A former sheriff blames himself for his wife's death during a Wells Fargo robbery and vows to track down and kill the seven men responsible.A former sheriff blames himself for his wife's death during a Wells Fargo robbery and vows to track down and kill the seven men responsible.A former sheriff blames himself for his wife's death during a Wells Fargo robbery and vows to track down and kill the seven men responsible.
Ex-sheriff Ben Stride tracks the seven men who held up a Wells Fargo office and killed his wife. Stride is tormented by the fact that his own failure to keep his job was the reason his wife was working in the express office, so he is partly responsible for her death. Stride encounters a married couple heading west for California and helps them; along the way they are joined by two ne'er-do-wells, Masters and Clete, who know that Stride is after the express-office robbers. They plan to let Stride lead them to the bandits, then make away with the loot themselves. But they aren't the only ones carrying a secret. —Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
Bud Boetticher and me
I have a story to tell about this one. I had never heard of Bud Boetticher or "7 Men from Now" when I set out with my mom (a cool old lady) to Berkeley to see what was going on (she's from out of town). We found a schedule for the Pacific Film Archive and it said they were showing 2 westerns by Bud Boetticher and that he would be there. Well, I'm a sucker for meeting directors (very few crawl out to bask in the sun, it must be bad for their complexion) especially if they directed lots of b movies. They were showing "Bullfighter and the Lady" (also excellent) and "7 Men From Now." 7 Men is one of the best westerns I have ever seen, Lee Marvin and Randolph Scott are just terrific and the direction is amazing. I thought the kinetic energy combined with the extreme tension in the fights at the end were excellent. Now, after the show Boetticher and his wife showed up and Boetticher had some illuminating words to say. After that he met some of us in the audience, and I happened to mention how much I liked the scene where Gail Russell is in the wagon and puts out the candle and has a brief but oddly touching dialogue with Randolph Scott, who is lying under the wagon. What Boetticher said was "Yes, that's a much better way to do a sex scene, now isn't it?". When I reflected on this statement later, I realized what seemed casual at first was in fact a profound statement on film expression: Boetticher was telling me that what he was showing WAS sex. Maybe, I think he suggested, throbbing bodies and dim lights aren't sex at all. Maybe what so many people in my generation (I'm 25) take as naivete in classic films was....... dare I say it, TASTE AND STYLE???!!! Yes is the answer. And Boetticher's got both of them, hats off to him and everyone else involved in this fine film I hope everyone sees (and I hope I get a chance to see again and again).
- May 9, 2001
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