Category Archives: Quick Critiques

A Buried Cinema Quick Critique — The Deadly Companions (1961)

By Tom Kapr


This first feature film from Sam Peckinpah shows a director focused on patient storytelling and complex, broken characters, before he fell in love with gratuitous slow-motion, sadistic ultra-violence, and despicable protagonists. Maureen O’Hara, Brian Keith, and Chill Wills all give excellent performances. The characters are compelling, Albert Sidney Fleischman’s dialogue is nearly perfect, the story is surprising, and the themes are challenging. Well worth 90 minutes of your time, and a must-see for Western aficionados.


Tom was once a mere temp worker until he was kidnapped by mad scientists and imprisoned on a satellite in outer space where he was forced to watch bad movies with a couple of sarcastic sentient robots. He escaped over a decade ago, yet still he sits alone in a darkened room watching bad movies, whispering wisecracks into the dark. His favorite films include City Lights, Casablanca, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Amélie, Stagecoach, and the Toy Story trilogy. He edits the Rant Pad and the Buried Cinema podcast.