Compañeros / Vamos a matar, compañeros (Sergio Corbucci, 1970)


What makes you say that? I’d say along with Sielnce (even though that has its share of sloppy moments) it’s probably the western Corbucci put the most effort into, even if I do think TM is the better of the two.

(scherpschutter) #242

One of the most remarkable things in relation to The Wild Bunch is that it never was a box-office hit. According to Wikipedia:

“(…) the film grossed $10.5 million at the US box office in 1970 and another $638,641 in the US on its 1995 restored box-office release, making a total of $11,138,641.”

Apparently it has a cult following, small but (very) influential, otherwise it’s hard to explain why it has become such a well-known movie

(Novecento) #243

Well, The Wild Bunch was incredibly shocking for its time with many critics and the public outraged by the level of violence. As a result, it wasn’t met with unanimous enthusiasm. Roger Ebert once said something about defending it in front of a hostile audience at the time of release. It is of course an absolute masterpiece in film-making.

(Stanton) #244

Come on, that’s in fact easy to explain:

And despite heavy opposition TWB was also praised from the beginning on as an outstanding and central western.

And it is one of 4 westerns in the top 100 of the Sight & Sound list. (a pretty good number for a once ignored genre)

TWB was indeed not a great success in relation to its costs. But it made (according to a Variety list in the Western Encyclopedia by Phil Hardy) at least more money in the USA than FoD and FaFDM.
I think despite its spectacular violence, which was offending for some on the other hand, the audience was not too much interested in watching old men dying.

(Stanton) #246

Il grande silencio and Il mercenario are Corbucci’s most ambitious films, and his most controlled. In Gli specialisti and in Companeros there are next to excellent stuff some incredible sloppy scenes. Not only on the directing side, but also with regarde to content. For me Companeors is on every level a weaker film compared to Il mercenario, but I still love Companeros for its best scenes, and there are many. But even if instead of the sloppier parts (like the whole sequence in which they free the professsor) we would have more well directed scenes, Companeros would still be a lesser variation of Il mercenario.

(Stanton) #247

Not really. TWB is very different from any Spag, and also from the Dollar films by Leone. Which were apparently not as successful in the USA as many think, and which then were mostly ignored by the critics or mostly reviewed very negatively.
Corbucci’s westerns were even less successful, and at that point more or less unknown in the USA. And at least hist best westerns are still too unknown worldwide.

(scherpschutter) #248

Maybe, but that’s not what I mean. It’s an action movie, a western, not an art-house movie like, for instance Antonioni’s L’Avventura or Renoir’s La Grande Illusion. Such art-house movies more often have an enormous fame even though they never were box-office hits. They also often have a fervent cult following. For a western or more in general an action movie this seems more surprising to me. I have Phil Hardy’s book, but must have forgotten what he said about it and was really surprised to find out on Wikipedia that it made so little money. I never realized that, I really thought it had been a smash hit in 69/70

(Novecento) #249

It’s nonetheless worth pointing out that it was by no means a flop and was a money maker…

(Stanton) #250

I think it is some kinda of an art house movie (same goes for OUTW). Not as obvious as an Antonioni film, but more obvious like the The Great Illusion (which is, unlike The Rules of the Game, a film of which I have not much of an idea why it is still a classic).

TWB is a very complex film, a masterpiece of editing, and generally a visually very powerful film, in many respects ahead of its time (and often copied for good and for bad). Also just like OUTW.
OUTW was on the other hand a flop in some countries, and an incredible success in others.


I was watching movies here in the US starting at the end of the Sixties, and I only heard of Corbucci or any of his films in the past decade. Reading Frayling’s book on the Eurowesterns alerted me to “Django.”

Ask your average person here about SWs and you’ll hear “Leone great, Trinity funny, all the rest utter crap.” That’s what I always hear when I bring up my interest in them. They cannot believe that I like such “crummy” movies. It probably doesn’t help that they are chopped to hell when shown on TV.

(Novecento) #252

All the background action - you can’t just keep your eyes on what is going on in the foreground as we are usually (and back then entirely) accustomed to.

(scherpschutter) #253

Once Upon a Time in the West was not a success when first released (the chopped-up version). It wasn’t a flop either, but it only became a smash hit when it was re-released. I worked in a cinema during the weekends in those days and they had a full house with it, day in day out, for weeks (and not only during the weekends).

About The Wild Bunch: of course it’s a visually very strong film. It has a couple of other strong points, but I guess it owes its fame mainly to its beautiful blood-letting, The action sequences were imitated by other film makers (and Peckinpah himself) over and over again. But still … it must have been one of the most discussed movies of the year, one that caused a lot of controversy (I don’t really remember, I was too young when it came out and only saw it later, in the course of the Seventies, on a late-night showing) and caused a lot of controversy. In that light it still surprises me that it wasn’t more successful, not when first released, not when re-released


Why are you so concerned about that? You should watch this Masterpiece again, trust me you’ll feel better.

(Casey) #255

I would say TWB is a remarkable technical achievement first, and a great film second. The beautiful action sequences aside, there are a few passages of the film that drag considerably (for me), and I think that sluggish pacing has only gotten worse with time. I consider myself a big Peckinpah fan, but I almost always go with Alfredo Garcia, Cross of Iron or Billy the Kid over TWB.

Also, despite my love of Peckinpah, I really dislike Jerry Fielding as a composer. I like his Alfredo Garcia score, but thats about it, and Dylan’s PG & BTK score really brought Peckinpah’s images to life in a way Fielding did not.

(Casey) #257

Me too!

(scherpschutter) #258

I’m not concerned about it, it just surprises me, that’s all

(Novecento) #259

I’d take Cross of Iron or PG&BTK over The Wild Bunch too, although I’d probably put Garcia after it. All 4 of them are brilliant pieces of film making of course.

What did you think of the Quincy Jones score on “The Getaway”. Apparently Steve McQueen didn’t like Fielding’s compositions for the film so hired Quincy Jones to re-do it.

(Casey) #260

I liked that score too, suits the film better than Fielding would have for sure

(scherpschutter) #261

Also, despite my love of Peckinpah, I really dislike Jerry Fielding as a composer. I like his Alfredo Garcia score, but thats about it, and Dylan’s PG & BTK score really brought Peckinpah’s images to life in a way Fielding did not.

I like Jerry Fielding’s score for The Wild Bunch, but I also like Quincy Jones’s score for The Getaway. I don’t think the music Fielding composed (and that was rejected) fits The Getaway very well. Don’t know exactly why. It’s probably a bit close to his score for The Wild Bunch

(ENNIOO) #262

Have to be in the mood for alot of Fielding scores, they can often be intense. Besides from The Wild Bunch, I enjoy his scores to The Outfit and the remake of The Big Sleep.