The Magnificent Seven


Action / Adventure / Western


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July 17, 2013 at 06:43 AM



Steve McQueen as Vin Tanner
Eli Wallach as Calvera
James Coburn as Britt
923.00 MB
Not Rated
23.976 fps
2hr 8 min
P/S 48 / 410

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Poseidon-3 5 / 10

Top drawer production

What could have been a fairly routine western is lifted into the realm of classic thanks to some smart casting, sturdy direction and a rousing music score. A reworking of Akira Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai", the story concerns a Mexican village which is constantly pillaged by bandit Wallach and his small army of followers. Three of the villagers hire a mix of gunslingers to come back to protect and defend the town and rid it of the oppressors. Brynner leads the group (seven in total, hence the title) as they teach the farmers how to use a gun and prepare the town for the eventual onslaught from Wallach. The already tough odds are lengthened when some of the villagers begin to lose faith in the power of the seven. Brynner is solid in the lead role (though, unfortunately, his later role in "Westworld" adds an odd shading to his character here.) He, McQueen and Coburn define the word cool as they go about their various exploits before and after they join forces. McQueen and Coburn are men of few words, but of fierce actions when necessary. Bronson (rather young and handsome, though still a little craggy looking) does his best with a pretty mushy storyline involving the youth of the village. Buchholz overacts feverishly as a determined, but inexperienced youth. Vaughn seems a tad out of place and has one major ham moment during a nightmare. Dexter (easily the most often forgotten member of the group) has a few moments, but his character is not particularly defined. Wallach excels in the showy role of the chief bandit. His brash performance is a great counterpoint to the more steely and solemn title gunmen. The villagers come off as hapless and pitiful, for the most part. Along the way, there are several memorable vignettes that showcase the charm of the actors involved. The casting director did an almost miraculous job of using known stars and picking supporting actors who would soon be just as big so that the film now has virtually an all-star cast. The biggest shot in the arm of all is the monumental score by Elmer Bernstein. The instantly recognizable title music is just one of the many great pieces he created for the film. The sometimes laconic story is carried a long way by his score. The concept of disparate characters being brought together for a common cause has been done many times, but rarely with this level of quality. It's sometimes hard to believe that the film was made in 1960 as its look, content and cast make it seem like a later film. It was definitely a touchstone in the development of the western film.

Reviewed by mentalcritic 9 / 10

A relic of a bygone era, and a good one at that...

Based somewhat faithfully on the Akira Kurosawa classic Shichinin no samurai, The Magnificent Seven could be mistaken for just another of the many Westerns that were turned out in Hollywood during this era. But there is a certain something that keeps The Magnificent Seven unique. Part of it is the concept borrowed from the earlier Japanese film, but some of it lies in the attitude of the seven mercenaries referred to in the title.

Much is made here of the difference between fighting for money, fighting for justice, or fighting for a future. While this version of Kurosawa's epic contains all the philosophical leanings of the original, it isn't nearly as long-winded or languid. The downside to this is that it isn't nearly as moody or powerful. In fact, one can easily see the difference between American and foreign cinema simply by comparing Shichinin no samurai with The Magnificent Seven. One is incredibly dark and downbeat most of the time. The other mostly has a score that is so major it wouldn't sound out of place in Seven Brides For Seven Brothers.

Differences in feeling aside, the ultimate question is whether this version of the story manages to entertain. The hardest challenge any film faces is keeping the audience amused while all the exposition is laid out. Here, the exposition is kept to a minimum while carefully inserted between some fast-paced, albeit very mild action sequences.

Sometimes, the dialogue ("We deal in lead, friend.") gets incredibly stilted. Sometimes, it seems incredibly wise. Well, since we have examples of films where it's all stilted, all the time, we can forgive this one. The film also includes several textbook examples of how to include a sudden plot element without seeming contrived. When we learn why Calvera's men just won't go away, it needs no setup simply because it is consistent with their behaviour throughout the rest of the film.

In the end, The Magnificent Seven comes off as an excellent remake of a masterpiece. There are better Westerns out there, and there are better action films, but there aren't many. I gave it a nine out of ten. Go in expecting to be entertained, but little more, and you cannot go wrong.

Reviewed by Righty-Sock ([email protected]) 10 / 10

A richly enjoyable Western with a terrific Oscar-Nominated Musical Score...

John Sturges acquires a reputation as a solid director of superior Westerns filled with tense action scenes such as: "Escape From Fort Bravo," "Bad Day at Black Rock," "Backlash," "Gunfight At The O.K. Corral," "The Law and Jack Wade," "The Last Train From Gun Hill," "Sergeant Three," "The Hallelujah Trail," and one of the best of all Wyatt Earp movies, "Hour of the Gun."

He succeeds in one of the most exhilarating opening sequences of all Western movies, when he had McQueen and Brynner riding a hearse up legendary Boot Hill creating a mood and peril that never allow the slightest degree of viewer confusion or ennui... For Sturges, the West is a man's world, and his cool, hard, detached style, emphasizing action, excitement and the rugged environment of the frontier, endorses the point...

"The Magnificent Seven" is derived from Kurosawa's superb "The Seven Samurai," a compelling tale of intimidated and impoverished medieval villagers hiring mercenary warriors to repel bandit ravages... The villagers in this case are Mexicans, plagued beyond all bearing by the activities of bandit Calavera, who always leaves them on tortillas and few beans... Three of them cross the border to offer meager pay and sustenance for any professionally skilled fighting men who will aid them...

Yul Brynner is the man, dressed in black, with the luminous dome and the hypnotic Mongolian eyes who portrays the distinctive Chris Adams leader of the seven hired gunmen hired to chase some 'flies from a little Mexican village.'

Eli Wallach is memorable as Calvera, chief of the ruthless outlaws... He is greedy and merciless terrorizing without pity the poor peasants...

Steve McQueen gives a standout performance as the sardonic gunman ('We deal in lead, friend'), carrying appealing ease and sense of humor to his role as Vin, Brynner's first recruit and second-in-command...

Charles Bronson portrays Bernardo O'Reilly, who explains his curious name to Chris, with 'Mexican on one side, Irish on the other—and me in the middle!' Bronson, the strongest face in Western, and with a bit of Mexican in him—cunning face, steady eyes, revealing voice—the character of Bernardo O'Reilly suits him perfectly... This half-breed gunfighter becomes the conscience of the team... Because of his tender paternal instincts, he is adopted by three children who promise him, in case he falls, to bring him, every day, fresh flowers...

Robert Vaughn—who was to do nicely on TV in "The Man from Uncle" spy spoof— plays Lee, the 'good gun' with black gloves and nightmares, living in style with no enemies alive...

Brad Dexter plays Harry Luck, Brynner's happy friend who returns to join the team convinced of the existence of a large amount of hidden gold...

James Coburn makes a big impression as Britt, the expert gunman who can out-draw a gun with his knife-throwing... His looks and vague figure of violence are quite a response for his few talks...

Horst Bucholz represents youth, eagerness, and the urge to be proved and sorted out from the boys... He was caught on the road by Rosenda Monteros...

Robert J. Wilke is Britt's insisting challenger who swells the ranks of the villains in many Westerns like "High Noon," "The Far Country," and "Man of the West."

The Magnificent Seven's success spawned three sequels: "Return of the Seven" (again starring Yul Brynner), "Guns of the Magnificent Seven" and, last and least of all, "The Magnificent Seven Ride."

With a terrific Oscar-Nominated Musical Score by Elmer Bernstein, "The Magnificent Seven" remains a richly enjoyable Western, shot on location in Morelos state, Mexico...

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