Bad Company (1972) - Rotten Tomatoes

Bad Company (1972)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Set during the Civil War, Bad Company stars Barry Brown as a Northern boy, Drew Dixon, who heads West to avoid getting drafted. He falls under the spell of Jake Rumsey (Jeff Bridges), an easygoing young con artist. Drew joins Jake's gang of boy bandits, who live by their wits and try to avoid confrontation with adult criminals like Big Joe (David Huddleston). It is Drew who must eventually save Jake from hanging, even though he realizes that his intervention could lead to his own execution.more
Rating: PG
Genre: Western, Drama, Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By: David Newman, Robert Benton
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 4, 2002
Paramount Pictures


Jeff Bridges
as Jake Rumsey
Barry Brown
as Drew Dixon
Jim Davis
as Marshal
Jerry Houser
as Arthur Simms
Damon Cofer
as Jim Bob Logan
Joshua Hill Lewis
as Boog Bookin
Jean Allison
as Dixon's Parent
Ned Wertimer
as Dixon's Parent
Claudia Bryar
as Mrs. Clum
John Boyd
as Prisoner
Todd Martin
as Sergeant
Raymond Guth
as Jackson
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Bad Company

Critic Reviews for Bad Company

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (4)

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.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Benton's first film, a Western good enough to make everything he has done since seem disappointing by comparison.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

A naturalistic, irreverent and sometimes broadly comic view of a largely ignored aspect of the Civil War gives Bad Company a refreshingly good name.

Full Review… | May 21, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

The movie is built as a series of more-or-less self-contained episodes, and the episodes that work are worth the effort.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

A highly engaging sleeper.

Full Review… | January 29, 2010
TV Guide's Movie Guide

The ironic comical Western prides itself in taking on the Horatio Alger myth.

Full Review… | August 5, 2008
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Bad Company

Bad Company was an awesome glimpse into one of Jeff Bridges earlier roles.

What I loved about this movie it the fact that it was filmed in 1972 giving it true western feel and realistic approach (likely because it wasn't filmed as much in Hollywood Studios as truly out in the open), but more so was, it was filmed before we lived in a overly sensitive society where as the movie was able to be completely gritty with the times using terms and outlooks to be as authentic as it truly would have been if you were actually watching these men in the 1860s.

The plot itself was a well done following of an Ohio Boy who started out as a good Christian Hillbilly who deserted before he was drafted into the Union Army; partially because of the sacrifices his family had already gave (his older brother). It truly captures the essence of the time and how many well-behaved individuals were changed into ruthless out-laws solely based on the ruthless era in which they lived.

Bobby Hobbs

Super Reviewer

I first saw this one in 1972 and enjoyed it very much. Now, some 36 years later, I can honestly say that it's stood the test of time. It's a film that's shot mostly, if not entirely, on location so it never has that "studio" feel about it. It's gritty, it's unpolished, and it's wonderfully understated. You don't have to like westerns in order to enjoy and appreciate this one.

Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer


"Bad Company" seems to be the result of weak direction and a real lack of narrative cohesion, which seems to have been caused by poor editing. The story plays out in a somewhat enjoyably episodic fashion, but there's not much exposition or plot development and the tone changes so many times that it becomes confusing as to whether or not the film is to be taken seriously. Barry Brown and Jeff Bridges both have solid performances, which can't be said for most of the cast, and there are some good scenes and clever exchanges between the both of them, but overall, "Bad Company" is pretty unspectacular.

Stephen Earnest
Stephen Earnest

Super Reviewer

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