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The ranch of the MacGregor family (George Rigaud , Ana Maria Noe) is
attacked by some bandits (Antonio Iranzo) and they defend thanks a
cannon called Queen Anna and then their sons come to help . Later on,
the cousins and sons ( Robert Woods , Tony Zamperla, Roberto DellÁcqua,
Julio Perez Tabernero, Manuel Zarzo) go to Las Mesas where takes places
the fair county for selling their horses . There rules the powerful
baron land Crawford (Chris Huerta). At the Saloon happens a fist-fight
and the brothers are detained and imprisoned , but they escape . A
poster says : ¨WANTED 250 DOLLARS REWARD SIX DESPERADOS TRAVELING
TOGETHER FOR DISTURBING THE PEACE AND JAIL BREAKING IN LAS MESAS COUNTY
ARIZONA¨. But Crawford and sheriff (Antonio Molino Rojo ) are allied of
nasty Santillana (Leo Anchoriz) and the eldest son Gregor (Robert
Woods) attempts to join the Santillana band . Meanwhile the brothers
rob the local bank posing as Santillana hoodlums and a ranch is
assaulted by the outlaws , being saved Rita (Agata Fiori) by the
MacGregor. The highlights of the film result to be the stirring finale
when the brothers are besieged by the cutthroats and are rescued by all
Scottish of the county who come to help under the shout of 'whisky and
glory' and with the bagpipes musical background.
This S.W. packs fist-fights , Shootém Up , thrills, humor and amusement . However it contains some violent scenes as when Chris Huerta is dragged through firing bushes and continuous mistreatment to starring that includes punches , kicks and lashes . The idea of Scottish in old west was formerly brought to life in ¨ The ghost goes west (1936) ¨ by Rene Clair . It's a co-production Spanish-Italian and shot on location in Colmenar Viejo , Hoyo of Manzanares , Aranjuez and Guadix (Spain) with production design by Cubero and Galicia ; furthermore is well photographed by cameraman Alejandro Ulloa - Horror Express- . In the movie appears usual support actors as Spanish : Chris Huerta , Rafael Bardem, Rafael Hernandez , Perla Cristal, Victor Israel and of course the Spaghetti idol Fernando Sancho as usual role as Mexican bandit ; and Italian players : Nazzareno Zamperla , Pierre Cressoy , and Roberto Dell'Acqua , among others . Original musical score by Ennio Morricone, conducted by Bruno Nicolai , who composes an amusing ¨Marcia Dei MacGregor¨ . The motion picture is professionally directed by Franco Giraldi . This Italian writer / filmmaker ( and Sergio Leone 's assistant director ) so consistently mixed the good with the mediocre that it became quite impossible to know what to expect from him next . He directed four Western with abundant touches of humor ( Sugar Colt -66-, Seven guns for the MacGregor -66- , 7 women for the MacGregor -1967- ) and one serious and violent ( A minute to pray , a second to day -1968- ). Rating : acceptable and passable movie that will appeal to Spaghetti buffs . It's followed by an inferior sequel ¨Seven women for MacGregor¨ with more comedy elements and David Bailey replacing to Robert Woods .
Obviously with the title, the producers were trying to suggest that
this movie had elements of the classic films "The Magnificent Seven"
and "Seven Brides For Seven Brothers". Unfortunately, the movie ends up
short, very short.
To begin with, none of the members of the family are made into unique characters. They are just a mindless mob of people shooting and acting alike. In fact, sometimes it's hard during the action scenes to differentiate them from the bad guys! Another big criticism I have with the movie is that it doesn't take long for things to get very confusing. Not understanding what was going on, it was hard to get involved with what happens. Also, the print that currently plays on cable TV is full-frame, when this was shot in widescreen. This makes some scenes even more confusing.
There is a decent musical score by Ennio Morricone, but that's not enough to save the movie. Even if you are a spaghetti western fanatic, like I am, I strongly suggest you skip this movie.
SEVEN PISTOLS FOR THE MACGREGORS is one of the finest examples of the
middle period of Italian made Spaghetti Westerns, confidently
straddling the divide between the earlier Euro Western approach that
mimicked the "traditionalist" methods employed by Hollywood and the
Spaghetti formula, which emphasized style & attitude over coherent
plotting. Genre favorite Robert Woods stars as Gregor MacGregor, the
de-facto leader of the MacGregor clan of frontiersmen and horse
ranchers who have staked out a claim in the plains between two
settlements. With his six brothers Gregor runs the nuts & bolts of the
ranch while their parents serve as their moral centerpoint -- a
characteristic that makes this example pretty unique amongst the usual
Spaghetti fare. The film opens with an uproarious segment where a large
gang of horse thieves come a-callin' to the ranch with the intention of
just muscling the "old folks" out of the way and making off with the
If only it were that easy, since this quartet of old coots are amongst the most formidable gunfighters ever put on screen, and have jury-rigged their home into a near fortress equipped with multiple gun ports, various triggered windows with descending shields, and fixed gun positions where a series of rifles are cross connected to a central trigger that can be fired all at once. And then there is Queen Anne, a small muzzle loading howitzer than the MacGregor men load with explosives shot, bits of chains, rusted nails ... the opening shootout itself stacks up a body count of roughly 35 dead rustlers to one wounded MacGregor. The meat of the story involves the attempt by the seven MacGregor boys to drive their herd of horses to a nearby town and sell them, where they run afoul of the evil Santillana (played with dastardly relish by frequent Peplum & Spaghetti villain Leo Anchóriz, with Fernando Sancho at his usual boisterous self as his lieutenant) who has the entire region in a grip of fear and extortion. The story then evolves into a very Eastwood-ish tale of Gregor's efforts to infiltrate Santillana's gang and set up their eventual downfall at the hands of his able-bodied clan, who's good hearted nature and sense of humor never fails even when the storm clouds gather and all hope seems lost The film was actually successful & popular enough to spawn a small series of loosely connected films, starting with the sequel SEVEN BRIDES FOR THE MACGREGORS and then UP THE MACGREGORS, which emphasized the more humorous approaches seen in telling this story.
There are also indications in this film of the way that Spaghetti Westerns were evolving towards their classic era form, including a bizarre torture sequence where a corrupt town leader is dragged through a gauntlet of fire and capped off by an even more bizarre final duel between Gregor and Santillana set in, on and around a revolving waterwheel who's sound effects suggest what would become the opening segment of ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST with it's squeaking, clunking gears and other found sounds replacing traditional musical cues. The movie also gleefully eschews any sense of logic in favor of a kind of surrealist over the top emphasis on character that would become one of the defining staples of the Spaghetti formula. Nobody in the film is just another supporting character, all are "larger than life" and exude a kind of cartoonish aura that defines who they are as archetypes, the whole film populated by a brilliant supporting cast of names that would later become many of the A-list stars of Euro genre cinema: Alberto Dell'Acqua, George Rigaud, Perla Cristal, Cris Huerta.
The thing that I believe appealed to audiences about the scenario presented was a large family of brothers, each different & individualistic, setting aside their differences to come together and fight against the bad guys. The boys may break out a keg of 20 year old whiskey and have a fistfight to relax but are anything but dysfunctional: We all wish we had families like that. One other aspect about the film that stands out is it's sense of comedy. The reason why this movie makes me laugh where other so-called "comedy Spaghettis" only evoke a forlorn shake of the head is that the comedic aspects of the story (including the slapstick action segments involving the brothers) is achieved naturally without any forced moments that are supposed to be funny but fall flat. Director Franco Giraldi & his writers allow the absurdity of this family of Scottish immigrants and their anachronistic traits be funny all on their own, with the uncharacteristic upbeat choral-tinted Ennio Morricone score giving the film a sort of "road company" feel. One could easily imagine this to be a local stock company enacting a summer theater play, and while Giardi's direction lacks the overt artiness of the Leone/Corbucci approach it serves the film's somewhat traditionalist story very well.
Just don't go into it expecting languid scenes where squinty eyed gunslingers face off while the camera lingers on close-ups of their boots and eyes. This is a different mode of Spaghetti that would soon be abandoned after the success of THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY, made the same year and an almost entirely different kind of animal than the one on display here. For that matter the film may actually appeal more to non-fans of the genre who aren't preoccupied with the artiness that became the signature of the genre once it had managed to find it's voice. Once you get down to it this is one of the last examples of the Euro Western to make an impression before the Spaghetti approach caught on and remains a popular hit more than forty years later even if it is all pretty silly.
Old MacGregor has seven sons and the oldest one Gregor leads his brothers
Las Mesas, a small town where they want to sell 200 horses. They get into
trouble with people who are related with evil Santillana. After getting
imprisoned and losing their horses they decide to go after Santillana's
gang. Gregor goes undercover and joins the gang. Sometimes funny and
exciting this film doesn't manage to be more than one of many. All
characters are either good or bad and the baddies are always just dumb
enough to let the plot go on.
Noteworthy is Ennio Morricone's score which is good but doesn't belong to his famous ones. Cinematography is proper.
4 / 10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There's nothing innovative or clever about this spaghetti western, but that shouldn't keep fans of the genre from giving it a chance. Robert Woods stars as handsome young Gregor MacGregor, one of seven sons of a Scottish ranching family in the Old West. Gregor and his brothers take a trip to Las Mesas to sell the family horses, but they haven't counted on the crooked presence of local heavy Crawford (Cris Huerta), who tries to bully them into accepting a bad deal for the beasts on behalf of crime lord Santillana (Leo Anchoriz). Determined to get the better of the baddies, Gregor insinuates himself into the gang and sabotages a number of their devious plots. Seven Guns for the MacGregors features wall to wall action, including a great barroom brawl accompanied by Chopin, and also works as a comedy thanks to some outrageous faux Scots accents. Beautifully shot by Fernando Ulloa, and nicely scored by Ennio Morricone, this is a fun movie best appreciated via RHV's beautiful PAL format DVD. Though IMDb lists the film with a 107 minute running time, this disc only runs 92 minutes, and seems to be complete.
This movie has a couple of interesting moments, but mostly it just
tries to be "cute," and that doesn't really make for a good spaghetti
western. Having a great music score from the master Ennio Morricone
can't even save this one from being a below average example.
The most notable spaghetti western regular in this film is Fernando Sancho, who is usually great to watch, but here his role is simply that of a crony, and he doesn't get to shine.
As for the MacGregors, the senior members of the clan are gritty, tough old Scots, and I kind of liked them, but you don't really see that much of them in the film. The story focuses on the sons, who are so ridiculously happy-go-lucky it makes you sick. It's like watching a gang of seven Peter Pans, and they act like puppy dogs every time they see a pretty girl. In reality, these guys wouldn't survive very long in a brutal cutthroat western environment, yet somehow they do. The movie is also part love story, of course.
The most notable part of the film is an especially brutal scene where a guy is repeatedly dragged through a fire.
This one's kind of lame, and not really worth seeking out when there are so many better eurowesterns to choose from.
This spaghetti western can be put into the "routine" category. It has one of those meandering plots which seems to have been put together from notes jotted on the back of an envelope. However, patient viewers will be rewarded by a few quirky moments which add touches of interest to the proceedings. For example, there's the piano player in the saloon who switches to classical music when brawls break out, there's a sequence in which the stripped-to-the-waist hero gets whipped across his bare back -- a flogging which ranks 48th in the book "Lash! The Hundred Great Scenes of Men Being Whipped in the Movies" -- and there's a nifty fight between the good guy and the bad guy involving a rotating waterwheel. What's more, the dubbed English voices trying, occasionally, for Scottish accents produce a few unintended chuckles. It's not much, but you take what you can get.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is not a very good film, nor a particularly good soundtrack,
although the music was composed by the prolific musical genius, Il
Maestro, Ennio Morricone.
There are a number of problems with the comedy/melodrama, specifically the plot. Perhaps they should have spent more time with the wacky extended clan MacGregor shooting away at horse thieves with "Queen Anne" rather than with the seven sons trying to...er...let's see...trying to get back their horses, trying to avenge Rosita's father, trying to rob banks and trains, and trying to upset the misdeeds of Santillana. Also, there didn't seem to be a great deal of screen time allotted to bonita Rosita.
There is also a problem with the spelling of the name, MacGregor. In the opening sequence of the film, the ranch sign clearly reads, "McGregor," yet in the titles it is spelled, "MacGregor."
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