A bandit terrorizes a small Mexican farming village each year. Several of the village elders send three of the farmers into the United States to search for gunmen to defend them. They end up with seven, each of whom comes for a different reason. They must prepare the town to repulse an army of thirty bandits who will arrive wanting food.Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The original screenplay was written by Walter Bernstein, but it was later reworked almost beyond recognition by Walter Newman, and Newman's version is what was used for shooting. However, during shooting, rewrites were frequently required on set and Newman was unavailable, so William Roberts was brought in to take his place. When it was suggested that Roberts get a co-credit, Newman was so furious that he demanded that his name be removed from the project completely, so Roberts ended up getting full onscreen credit for a screenplay he only edited. See more »
Vin is telling a humorous story to Chris and the Old Man and mentions a fellow back home falling off a 10-story building. In the 1870s, the period in which this film is set, no 10-story building had yet been constructed. This goof may be due to script/casting changes. The original script called for the gunmen to be much older Civil War veterans with Spencer Tracy originally envisioned as playing Chris, which would have placed the intended setting in the 1890s. With the first 10-story building being the Home Insurance Building built in Chicago in 1885, Chris' statement would have been accurate. With the casting of younger men and moving the calendar back, updating this line was apparently overlooked. See more »
Last month we were in San Juan. Rich town. Sit down. Rich town, much blessed by God. Big church. Not like here - little church, priest comes twice a year. BIG one. You'd think we'd find gold candlesticks. Poor box filled to overflowing. Do you know what we found? Brass candlesticks. Almost nothing in the poor box.
But we took it anyway.
I KNOW we took it anyway. I'm trying to show him how little religion some people now have.
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The German theatrical release differs from the German VHS video in the scene where the magnificent seven have been taken by surprise and have to put down their weapons on the table. Chico is the last one and stands in enragement. In the theatrical version he then nevertheless unstraps his belt like the others. In the VHS video version Chris jumps at Chico just in that moment when he wants to pull the gun. Chris takes his gun and puts it on desk. Then Chico unstraps his belt. See more »
A relic of a bygone era, and a good one at that...
Based somewhat faithfully on the Akira Kurosawa classic Shichinin no samurai, The Magnificent Seven could be mistaken for just another of the many Westerns that were turned out in Hollywood during this era. But there is a certain something that keeps The Magnificent Seven unique. Part of it is the concept borrowed from the earlier Japanese film, but some of it lies in the attitude of the seven mercenaries referred to in the title.
Much is made here of the difference between fighting for money, fighting for justice, or fighting for a future. While this version of Kurosawa's epic contains all the philosophical leanings of the original, it isn't nearly as long-winded or languid. The downside to this is that it isn't nearly as moody or powerful. In fact, one can easily see the difference between American and foreign cinema simply by comparing Shichinin no samurai with The Magnificent Seven. One is incredibly dark and downbeat most of the time. The other mostly has a score that is so major it wouldn't sound out of place in Seven Brides For Seven Brothers.
Differences in feeling aside, the ultimate question is whether this version of the story manages to entertain. The hardest challenge any film faces is keeping the audience amused while all the exposition is laid out. Here, the exposition is kept to a minimum while carefully inserted between some fast-paced, albeit very mild action sequences.
Sometimes, the dialogue ("We deal in lead, friend.") gets incredibly stilted. Sometimes, it seems incredibly wise. Well, since we have examples of films where it's all stilted, all the time, we can forgive this one. The film also includes several textbook examples of how to include a sudden plot element without seeming contrived. When we learn why Calvera's men just won't go away, it needs no setup simply because it is consistent with their behaviour throughout the rest of the film.
In the end, The Magnificent Seven comes off as an excellent remake of a masterpiece. There are better Westerns out there, and there are better action films, but there aren't many. I gave it a nine out of ten. Go in expecting to be entertained, but little more, and you cannot go wrong.
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