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The Magnificent Seven
Bibliographical information (record 73867)
The Magnificent Seven
Book Cover Image
VCD 000121
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Detailed notes
    - They were seven - And they fought like seven hundred!
    - ARRAY(0x2b119dc)
    - A remake of ''The Seven Samurai'', this American version star Yul Brenner, Charles Bronson, Steve McQueen, and Robert Vaughn, just to name a few. They are picked to guard a Mexican village from Banditos that come every now and then to take whatever the town has grown since their last visit. When they are hired, they go to the town and teach the villagers how to defend themselves. When the leader of the bandits come ,they fight him and his men off. the second time he comes the villagers give the seven to them, due to a heated argument. The leader of the bandits take their guns and throw them out of town he gives them horses and gives their guns back to them when they are far out of town. The seven decide that they aren't going to run, and head back to the village for a final showdown.
    - "We lost. We always lose." Thus Yul Brynner summarizes the fate of men who kill for hire, knowing their lot is to look at life from the outside in until they too are killed. Credit this not exactly anti-Western with a healthy dose of reflexive realism, if not quite the ironic detachment of later classics like McCabe and Mrs. Miller. Seen today, it seems a direct ancestor of Unforgiven. Director Howard Sturges isn't out to lynch the form, just show the empty sacrifice and unfulfilled yearnings of the characters glorified or demonized by most Westerns. Following in the footsteps of the Seven Samurai, these seven display all the virtues of the hero's code, honoring women, showing kindness to children and compassion to the peasants who hire them, modelling at all times the enigmatic self-sufficiency that lies at the heart of Western romance. And they kill plenty of bad guys. Yul Brynner is riveting, combining blunt talk and characteristic balletic grace with the elongated strides of the American cowboy. Steve McQueen makes the most of his understated role, seeming laconic when he speaks and talkative when he's silent. See James Coburn, wippy-legged and steely-eyed, and a convincing Charles Bronson, as the lost soul who comes close to joining the human fold. Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter and Horst Buchholz round out the pantheon, and 128 minutes just isn't enough time to flesh out each archetype, let alone give the villagers or villains their due. Cardboard cutouts maybe, but searing and not altogether predictable. You'll relish seeing stars when they were young and combustible. A word about bandito patron Eli Wallach: he is the definition of beady-eyed. When I saw this movie as a kid his calculating mendacity scared the living daylights out of me. Still does. There isn't a scene or word wasted as Sturges lives up to his part of the code: ratchet up the tension and keep things moving. If you are a newcomer to this film, its nicely nuanced themes will seem surprisingly mature for 1960. If you have seen it before, I'll bet you've watched it at least a dozen times. After all, it's got Elmer Bernstein's Marlborough Man score.
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NEU Grand LibraryGrnd. Floor (VCD 000121 )
Audio Visual Room
Item available
NEU Grand LibraryGrnd. Floor (VCD 000121 )
Audio Visual Room

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