The Magnificent Seven (1960)
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as Harry Luck
as Old Man
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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
An entertaining Western remake of Kurosawa's samurai classic and, like that film, more concerned with developing its characters and letting them grown on us instead of just focusing on the battle, while the great cast and Bernstein's score make it epic and unforgettable.
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 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.|
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