A look back at one of the classics of the western genre, giving fans a behind-the-scenes look at the making of this long-time favorite about a group of mercenary gunmen who band together to rescue a small farming town from a gang of bandits. Incudes interviews with the stars, as well as archived footage of stars Steve McQueen and Yul Brynner, and director Akira Kurosawa, on whose 'The Seven Samurai',this film was based. Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <email@example.com>
John A. Alonzo is interviewed about his role as one of the Mexican villagers. But he is identified as playing "Miguel," the role actually played by Natividad Vacío. Furthermore, Alonzo's interview is illustrated with clips supposedly of his younger self in the film, but the clips seen are actually of Vacío. Alonzo states that he was the only Spanish-speaking American in the cast, but Vacío was a native-born U.S. citizen whose first language was Spanish. See more »
Made 40 years after the film, this documentary uses interviews with some of the cast and the team that made the film, along with some famous fans, to repiece the history of the making of this film.
Too many `making of' documentaries are little more than featurettes to fill 20 minutes of TV or as poor DVD add ons. Many have the most tenuous links with the original makers and cast and offer little except second hand stories and observations. However this film sees many of the cast return (barring death) and plenty of the writers, producers etc. The story is told from many points of view and follows the casting through the shoot to the release.
The film had plenty of nuggets for me. From how people were cast and the legal fights over the film at pre-production stage through to how the cast got on. Most of it is very honest and we're told of how everyone wanted to steal the show from Brynner I'd never noticed how McQueen would always be doing something (waving his hat or playing with something) to try and get attention in any shot! This has plenty of nuggets but also nice observations and stories from cast and crew.
I'm glad all the remaining cast did this as it adds interest to this film. The justification for having both Chazz Palminteri and John Carpenter comment is questionable but both have brief and insightful comments to make.
Overall this is a welcome companion to the film. It isn't just an exercise in back slapping and plenty of stories emerge that only serve to enrich the film's history.
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