When an Indian village is threatened by ex-Confederate soldiers, several villagers head out to seek help. They recruit seven men, each with unique skills, who return to the village and take... See full summary »
In New Mexico, a Confederate veteran returns home to find his fiancée married to a Union soldier, his Yankee neighbors rallied against him and his property sold by the local banker who then hires a gunman to kill him.
Chico, one of the remaining members of The Magnificent Seven, has set down roots in the village that they had defended in the first film. One day, the village is raided by fifty gunmen under the employ of rancher Lorca. Lorca's bandits abduct all of the village's men to be used as slave labor, leaving the women and children behind. Chris, the former leader of the Seven, is sought out by Chico's wife Petra for help, and thus assembles a new Seven to come to the village's rescue once again. Written by
Yul Brynner insisted he would only make this film if Steve McQueen was not involved. McQueen initially expressed interest in appearing, but then decided the plot was too absurd and turned the film down. See more »
When they are leaving the courtyard on horseback after teaming up, you can see the camera rock from the truck it was on suddenly accelerating to keep up with them. Shortly after that, as they pass through an archway and turn right to leave town, you can see the shadow of the camera truck on the wall of a building as it stays with them as they're riding out of town. See more »
He wants to know if we're going after them tonight or in the morning.
It's a big country and finding them could take a long time.
Hell, I haven't been going anywhere for ten years... and neither have you.
Ain't it the truth.
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In some ways, it almost seems unfair to compare a sequel to the original, that we should judge it on it's own merits. However, usually the only reason we are watching a sequel is because of the original, so my review consists primarily in comparison.
The most interesting thing about Return is how hard the makers tried to make it like the original. They were largely successful. Burt Kennedy's direction is good and recreates the visual feel of the original. Of course, Bernstein's score highlights the film. The story, different in particulars, is goes through essentially the same stages: armed men attack the village, the call for help, the gathering of the seven, traveling to the village, defying the villain, the first attack beaten off, a pause where we get to know the characters and their motivations better, the final attack. The only difference is that the villagers do not 'betray' their protectors, as in the Magnificent Seven. A character even sneaks into the enemy camp in much the same fashion as in the earlier movie.
The real weakness of the sequel is the script. Along with the excellent acting and music, the dialogue in the first film was very well written and something of a departure from earlier westerns. It was terse, oftentimes funny, filled with meaning. In Return the delivery and the tone is the same, but the words spoken so solemnly are utterly commonplace and with no humor. Robert Fuller would have been a good replacement for McQueen, but the character is written completely differently and is far less interesting.
The acting, also, is inferior to the first film.
Another problem with the film is the portrayal of the peasants. They are a not characters, as in The Magnificent Seven, but a mass. This film is solely about the 7 Americans riding to the rescue to the rescue of defenseless peasants and at times seems to have a pro-intervention (pro-Vietnam?) political subtext that the in first film, which was a translation of Seven Samurai to the New World, was either absent or more subtle.
All this said and out of the way, film has lots of action, a good score, and Yul Brynner, who is always fun to watch in a western whether it is The Magnificent Seven or Adios, Sabata. Fans of westerns and action films will probably find it entertaining.
Familiar face Emilio Fernandez, who played Lorca, acted in over 70 films, starting in Mexico, and wrote and directed many of them. The relationship between his character, his dead sons, and Chris could have made a very compelling film. Unfortunately it was not expanded on.
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