|The Magnificent Seven
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- Fantastic Entertaining Western! One of the Best ever made!
A true Classic! Excellent story, fast paced yet, slow enough for the viewer to learn character development. In my opinion, it has one of the best director's of westerns, John Sturges, with a musical score composed and directed by the best man ever to develop a musical score for a western, Elmer Bernstein. His music lends to the story and captures human emotion in every secene. The acting is superb by a veteran cast of the best actors to be assembled for a film, Yul Bryner, Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Charles Bronson, to name a few.
The interviews are interesting and captivating on the second disk, and give you a good a idea of what it was like to work on this film.
Believe me, you won't regret buying this two disk version. An excellent edition to a film library. A great film that you can enjoy over and over again.
John E. Matty, Springfield, VA...more info
- One of the All-Time Great Westerns
By now most people know this movie was based on legendary Japanese Director Akira Kurosawa's "The Seven Samurai". Still, Kurosawa himself loved the movie.
A band of seven gunfighters, led by Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen, comes to the aid of a poor, Mexican village, constantly under attack by a gang of vicious gang of Bandits, led by Eli Wallach.
Perhaps most memorable as being the first REAL big film for such stars as McQueen, James Coburn, and Charles Bronson. Great action and of course the famous score by Elmer Bernstein.
The sub-plots of the making of the movie include these big names, particlarly McQueen and Brynner constantly trying to one up wach other with background histrionics.
The DVD includes a new documentary done in 2001 which includes new interviews with surviving cast members but also old footage of Brynner. Holds up well after 40 plus years! also includes a commentary track. Highly recommended!
- Doesn't live up to its classic billing
The Magnificent Seven, a Western remake of Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, is a good movie, but hardly the classic that many people would make it out to be. The simplistic plot delivers exactly what it should, but the film falls short in its character development, possibly because of the limits of a 2-hour running time.
A small early 1900s Mexican farming village has been pillaged for years by a group of bandits lead by a man named Calvera (Eli Wallach). When the bandits come through, the villagers are left with hardly enough food to feed half of them; but since they are a group of farmers, they have no way of protecting themselves from Calvera and his men. After consulting the village elder, they decide to look for a group of gunfighters to protect them.
Enter Chris Adams (Yul Brynner), a drifter through the plains of the Old West, with nothing to lose, and not much to gain except respect for himself. Three representatives from the village seek his help, and, having nothing better on his plate at the moment, he agrees and assembles a group of seven men to protect the village.
The cast is a veritable who's who of 1960s tough guy actors: Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, and James Coburn among others. All of these men can act, but there's just not enough time to give full weight to all seven of the gunfighters, and the film feels incomplete because of this.
Also, The Magnificent Seven has not aged particularly well since its initial release almost 45 years ago. It's hard to believe that around the turn of the century in a small farming village in Mexico, all of the people would be bilingual, and not only that, but some of them speak English so well that the only way we can tell that they are supposed to be Mexican is by their bodily characteristics.
Of course, any discussion of The Magnificent Seven is not complete without mentioning Elmer Bernstein's legendary score. It is the true star of the film, and it does not disappoint at all. All of this is not to say that the film does not have its merits - it's a very enjoyable popcorn-type movie - but, for me, it does not live up to its lofty billing. ...more info
- My favorite Western of all time
My all time favorite Western. I first saw it as a little kid and have watched it a number of times since. It's the values that it portrays and the character that it inspires that makes it such an enduring classic for me. The fact that these seven hired guns knew (most of them) that they're doing a dirty job and that there is so much better out there and they admired it more then their own glory is simply great. In a way they went to save the village from the bandits as a way of their own redemption. Wonderful movie....more info
- 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...
- The Magnificent Seven
The Japanese director's seminal tale of raw human conflict is ideally suited to the western form, and director John Sturges brings together some rising stars to bring it to life, including Steve McQueen, James Coburn, and Charles Bronson. Brynner is commanding in the lead. Exciting and eye-catching.
- CORN, CORN, AND MORE CORN
This movie was made in the days before film-makers realized that people were sophisticated enough to recognize corn when they saw it. Horz Bucholz's impetuous kid act was just total corn. Talk about bad acting. Robert Vaughn deliberately affects some kind of bizarre weakling voice quality.
The whole premise of the movie was that the villagers were wothless cowards but Bronson goes off his head proclaiming how brave they are because they're dirt scratching farmers. The 40 banditos ride into the village and the hired guns(the seven) expose themselves in positions where they could easily be shot by less than half of 40 banditos.
The banditos get the drop on the seven when the seven return to the village and the ultimate in movie absurdity happens. The banditos let the seven go on their merry way AND give them their guns back. Any self respecting Mexican bandito would have slit their throats, but not in this fantasy universe. This is truly one of the worst westerns I've ever seen. I just don't understand why this movie has gotten the hype that it has. Probably simply because it had Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen in it. ...more info
- Best Score for a movie....EVER!!
I don't care what anyone says about this movie...here's the real poop.......This is a fantastic movie with an unbelievable cast and the best score ever written...except for "Gone With The Wind". I've grown up with this movie and it just gets better and better. If you love westerns, this is the definitive movie for you....more info
- "Only the Farmers have Won"....
the old man tells Chris, Yul Brynner.."They are like the land itself. You help rid them of Calvera like a wind rids them of locust You are like the wind blowing over the land and passing on.
Vaya con Dios"
With the rousing Elmer Bernstein score, this Kurosawa remake of the Seven Samurai with Yul Brynner, Charles Bronson, Steve McQueen, Horst Buchholz, Robert Vaughn and Brad Dexter playing the seven heros who rescue the poor peasants from the bandit Calvera, Eli Wallach. This is a great addition to any movie collection.
Watch to see the techniques..(shaking the shotgun shells, playing with his hat, etc)..that Steve McQueen used to draw the viewers eyes to him and enlarge his screen presence....more info
- Way Too Hackneyed
Okay, I realize I'm bordering on blasphemy by not liking THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN. Many who know a heck of a lot more about the genre than moi claim it to be the "greatest Western ever." (I will maintain 'til they shovel dirt over me that "Lonesome Dove" is the greatest Western ever, but that's a topic for another time.) I had never had the opportunity to watch this film until I ran across it late one evening on public television, so I seized the chance to experience the "greatest Western ever."
Given the melodrama, banality, and over-the-top acting so prevalent in films at the time, THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN still requires a suspension of disbelief unhindered by the cosmos themselves. Yul Brynner. . .in a Western? As King of Siam or Pharaoh of Egypt, sure; but not as a grim-faced leader of six thugs and misfits on horseback. Too often, as I watched Brynner turn to his sidekick in this film (Steve McQueen), I expected him to say, "So let it be written, so let it be done!" I guess my point is (if there is a point to any of this), if the viewer is constantly putting the lead character into other roles more suitable while watching a film, the film itself becomes unsuitable.
As to the ensemble of the "Seven," the guys never meshed, in my view. Charles Bronson was too bizarre while Brad Dexter too plain and James Coburn should have taken an extra couple of visits to the buffet line on the set. The prim and proper Robert Vaughn comes across as the Donald Trump of cowboys (which means his character is a howler), and I never was able to figure out if Horst Buchholz was supposed to be Hispanic, American, European, or extra-terrestrial.
Fact is, I never was able to figure out what all the hoopla was (and is) surrounding this film.
For Westerns to be engaging, the actors have to seamlessly take the viewer into the story. . .make him or her care what happens. Instead, with THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, I spent too much time guffawing. Sorry, Western lovers, this film was way too contrived and hackneyed for me. Maybe if Yul Brynner had been driving a chariot. . .
--D. Mikels, Author, WALK-ON & THE RECKONING...more info
- When Cowboys Were Cowboys
There was a time when the toughest guys in the movies did not have to be 6'5'' and full of steroids and have a dozen guns in their hands. All you had to do was to see Yul Brenner (Chris) and see him tell Eli Wallach: Wallach says: These walls won't keep me out, Brenner says "These walls were not built to keep you out they were built to keep you in". At that point you know Brenner means business and Wallach now knows he has a fight on his hands. That scene alone makes the movie awesome. The music, the dialogue, Steve McQueen, were there any tougher guys in the movies than him, how big was he. All the actors, Robert Vaughn, Charles Bronsan, etc were awesome. When men were men. Along with Shane and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid this is the best western of all time. You could never get tired of this movie. Every time I watch it I see something different. Truly a classic....more info
- 5 Star Movie Stuck in a 3 Star Collector's Edition
THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN is my favorite movie and has been for as long as I can remember. Unfortunately, THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) is a tremendous disappointment of the highest order. Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter, James Coburn, Horst Buchholz and Eli Wallach deserved better. For a Two-Disc Edition you really get little of substance and the best what you do get was already on the Single-Disc Special Edition. In fact I recommend you keep your Single-Disc Special Edition and don't trade it in. The new extras on this Two-Disc Collector's Edition are examples of perfunctory editions with no respect for this magnificent film. This Two-Disc Collector's Edition's only saving grace is the All-New Audio Commentary with Film Historian Christopher Frayling. Frayling's insight and commentaries are truly magnificent. I may not agree with everything he has to say but he has backed his point of view up quite convincingly. Christopher Frayling is a bit of a bombastic authority on Westerns and I perhaps like his British point of view on American Westerns, so I listen to what he has to say. I just felt he underplayed the importance and missed the point of Yul Brynner's performance which was pivotal from my perspective. This Two-Disc Collector's Edition is an edition you should have. It just could have been done much better. Just look at the outstanding job that was done for ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST.
- Seven Stars
Whilst this probably isn't the best western ever made its certainly up there amongst the top flight. It was fortunately made a few years before 'A Fistful of Dollars', which changed westerns and what was expected from them.
Take the classic Kurosawa film 'Seven Samurai' (which is given its due in the opening credits) and reinvent it in the American west. Then add the staggeringly good cast of Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Eli Wallach, James Coburn and Robert Vaughan and what you have is a near perfect piece of Cinema. Some of these guys (like McQueen) were not the bigshots they would later become, but they are incredibly cool. Just a look is enough for these actors. For example, James Coburn hardly says a word throughout the film, and he has arguably the best scene - the knife vs gun moment.
Sure its not a great film in the way 'The Searchers' is, but for straightforward entertainment this is hard to beat. And for those who criticise it as being dated and slow, I'm afraid you've been watching too many modern Hollywood blockbusters. What makes The Magnificent Seven substantially better than a lot of modern films, is that its a simple morality tale, and in the end you do care about the villagers and the Seven.
As a simple comparison the film I watched prior to this one was 'Swordfish' a 2001 film starring John Travolta and Hugh Jackman. Not a bad film. It has a great start. But its not in the same league as The Magnificent Seven. After the start it becomes an exercise in CGI, explosions, car chases and computer screens. Its worth seeing, just, but its a largely souless, depressing piece of filmmaking. Saying that of course there are much worse films than Swordfish out there...
A final word on The Magnificent Seven, listen to the wonderful music score by Elmer Bernstein. There haven't been many more evocative soundtracks than this one. ...more info
- Simply Magnificent!
Director John Sturges' remake of Akira Kurosawa's 1954 epic "Seven Samurai" ranks as one of the greatest westerns ever made. Along with Robert Aldritch's shoot'em saga "Vera Cruz," "The Magnificent Seven" exerted considerable influence the look and subject matter of many later Spaghetti westerns. Sturges had gained an impressive reputation in the genre with two contemporary westerns "The Walking Hills and "Bad Day at Black Rock" as well as his frontier oaters "The Law and Jake Wade," "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral," and "Last Train from Gun Hill." Sturges specialized in all-male actioneers with tough guys in the life and death situations. Visually, he relied on low-angle photography to give his pictures a larger-than-life look, and he staged his gunfight sequences as if they were football game strategies.
Sturges began a long association with "The Ten Commandants" composer Elmer Bernstein on "The Magnificent Seven." Not only did Bernstein receive an Oscar nomination for Best Original Score for his music on "The Magnificent Seven," but he also got an Oscar nod when he reprised his score in Burt Kennedy's 1966 sequel "Return of the Seven." Aside from Sturges' masterful direction, "The Magnificent Seven" boasts a top-notch cast. Sturges was largely responsible for these brilliant casting choices.Many of them, including Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn, and Charles Bronson, achieved superstar prominence during the 1960s. "The Magnificent Seven" was lensed on location by Charles Lang in Durango, Mexico, and on some rather obvious sets at Churubusco Studios, Mexico City. Lang had filmed "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral" as well as "Last Train from Gun Hill" with Sturges and would go on to shoot the unlikeliest Sturges movie "A Girl Named Tamiko."
"The Magnificent Seven" takes place in the late 19th century. The first scene occurs in a small, anonymous Mexican village as a bandit, Calvera (Eli Wallach of "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly"), and his 40 gunmen steal enough food to feed themselves. After Calvera and his gang depart, the campesinos convene in the square to formulate a plan of defense. "If he takes our crop, we might as well cut our throats and be done with it," laments one farmer. They visit the Old Man (Russian character actor Vladimir Sokoloff of "Cloak and Dagger")and seek his advice. "Fight," he urges them. "Go to the border and buy guns."
The frontier west has settled down and our heroes are roaming the land in search of work. Chris (Oscar winning actor Yul Brynner of "The King and I") and Vin cross paths in a dusty little hamlet when the local citizens refuse to let an Indian named Old Sam be buried in a predominantly white cemetery. "How long has this been going on?" inquires a traveling salesman. "Since the town got civilized," remarks the undertaker, Chamlee (Whit Bissell) and tries to give corset salesman Henry (Val Avery of "The Anderson Tapes") his twenty dollars back. Three of the villagers arrive in town as Chris and Vin decide to drive the hearse up to Boot Hill. "Never ridden shotgun on a hearse," quips Vin. Chris wounds two men trying to block their way and the townspeople unload the coffin and bury it.
The three villagers approach Chris and ask him to help them buy guns. "Men are cheaper than guns," Chris advises them and they assemble six men. The pay is a double eagle for four to six weeks with food and board thrown into the bargain. So moved is Chris by their earnestness that he decides to help them. "I've been offered a lot for my work," he assures the Mexicans, "but never everything." Initially, Vin is reluctant about joining up. When he learns the job pays twenty dollars, he shrugs, "Would pay for my bullets." The third man to join up is gold-seeking Harry Luck (Brad Dexter) who believes that there must be more to it if the Cajun-speaking Chris has decided to him the villagers. Bernando O'Reilly (Charles Bronson) is chopping wood for his breakfast when Chris offers him twenty dollars. "Right now that's a lot of money," he agrees. Britt (James Coburn) and Lee (Robert Vaughn) and a Mexican farmer turned gunfighter, Chico (German born actor Horst Buchholz), follow. At first, Chico doesn't make the grade but later he proves his worthiness.
The seven teach the villagers to defend themselves with rifles they obtain from Calvera's men sent to spy on them. They also erect new walls in the village. "They won't keep me out," Calvera surveys them on his return to the village with his forty gunmen. Chris explains, "They were made to keep you in." A gunfight erupts. All seven survive the first foray, but the triumphant villagers are caught off-guard when Calvera's men hang around. When combat breaks out again, the villagers split into fractions. Half decide hiring the seven constituted a mistake. Chris and company change tactics, mount an offensive against Calvera, but find his camp empty. When they arrive back in the village, the seven discover that one fraction has sold them out, but Calvera refuses to kill them. He fears that their friends from up north might retaliate so he takes their guns and lets his men escort them to the border.
"The Magnificent Seven" brims with irony. The Old Man advises the villagers to buy guns, but Chris tells them that men with guns are cheaper. Although the hiring price of twenty dollars is low, the high-priced O'Reilly joins because "right now twenty dollars is a lot." Similarly, Chris signs on because nobody has ever paid him everything. Lee suffers from paranoia so he decides to hide out in the worst place imaginable. "The final supreme idiocy," he confesses, "a deserter hiding out on a battlefield." The performances are memorable as is William Roberts' dialogue. In one scene, Vin observes, "It took me a long time to learn my elbow from a hot rock." "The Magnificent Seven" qualifies as my favorite western.
This DVD contains two commentary tracks that provide a wealth of information and trivia, especially Sir Christopher Frayling's commentary....more info
- A good remake!
Despite the fact this is a remarkable adaptation of the famous saga The seven Samurais. You must watch it without major pretensions. It's a fabulous entertainment that allowed to Steve Mac Queen, Charles Bronson, James Colburn and Robert Vaughn be widely know all around the world.
A kinetic cinematography that inflamed the screen with a great doses of black humor and graphic violence.
Martin Ritt is not Peckinpah, pitifully. But the film keeps high caliber tension and it is a good entertainment.
- A Classic Companion Movie
"The Magnificent Seven" will have more appeal to American audiences than its Japanese progenitor, "Seven Samurai," but is a pale shadow to the later. The main reason to own "The Magnificent Seven" is enjoy and learn the heritage of cinematography starting with Sergei Eisenstein ("Battleship Potemkin," "Alexander Nevsky," etc.) to Akira Kurosawa ("Seven Samurai," "Ran," etc.) Very good movies such as "The Magnificent Seven" stand on the shoulders of giants in the history of movies. The best reason to own this DVD is to compare it side by side with "Seven Samurai" in the uninterrupted space and time of one's own home....more info
- Good, but not as Great as the reputation
This classic western was one that I found myself wanting to love as much as the original Seven Samurai. It highlights the launching of Brynner, Bronson and McQueen's stars in a story of seven down on their luck gunslingers banding together to protect a small village from a group of bandits.
The movie fell flat twice, perhaps because I had seen the Seven Samurai first:
- The characters lacked the emotional intensity of the original seven.
- The conflict of Gunslingers versus Farmers did not play out nearly as well as Samurai versus Farmers. It seemed very forced, and should have either been left out or adapted.
In the end I felt this is a poor imitation. I'll grant that I might have felt differently if I watched this one first. Although it has stood the test of time, I'd have a hard time giving it the fifth star when I'd prefer a Clint Eastwood movie to the sequel....more info