The Magnificent Seven (1960)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai (1954) is westernized as The Magnificent Seven. Yul Brynner plays Chris, a mercenary hired to protect a Mexican farming village from its annual invasion by bandit Calvera (Eli Wallach). As Elmer Bernstein's unforgettable theme music (later immortalized as the "Marlboro Man" leitmotif) blasts away in the background, Chris rounds up six fellow soldiers of fortune to help him form a united front against the bandits. The remaining "magnificent six" are played by Charles Bronson, Steve McQueen, Horst Buchholz, Robert Vaughn, James Coburn, and (the one that everybody forgets) Brad Dexter. Though jam-packed with action, William Roberts's screenplay pauses long enough to flesh out each of its characters, allowing the audience to pick their own favorites. The Magnificent Seven was followed by three sequels, not to mention dozens of imitations. … More
Watch it now
as Harry Luck
as Old Man
News & Interviews for The Magnificent Seven
No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.Login
Critic Reviews for The Magnificent Seven
John Sturges remake of Kurosawa's masterpiece, Seven Samurai, is enjoyable on its own terms due to the stellar cast, not to mention Elmer Bernstein's score, but it helps to know the Japansese classic.
Overly celebrated, but the gun fights are among the best ever in a Western.
Audience Reviews for The Magnificent Seven
Based on a story by Akira Kurosawa, starring Yul Brinner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn and Eli Wallach, directed by John (The Gunfight At The OK Corral/The Great Escape) Sturges and accompanied by one of the best musical scores ever written, and you have the ingredients for possibly the perfect old school western. Poor old Horst Buchholz didn't stand much of a chance up against an ensemble cast of this quality, but he makes a decent fist of a character who is essentially an amalgam of two characters from Seven Samurai, which makes way for Vaughn's gunslinger who has lost his nerve and slots seamlessly into the action. It does take a more popular culture slant on the original's more arthouse sensibilities, but it works perfectly. Brinner and McQueen make a brilliant double act and it even adds a more upbeat ending without failing to retain the spirit of the source material. One of the very few examples of a remake that is almost as worthwhile as the original.
This is the Western version of The Seven Samurai; if you don't know the plot of The Seven Samurai, see that film instead.
Because the source material is so good and with the talents of Yul Brynner (wow: even Daniel Day-Lewis gets chills at that stare) and Steve McQueen, it's difficult that any director could screw this film up. The story is elementally compelling, and the action sequences are well-choreographed. The only issue that Kurosawa did not have to contend with that makes The Magnificent Seven problematic is race. In the Western version of the story, the seven gunfighters are white coming in to save Mexican villagers from being terrorized by Mexican bandits. In this way the film deploys the Hollywood trope of the "great white savior," and this added dimension gives the film a difficulty that it didn't face in the original.
Overall, this is an excellent film, but nothing beats the original.
The Magnificent Seven is similar to the classic 1954 Japanese film Seven Samurai directed by the great Akira Kurosawa. I really enjoyed this one, but I found that it lacked something to really make it memorable and special. The cast is great and there are plenty of standout performances, and it is cool to see so many iconic Hollywood tough guys in one movie. However, this one could have been much better and it tends to rely way too much on Seven Samurai for its ideas. Each actor has made better films, but as an Americanized version of the 1954 classic, this film is a bit disappointing. I much preferred Seven Samurai than this. However this one has plenty of good moments and action, but like I said, it lacks a little extra. There are far better Westerns out there and the film would be a good addition to the genre, but Sergio Leone would deliver the greatest, most epic Westerns ever made. As it stands, this is an entertaining film that delivers something good for the viewer, but you're left wanting more out of this one. The direction, pacing and acting are good for what they are. This is enjoyable and if you enjoy Westerns, you may love it. However if you're going to watch one film, make it Seven Samurai due to the fact that it inspired this film, and it had a broader, more epic scope than this one. There are plenty of gun fights here to appeal to the viewer, but you can see the film's weaknesses in its writing and lack of truly original ideas. A must see though for genre fans despite it being an imperfect film.
The Magnificent Seven Quotes
|Calvera:||Generosity... that was my first mistake. I leave these people a little bit extra, and then they hire these men to make trouble. It shows you, sooner or later, you must answer for every good deed.|
|Chris:||Only the farmers won. We lost. We always lose.|
|Vin:||Fella I once knew in El Paso, one day he took all his clothes off and jumped in a mess of cactus. I asked him the same question, why? He said it seemed to be a good idea at the time.|
|Vin:||It seemed like a good idea at the time. So far so good.|
Discuss The Magnificent Seven on our Movie forum!