One particularly wonderful scene that stuck in my memory from the first time I saw the film ten years ago is the one where Lee Robert Vaughn , drunk in the middle of the night, confesses his frailties and fear to two of the farmers. But there is a certain something that keeps The Magnificent Seven unique. How often are actors like Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn and Eli Wallach boring. The score is, of course, one of the all-time classics. They must prepare the town to repulse an army of forty bandits who will arrive wanting food.
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 film also includes several textbook examples of how to include a sudden plot element without seeming contrived. Vaughn seems a tad out of place and has one major ham moment during a nightmare. 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.
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. I gave it a nine out of ten. Horst Bucholz represents youth, eagerness, and the urge to be proved and sorted out from the boys. Differences in feeling aside, the ultimate question is whether this version of the story manages to entertain. As they prepare the town for the violent showdown that they know is coming, these seven mercenaries find themselves fighting for more than money. . 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.
The downside to this is that it isn't nearly as moody or powerful. It was definitely a touchstone in the development of the western film. 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 instantly recognizable title music is just one of the many great pieces he created for the film. I never get tired of seeing the stars in this movie. Wallach excels in the showy role of the chief bandit.
One is incredibly dark and downbeat most of the time. With the town of Rose Creek under the deadly control of industrialist Bartholomew Bogue, the desperate townspeople employ protection from seven outlaws, bounty hunters, gamblers and hired guns. James Coburn makes a big impression as Britt, the expert gunman who can out-draw a gun with his knife-throwing. Buchholz overacts feverishly as a determined, but inexperienced youth. This half-breed gunfighter becomes the conscience of the team. . This is considered one of the all-time great westerns: a real classic, and I can't argue.
In fact, one can easily see the difference between American and foreign cinema simply by comparing Shichinin no samurai with The Magnificent Seven. His brash performance is a great counterpoint to the more steely and solemn title gunmen. Can you imagine the dialog if this film was re-made today?! The villagers come off as hapless and pitiful, for the most part. The scene along with the general story of these down-and-out heroes was groundbreaking in that it began the deconstruction and deromanticization of the Western hero which would be brought to fruition in Sergio Leone's unparalleled spaghetti Westerns. 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.
Throw in Robert Vaughn and Horst Buchholz and you have a memorable cast. The biggest shot in the arm of all is the monumental score by Elmer Bernstein. As they prepare the town for the violent showdown that they know is coming, these seven mercenaries find themselves fighting for more than money. There are better Westerns out there, and there are better action films, but there aren't many. His looks and vague figure of violence are quite a response for his few talks. The star-studded cast wouldn't hold up doing Shakespeare, but they're ideal in this gunslinging, cool-talking tough-guy adventure.
A solid western and a pretty famous theme song, too! And while not as alive visually as the Japanese film that inspired it or the Italian Westerns it influenced, it's still mighty fine to look at, and the gunfights don't disappoint. 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. As they prepare the town for the violent showdown that they know is coming, these seven mercenaries find themselves fighting for more than money. Along the way, there are several memorable vignettes that showcase the charm of the actors involved. Dexter easily the most often forgotten member of the group has a few moments, but his character is not particularly defined.