The Magnificent Seven

Year of release: 1960.
MPAA rating: not rated.
Run time: 135 minutes.

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      "John Sturges' remake of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 classic THE SEVEN SAMURAI has become an influential film in its own right.  A small farming Mexican village that makes involuntary donations of its harvest to a gang of bandits led by Calvera (Eli Wallach) decides to hire a group of professional gunmen, headed by gunslinger-for-hire Chris (Yul Brynner), to protect them.  Despite the meager pay, Chris and Vin (Steve McQueen) sign on after the Mexicans see them face down some racist thugs.  Chris begins to pick up other gunmen, including Bernardo (Charles Bronson), Lee (Robert Vaughan), Britt (James Coburn), Harry (Brad Dexter), and aspiring gunslinger Chico (Horst Buchholz), as they ride back to the village.  The Mexicans, who are at first ambivalent about having gunmen hanging around their town, finally let down their guard and allow their visitors to teach them how to shoot and how to best reconfigure the town to defend against Calvera.  When the bandits return, they find harvesting the crops a little more challenging.  This rousing, perfectly cast action film launched the careers of Bronson, McQueen, and Coburn.  It also benefits tremendously from the unforgettably polyrhythmic score by Elmer Bernstein, among the most famous in film history.  So popular was the film's theme that it was used to sell Marlboro cigarettes for years afterward."

      This is my all-time favorite western movie and the first movie that I thought of when I decided to create this page as a tribute to all of my favorite movies.  As a matter of fact, the idea for this section of my website is the result of a friendly argument within my family that took place at Thanksgiving one year.  We were talking about movies and somebody mentioned that they thought "The Searchers", with John Wayne, was the best western movie ever made.  Someone else claimed that the best western movie was "Shane", starring Alan Ladd.  Obviously they are both tragically misguided in their thinking.  Anyway, I first saw this movie when I was about 10 or 11 years old and have loved it ever since.  The cast is all-star and perfectly picked, the story is straightforward, the action is great and the music is classic and instantly-recognizable.  If you haven't seen this movie... what are you waiting for?

Yul Brynner - Chris
Steve McQueen - Vin
Eli Wallach - Calvera
Horst Buchholz - Chico
James Coburn - Britt
Robert Vaughn - Lee
Charles Bronson - Bernardo
Brad Dexter - Harry
Vladimir Sokoloff
Rosenda Monteros
Jorge Martinez De Hoyos
Whit Bissell
Val Avery
Bing Russell
Rico Alaniz
Bob Wilke

Distributed by: MGM
Director: John Sturges
Producers: John Sturges & Lou Morheim
Screenwriters: William Roberts,
Walter Newman & Walter Bernstein
Original Story: Akira Kurosawa
Cinematographer: Charles Lang
Editor: Ferris Webster
Composer: Elmer Bernstein
Production Designer: Edward Fitzgerald
Special Effects: Milt Rice

Academy Award Nomination:
Best Score – Elmer Bernstein

Information gathered from numerous websites including:

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