The Deadly Companions

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The Deadly Companions
The Deadly Compions.JPG
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Sam Peckinpah
Produced by Charles B. Fitzsimons
Written by Albert Sidney Fleischman
Starring Maureen O'Hara
Brian Keith
Steve Cochran
Chill Wills
Music by Marlin Skiles
Cinematography William H. Clothier
Edited by Stanley Rabjohn
Distributed by Pathé-America
Release dates
  • June 6, 1961 (1961-06-06)
Running time 93 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Deadly Companions is a 1961 Western film directed by Sam Peckinpah and starring Maureen O'Hara, Brian Keith, Steve Cochran, and Chill Wills. Based on the novel of the same name by A. S. Fleischman, the film is about an ex-army officer who accidentally kills a woman's son, and tries to make up for it by escorting the funeral procession through dangerous Indian territory.[1] The Deadly Companions was Sam Peckinpah's motion picture directorial debut.[2]

Plot[edit]

After her young son is killed in a bank robbery, Kit Tilden (Maureen O'Hara) is determined to bury him beside his father in Siringo, now deserted and located in Apache territory. Yellowleg (Brian Keith), the ex-army officer who accidentally killed her son, decides to help take the body across the desert to be buried, whether Kit wants help or not.

Cast[edit]

  • Maureen O'Hara as Kit Tilden
  • Brian Keith as Yellowleg
  • Steve Cochran as Billy Keplinger
  • Chill Wills as Turk
  • Strother Martin as Parson
  • Will Wright as Doctor Acton
  • James O'Hara as Cal, General Store
  • Peter O'Crotty as Mayor of Hila City
  • Billy Vaughan as Mead Tildon Jr.
  • Hank Gobble as Bartender (uncredited)
  • Big John Hamilton as Gambler (uncredited)
  • Chuck Hayward as Card Sharp (uncredited)
  • Riley Hill as Gambler (uncredited)
  • Buck Sharpe as Apache Indian (uncredited)
  • Robert Sheldon as Gambler (uncredited)[3]

Production[edit]

Directorial debut

After the cancellation of his 1959-1960 television series The Westerner, Brian Keith was cast as the male lead in The Deadly Companions. He suggested Sam Peckinpah (the producer and director of The Westerner) as the director for this film, and producer Charles B. Fitzsimons accepted the idea. By most accounts, the low-budget film shot on location in Arizona was a learning process for Peckinpah. Unable to rewrite the screenplay or edit the picture, Peckinpah vowed to never again direct a film unless he had script control. The Deadly Companions passed largely without notice and is the least known of Peckinpah's films.

Filming locations

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ "The Deadly Companions". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Sam Peckinpah". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Full cast and crew for The Deadly Companions". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Locations for The Deadly Companions". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
Further reading
  • Bliss, Michael (1993). Justified Lives: Morality and Narrative in the Films of Sam Peckinpah. Southern Illinois University Press. ISBN 978-0809318230. 
  • Dukore, Bernard F. (1999). Sam Peckinpah's Feature Films. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 978-0252024863. 
  • Engel, Leonard ed. (2003). Sam Peckinpah's West: New Perspectives. University of Utah Press. ISBN 978-0874807721. 
  • Evans, Max (1972). Sam Peckinpah: Master of Violence. Dakota Press. ISBN 978-0882490113. 
  • Fine, Marshall (1991). Bloody Sam: The Life and Films of Sam Peckinpah. Donald I. Fine. ISBN 978-1556112362. 
  • Hayes, Kevin J. (2008). Sam Peckinpah: Interviews. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 978-1934110638. 
  • Seydor, Paul (1996). Peckinpah: The Western Films, A Reconsideration. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 978-0252022685. 
  • Simons, John L. (2011). Peckinpah's Tragic Westerns: A Critical Study. McFarland. ISBN 978-0786461332. 
  • Weddle, David (1994). If They Move ... Kill 'Em! The Life and Times of Sam Peckipah. Grove Press. ISBN 978-0802115461. 

External links[edit]