The Magnificent Seven (1960)

magnificent-seven-poster
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 10/10

Great characters, epic look

Kind of a basic story, not as good as the original

 
Movie Info

Movie Name: The Magnificent Seven

Studio: United Artists

Genre(s): Western

Release Date(s): October 23, 1960

MPAA Rating: Not Rated

magnificent-seven-bryner

I’ll just save this costume for Westworld

A border town is plagued by bandits lead by Calvera (Eli Wallach).  The villagers realize they have a choice between continuing to beg Calvera for mercy or fighting back.  After gathering as much money as possible, the leaders of the town go in search of mercenaries.  They find Chris Adams (Yule Brynner) and Vin Tanner (Steve McQueen).  Chris and Vin assemble a team made up of Bernardo O’Reilly (Charles Bronson), Lee (Robert Vaughn), Harry Luck (Brad Dexter), Britt (James Coburn), and Chico (Horst Buchlolz) to protect the town, and the odds are stacked against the seven guns.

Directed by John Sturges, The Magnificent Seven is the Americanized version of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 film Seven Samurai.  The movie was well received by critics and nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score.  The film was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry in 2013.

magnificent-seven-wallach

Let’s get to rapin’ & pillagin’!

Unlike Seven Samurai, The Magnificent Seven makes a character out of the bandit leader played by Wallach.  It becomes more of a face-off between Bryner and his men and Wallach in a large scale game of chicken.  In Seven Samurai, the bandits were almost nameless villains that hid in the hills.  Here (which was a nice change that worked), Wallach is much more in the gunslingers faces flaunting his power over the villagers.

magnificent-seven-gunslingers

The fastest seven guns in the West

The movie does have some problems.  It does drag between the initial showdown between Wallach and the seven gunfighters in which they try to devise a strategy for protecting the village.  This leads to a messy showdown at the end that seems less epic than the original.  In another stick point, the village elder disappears during the fight (after being warned that he would be a target) and that thread never really reappears (in Seven Samurai, the samurai are forced to rescue him).

The Magnificent Seven like many Westerns has such a grand scale and great cinematography.  Shots are framed great, and the movie just looks good.  It doesn’t have the same flare as Akira Kurosawa’s original masterpiece, but it is a strong remake which spawned Return of the Magnificent Seven, Guns of the Magnificent Seven, and The Magnificent Seven Rides, plus a television series in the 1990s.  If you have a choice, watch Seven Samurai, but don’t feel bad if you see this because The Magnificent Seven is also a classic in its own right.  The Magnificent Seven received a big screen remake in 2016.

Related Links:

Seven Samurai (1954)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

One Comment on "The Magnificent Seven (1960)"

  1. Dixie Burge November 4, 2016 at 10:21 am - Reply

    I am SO glad that I have not seen Seven Samurai. This way, I can fully enjoy The Magnificent Seven without having anything to compare it to. I do get so bored with having to slog through all the predictable, inevitable and tiresome comparisons between the two I see on websites. I would have no problem whatsoever either writing or reading reviews of this movie that DON’T include comparisons with Seven Samurai; as a matter of fact I wish people would SHUT UP ALREADY with the comparisons!!! The Magnificent Seven is a great movie that can stand by itself, so why make those comparisons?

     

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