Marshal Chris Adams turns down a friend's request to help stop the depredations of a gang of Mexican bandits. When his wife is killed by bank robbers and his friend is killed capturing the ...
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Three survivors of the initial Magnificent Seven outfit, Chico, Chris and Vin, recruit four new members in order to re-form the outfit and defend a few Mexican villages from attacks by vicious bandits.
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Lee Van Cleef,
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Marshal Chris Adams turns down a friend's request to help stop the depredations of a gang of Mexican bandits. When his wife is killed by bank robbers and his friend is killed capturing the last thief, Chris feels obligated to take up his friend's cause and recruits a writer and five prisoners to destroy the desperadoes. Written by
The Magnificent 7/The Dirty 5/Flogged Dead Horse 1.
The Magnificent Seven Ride is directed by George McCowan and written by Arthur Rowe. It stars Lee Van Cleef, Stefanie Powers, Michael Callan, Mariette Hartley, Luke Askew and Ralph Waite. Music is scored by Elmer Bernstein and cinematography by Fred Koenekamp.
The third and final sequel to John Sturges' The Magnificent Seven (1960), "Ride" is a pretty lifeless affair that plays out as nothing more than a last resort TV time waster.
Plot finds Chris Adams (previously played by Yul Brynner and George Kennedy and now by Van Cleef) as an older man settled down as a town marshal. When one day he is coerced by his wife Arilla (Hartley) to parole a young scoundrel, they both come to regret it very quickly. Chris is set on a path of revenge that will eventually take him to a border town that has been raped, pillaged and stripped of all males by bandits led by Del Toro (Ron Stein). Sure enough, backed by some convicts released into Chris' custody on promise of parole for their gunnery services, Chris and the rest of the seven set about protecting this town now made up only of women and children.
It honestly sounds better than it is! The film is tired across the board, it's now become a weary premise for any "seven" fan to sit through. The production is cheap looking, the colour photography drab, even Bernstein's iconic score is pared down, while McCowan (Frogs) directs in a ponderous fashion. There's loads of talking that really doesn't add up to much, main characters are either not defined (we barely know the five convicts or the villain Del Toro) or react bafflingly to a situation (Chris and Powers' Laurie begin a relationship quickly after losing their respective spouses' to murder!).
The shift to an older lawman Chris is a good idea, but it never gets utilised and Cleef is pretty stagnant (or bored) in the role. The plot point of using convicts to make up the "seven" was a bold try, but it just comes off as being a cheap knock-off of The Dirty Dozen. The makers go for a psychological kick by only letting us see or hear the aftermath of crimes, which is good since there is some upsetting stuff in the mix, but again it is handled so laboriously it tests the patience considerably. This also means the picture is devoid of thrilling moments to at least keep the action fan interested, meaning the "big" finale has to pay bigger dividends than it actually does.
Return of the Magnificent Seven and Guns of the Magnificent Seven are hardly great sequels, but they have some worth to Western fans in general, but "Ride" is sadly a case of flogging a dead horse. A poor movie that really should never have been made. 3/10
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