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Author Topic: The Magnificent Seven (1960)  (Read 28092 times)
Tim
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« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2005, 09:14:52 PM »

  I never thought that was a flaw in the movie.  While they're still in the village, Calvera whispers in Chris' ear that its "all for show, so the villagers know who is boss."  As he points out, he never wanted to kill them.  Just another reason Calvera is one of my all-time favorite villains. 

  The genuine surprise on his face as he lies dying on the porch is great.  "You came back.  A man like you.  Why?"  At the same time, I like Wallach's Calvera and always wince a bit when Chris shoots him.

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Tim
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« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2005, 09:26:38 PM »

  I read a funny review at imdb.com that said news didn't travel fast in the west.  Otherwise, why would all these gunfighters keep joining Chris in his adventures.  That got me thinking about all the different members of the seven and how many did die.

Magnificent Seven
Lived: Chris Adams, Vin, Chico
Died: Bernardo O'Reilly, Britt, Lee, and Harry Luck

Return of the Seven
Lived:  Chris, Vin, Chico, Colbee
Died:  Frank, Delgado, Manuel

Guns of the Magnificent Seven
Lived: Chris, Levi, Maximiliano
Died: Keno, Slater, Cassie, PJ

Magnificent Seven Ride
Lived: Chris, Noah, Skinner
Died: Pepe, Mackay, Drummond, Hayes

By my count, 15 of 23 of the different groups died.  Not to good of odds if you ask me.

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« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2005, 07:35:43 AM »

This is one of my all time favorites... Not the best western ever made (although certainly a case can be made for it's being one of 'em).......but possibly the most fun. It really shouldn't have worked...you got Brynner..a bald, Russian/Mongolian emigre... as a gunfighter of "Cajun" heritage......McQueen... a "TV Cowboy"...whose few screen credits included a starring role in "The Blob", as your second lead...the Lithuanian-American Bronson..at that time a relatively unknown actor , as a Mexican/Irish half breed....a German actor named Horst as a young Latino known as "Chico"......Vladimir Sokoloff..a well known character actor born in Moscow as a wise old Mexican peasant........and Wallach..a Jewish method actor from the Broadway stage and TV as a ruthless Mexican bandit......... and it was so rousing..& so much fun..w/ that superb score...& it becomes a classic...who woulda thunk it?
One scene that sticks out for me is..after Brynner, as 'Chris'..& McQueen, as ' Vin' have driven the hearse back down from the cemetery..a guy comes up & offers Chris a drink...and asks "Where ya from"?........answered w/ a thumb pointing back over the shoulder............."Where ya headed"?....... a wordless point ahead. A simple scene...yet positively resonant & memorable...& defining. ......................
It recently played on the big screen at a local revival theater..& I'm still kicking myself for missing it.

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« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2005, 04:07:04 PM »

To be perfectly honest. . . I'm not that big a fan of this movie.  IMO, it's more of a collection to good-to-great scenes than a great movie.  The cast is spectacular, but the only characters I really liked were Vaughn, Coburn, and Wallach. 

I personally think that a much better film of this type is "The Professionals".  Maybe it's because there's no weenie newcomer; just Lee Marvin, Woody Strode, Burt Lancaster, and Robert Ryan, older professionals who don't whine but kick ass and take names.  Those guys are real men's men, working for money and not pretending to work for anything else.  (Plus the gunfights were better and Claudia was in the film. Grin) It's more of a personal preference than anything else, to be sure.  Plus the screenplay was better.  I can name off the top of my head maybe five or six lines from "The Magnificent Seven", and probably twice that from "The Professionals".  Some particular favorites of mine:

"Do I have to kill you to prove I like you?"

"I wouldn't do that!  My friend would die of a terrible headache - and so would you!"

Dullworth: "Hey Chiquita!  How's your love life!"
Chiquita: "Terrific!  You want some?"
Dullworth: "Do you EVER say no?"
Chiquita: "Never!"
Dullworth: "Anybody?"
Chiquita: "EVERYbody!" Grin  Kiss

And the classic:
Fardan: "So what's on your mind besides 100-proof women, 90-proof whiskey and 14-karat gold?"
Dullworth: "Amigo. . . you just wrote my epitaph!"

I will not deny the importance or influence of "The Magnificent Seven", and I am in no way saying it's a bad film.  I just can't see it as being one of the greatest Westerns of all time.

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« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2005, 04:13:10 PM »

Great lines Groggy, did you see the special edition? If you did what are the extras like?

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« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2005, 04:19:03 PM »

Great lines Groggy, did you see the special edition? If you did what are the extras like?

Actually I just watched it again today.  Grin  The extras are nothing special: they have a very brief featurette which is about six minutes long, and a longer one (about 33 minutes) with interviews of Claudia, Marie Gomez (Chiquita), and the late Conrad L. Hall, plus the original trailer.  Some interesting information is relayed, but nothing you wouldn't expect.

Sorry to drag this slightly off-topic, I was just saying how I felt on this subject.  "The Professionals" is certainly one of the most underrated Westerns of all-time if you ask me, and I think anyone who considers themselves a Western fan should see it.  I'd definitely recommend the "Seven" too, no doubt, I just prefer this one.

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« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2005, 04:26:36 PM »

I bought the older DVD about 6 months ago, I think its a great western, and if you haven't seen it do so.

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« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2005, 03:18:14 AM »

I must re-watch the both of them. seven has just been rereleased in a cheap dvd newsagency edition, at 5 euros. Watched it when it was first released and I thought it was magnificent (but I was not even 5 years old). Watch it again on tv 20 years later and wasn't so enthusiastic, if I remember well, mainly for a problem of rhythm. I mean, all of this apology  of the farmers slows down the pace, even though it amplifies the effect of the action when it starts. But I should re-watch it, of course, and will.
About the Professionals, it was hailed here in Italy by some as a masterpiece. I saw it on tv a pair of decades ago and was disappointed: the same rhetorical twists of the classic western but brought up to date, exactly as it would happen with The Wild Bunch.  plan to watch it again too, though I know that my first impressions of a movie are rarelly different from later ones.   

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« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2005, 06:21:25 AM »

(Of course, all of the below is my opinion.  Very long though, so read at your own risk.)

Well Titoli, for me a film usually gets better the second or third time I see it, if I didn't like it the first time.  I've seen both "The Magnificent Seven" and "The Professionals" three times, and on one that idea has held true, the other, not so much.

I don't think I liked "The Magnificent Seven" any more on subsequent viewings than I originally did.  As I said in my original post on this thread, it's a collection of great scenes, more than it is a great movie.  In other words, not the sum of its parts. 

One of the major problems could be that since there are seven (or eight, including Calvera) main characters, the characterization is spread a bit thin (though to be fair, "The Professionals", even though it only had four main characters, suffered from this as well, giving Robert Ryan and to a lesser extent Woody Strode relatively short shrift).  Eli Wallach's Calvera is the best and most interesting character, because of a great proto-Tuco performance by Wallach and some great writing as well.  Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen were cool but not particularly memorable IMO.  Robert Vaughn, James Coburn, and Charles Bronson were excellent characters despite relatively little screen time.  Brad Dexter, and especially Horst Buchholz, were crappy characters (though more due to the writing than the actors) who could easily have been dropped, and arguably would've made the movie better.  With the exception of Vladimir Sokoloff as the old man, none of the Mexicans made much of an impression on me, and some were downright annoying.

The following scenes I think were all classics that make me see why most Western fans love this movie:

- Any scene with Calvera (which would mean a lot would be repeated)
- The shotgun on a hearse bit
- Britt's introduction
- Chris and Vinn's dialogue with the Old Man
- The first fight (particularly the dialogue between Calvera and the Seven)
- The discussion of the ethics of gunfighting
- Robert Vaughn's nightmare/freakout scene
- The scene after being disarmed by Calvera that they decide to go back
- The final gunfight (or most of it anyway)
- O'Reilly's death scene

There were quite a few scenes which I disliked, too, namely:

- Any scene which prominently featured Horst Buchholz (except the scene where he sneaks into Calvera's camp), especially those which also feature Rosendo Monteros as Petra
- Most of the scenes with the whiny Mexican kids who follow O'Reilly everywhere
- Harry Luck's death scene (way too corny)

I also personally think that the wide-open Mexican desert of "The Professionals" is far preferable to the limited set (mostly the border town and the village) of the "Seven".  I also think that Remington Shotguns and automatic pistols are more exciting weapons that just six-shooters 'n' Winchesters, but again that's a personal preference.  Grin

I first saw "The Professionals" on a small TV while my brother was playing on the computer in the background, which may explain why I didn't think it was great initially.  Grin Second time I saw it on DVD, my opinion wasn't really improved.  When I rewatched it yesterday, however, I enjoyed it a lot more than I had either of the first two times.  I'm not going to go into a whole lot more about why I prefer "The Professionals", because I think I did a pretty good job of that in my initial post.  Sorry for so long of a post.  Tongue

« Last Edit: July 28, 2005, 06:27:44 AM by Groggy » Logged


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« Reply #24 on: July 28, 2005, 06:51:50 AM »

The only two scenes I remember of M7 is the double duel of Coburn (and that stroke me also when I was a small kid) and, in the negative, Bronson dialogue with the kid (am i remembering well?) about the father's cowardice. This second kind of "preaching" scene is, I think, an exemplification of why SW (which do, generally, without them) may have an edge on american westerns. Indisputable masterpieces like Shane are marred by them and, actually, I can't understand why the americans didn't get  hip to them like Leone did (which didn't prevent him, BTW, by doing the same mistake -  though, thank god, on a smaller scale - in FOD with the mexican family to which Eastwood gives his help).

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« Reply #25 on: July 28, 2005, 07:00:05 AM »

I agree with you on the preaching. . . so many great Westerns are soiled or even in some cases ruined by them.

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« Reply #26 on: July 28, 2005, 08:55:47 AM »

Eli does some of the audio commentary on the Magnificent Seven DVD.  The soundtrack album (never released until just a few years ago) is on CD, I have both.

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Bill Carson
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« Reply #27 on: August 01, 2005, 01:47:23 PM »

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN! Absolutely Beautiful! a brilliant film that all fans of Cinema MUST see even if they don't dig Westerns, American or European. Yeah Cusser, I have that 'Special Edition' Soundtrack CD; I bought it around the same time as THE GREAT ESCAPE CD which was released the same year.  I especially liked the way that each character in the film had a history of his own; Robert Vaughn was traumatized by some past events and Brad Dexter is funny as the guy who's just in it for the money. Coburn was particularly super-cool as knife expert Britt. 

 the sequels sucked. and I haven't even bothered watching the TV series. 

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Bill Carson
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« Reply #28 on: August 05, 2005, 12:24:36 PM »

One of the three Villagers who go to the border and enlist Chris and the boys was played by John Alonzo who went on to be the cinematographer for Brian De Palma's SCARFACE.

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« Reply #29 on: August 05, 2005, 03:56:13 PM »

One of the three Villagers who go to the border and enlist Chris and the boys was played by John Alonzo who went on to be the cinematographer for Brian De Palma's SCARFACE.

And Emilio Fernandez worked on the film as an assistant director.

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