Filmed in Spain by Mirisch, Return of the Seven is an unsatisfactory followup to John Sturges’ The Magnificent Seven. Yul Brynner, sole holdover thesp, stars in a plodding cliche-ridden script.
Dreary screenplay reunites Brynner and two other members of the Sturges septet – Robert Fuller evidently in the old Steve McQueen part, and Julian Mateos filling the former Horst Buchholz role – when the latter is dragooned by Emilio Fernandez, psychotic Mexican rancher who enslaves local farmers to rebuild a village. Four new characters are recruited – girl-chasing Warren Oates, brooding Claude Akins, suave Virgilio Texeira and juvenile Jordan Christopher, latter in a dim dramatic feature debut.
Under Burt Kennedy’s limp direction, players walk through their predictable dialog while rescuing Mateos, and provoking the long-awaited showdown with Fernandez. Elisa Montes is okay as Mateos’ wife, and Fernando Rey is competent in a thankless role of a prayer-mumbling priest.