Bad Company is an excellent film which combines wry humor and gritty action with in-depth characterizations of two youths on the lam in the Civil War west. The production is generally sensitive in its treatment, though pockmarked with some incongruous ‘fun-and-poetic’ type violence unworthy of the otherwise quality story-telling. Robert Benton, who co-wrote the fine original script, makes a noteworthy directorial debut.
It’s an intriguing story of the maturing-under-fire of Barry Brown, a midwest draft dodger but otherwise of ‘good’ stock, who gradually develops the educated, pragmatic survival instinct necessary in the old west. In this he is influenced primarily by Jeff Bridges, a more primitive con-artist character who knows the ropes of street-fighting and finagling.
Among the many highlights of the film is an outstanding performance by Brown.