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DVD Review

DVD cover

Company K


Starring: Ari Fliakos, Steve Cuiffo and Joe Delafield
Scanbox Entertainment
RRP: £12.99
Certificate: 12
Available 26 July 2010

When William March returned from the war he was haunted by the spectre of the men he had fought with. In 1933 he finished his book Company K which, through over a hundred vignettes, told the story of their experiences. The book became an American classic which was eventually made into a film...

Company K (2004 - 1 hr, 42 min, 52 sec) was adapted and directed by Robert Clem. Clem has kept the structure of the book, showing individual stories, connected only by the fact that the men serve in the same company. There is little in the way of an over arching story. The cast includes Ari Fliakos, Steve Cuiffo and Joe Delafield.

The film is shown as the recollection of Joe Delany who writes about his experiences of war, experiences which continue to damage him long time after the events have past. Joe mourns both the loss of friends and the loss of his own innocence. Delany appears at the beginning of the film and during his own story.

Much of the action takes place in the trenches and woods; here Clem uses stock footage of the actual war to give the film a scope which is beyond its modest budget. Oddly this does have the advantage of foregoing the usual pyrotechnics associated with war films allowing the film to concentrate on the men’s actions and feelings. Clem has however made sure that the period is accurately represented through the costumes and weaponry.

The individual stories are variable in their impact. Some of the stories have real power to move the audience whereas others are little more than snapshots in time, but then I guess that’s the way that March experienced the war. Likewise the acting can be variable; the film contains no well known actors.

The screener was supplied as a DVD file, so there were no extras, the quality was noticeably poor and the sound was flat and uninspiring. According to the PR blurb the finished disc should contain three trailers, five deleted scenes, a William March documentary and a full length audio commentary by Robert Clem.

Clem has made quite a good war film, which is only really hampered by its lack of budget, this makes portions of the film look like it was made by a bunch of friends on a weekend, whereas other potions felt less like an indie film and more like a major studio film. In the end it is the unevenness of the film which holds it back, where Clem’s vision couldn’t be matched by his budget.


Charles Packer

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