the only film they ever starred in together.

It would be remiss not to highlight another stand out score from Ennio Morricone, though this differs from his more straight laced western scores being more melancholy and playful. The insanely catchy main theme alone will stay in the brain for days on end.

Also Alejandro Ulloa's lush cinematography elevates the film beyond it's low budget origins. Recommended.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics