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Companeros (1970)

Vamos a matar, compañeros (original title)
A Swedish arms dealer and a Mexican peon team up to rescue the intellectual leader of the Revolutionary cause, while taking part in numerous misadventures along the way.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay) (as Dino Maiuri), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
John
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Prof. Xantos
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Lola
...
Gen. Mongo (as Francisco Bódalo)
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Colonel (as Edoardo Fajardo)
...
Zaira
...
Tourneur (as Luigi Pernice)
Álvaro de Luna ...
John's Henchman
Jesús Fernández ...
Xantista
Claudio Scarchilli
Lorenzo Robledo ...
Captain Jim
Giovanni Petti ...
Border Officer
...
Lieutenant
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Storyline

Arms dealer Yolaf Peterson aims to make a sale to guerilla Mongo, but the money is locked in a bank safe, the combination known only to Professor Xantos, a prisoner of the Americans. Yolaf agrees to free Xantos, accompanied by reluctant guerilla Basco, but a former business partner of Yolaf's- John 'The Wooden Hand', has other ideas. Written by Tom Seldon <elpuro@msn.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Fate brought them together. Greed made them inseparable, and violence made them Companeros!

Genres:

Action | Comedy | Western

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

|

Release Date:

April 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Companeros  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the beginning, the one who voted against Porfirio Díaz is called Ricardo Huerta, the same name of an assistant director in the film. See more »

Goofs

When El Vasco (Tomas Milian) tear open the blouse of Lola (Iris Berben) to reveal her breasts, the tan lines from a Bikini are clearly visible. See more »

Quotes

Yolof Peterson: Your friend is right, compañero. When you're about to die, don't ask so many questions.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Spaghetti heavyweights Franco Nero and Tomas Milian join forces in fantastic Mexican revolution escapade
28 July 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

With a dream cast of Franco Nero (as Swedish mercenary Yod Peterson aka "penguin") and Tomas Milian (Mexican rebel Vasco), a soundtrack by Ennio Morricone and Sergio Corbucci at the Directors helm, this film was always likely to deliver. And it delivers 100%.

The story centres around the town of San Bernardino, and a fight for power between General Mongo (Bodalo) and Professor Xantos (Fernando Rey). Xantos, a pacifist with a young and dedicated following, has been imprisoned at Fort Yuma by the Americans. His absence has left the town, and its safe, at the mercy of Mongo. However, without the combination for the lock, he is unable to access the wealth of the town.

Mongo enlists the help of Peterson to rescue Xantos, for both the combination code and probable execution. Vascos is sent to accompany him, having already suffered much humiliation as a result of an earlier confrontation with the Swede. This makes for a very uneasy relationship.

A brief fracas with Xantos' followers at a hold-up on a train enables Peterson to escape from Vacos' close watch. However, he is soon relying on his companion to rescue him, after he is captured by a former partner John (Jack Palance) - who he had previously betrayed some years ago to save his own skin. This betrayal had resulted in John being nailed to a tree, and relying on his faithful pet falcon, Marsha, to rescue him by biting off his hand. Not surprisingly, John holds a grudge (as well as a wooden hand!).

On escaping John's grasp, the two make an assault on Fort Yuma in an attempt to free Xantos from the Americans. As the adventure really heats up, they're paths will soon cross with the American army, General Mongo, Xantos' followers and, of course, John and Marsha.

The first third of the film is perhaps a little slow and episodic, but does successfully reveal the characters of Peterson and Vasco to the viewer (with fantastic character play by Nero and Milian respectively). Once the background is established, the film soon explodes into action with a series of exciting and highly effective chases and battle sequences. Corbucci at his best.

Probably the strongest element of this movie however is its subtle use of humour. Much of this is provided by the chemistry between the two leading roles, but the laughs really reach a crescendo with Peterson and Vasco's final liaison with Jack's falcon Marsha. Just one great scene in a film full of them.

It is no doubt a crime to have got so far into my review without mentioning Jack Palance's performance in much detail, because his performance as the unhinged, marijuana smoking John is scene stealing. Quite possibly one of the greatest villains of all the Spaghetti Westerns I have seen.

Music is provided by Morricone, and as always the score is a perfect accompaniment to the action - both memorable and rousing. In fact it always amazes me how the man could be so consistent! In summary, this is a must view film from the ever reliable Corbucci. And my mouth waters at the prospect of watching his other Mexican revolutionary movies ('A Professional Gun' and 'What Am I Doing in the Middle of a Revolution')..... very shortly, hopefully!


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