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Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Magnificent Seven (1960)

A poor village in Mexico is raided frequently by a bandit (Eli Wallach) and his men for food and supplies. Any resistance ends in death for the villagers. They pool their money and hire a professional gunslinger (Yul Brynner), who in turn brings six more gunfighters with him, to fight the bandits. Directed by John Sturges, this is an adaptation of Kurosawa's SEVEN SAMURAI set in the Old West. It's also one helluva western! Its liabilities (like the uninteresting romance between Horst Buchholz and Rosenda Monteros) are minor while its assets include a dream cast with several of the actors still to reach stardom, an iconic score by Elmer Bernstein and several rousing action pieces. Still, it could easily have been cut by 15 minutes without any harm to the film. While there were many budding stars in the cast like Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson and James Coburn, none of them manage to outshine Brynner whose dominating presence is the glue that holds the movie together. Shot entirely in Mexico, Charles Lang (CHARADE) makes nice use of the locations. With Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter and Vladimir Sokoloff. 

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