×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Magnificent Seven

Until the women and children arrive on the scene about two-thirds of the way through, The Magnificent Seven is a rip-roaring rootin' tootin' western with lots of bite and tang and old-fashioned abandon. The last third is downhill, a long and cluttered anti-climax in which 'The Magnificent Seven' grow slightly too magnificent for comfort.

With:
Yul Brynner Eli Wallach Steve McQueen Horst Buchholz Charles Bronson Robert Vaughan Brad Dexter James Coburn

Until the women and children arrive on the scene about two-thirds of the way through, The Magnificent Seven is a rip-roaring rootin’ tootin’ western with lots of bite and tang and old-fashioned abandon. The last third is downhill, a long and cluttered anti-climax in which ‘The Magnificent Seven’ grow slightly too magnificent for comfort.

Odd foundation for the able screenplay is the Japanese film, Seven Samurai. The plot, as adapted, is simple and compelling. A Mexican village is at the mercy of a bandit (Eli Wallach), whose recurrent ‘visits’ with his huge band of outlaws strip the meek peasant people of the fruits of their labors. Finally, in desperation, they hire seven American gunslingers for the obvious purpose.

There is a heap of fine acting and some crackling good direction by John Sturges mostly in the early stages, during formation of the central septet. Wallach creates an extremely colorful and arresting figure as the chief antagonist. Of the big ‘Seven’, Charles Bronson, James Coburn and Steve McQueen share top thespic honors, although the others don’t lag by much, notably Horst Buchholz and Brad Dexter. Bronson fashions the most sympathetic character of the group. Coburn, particularly in an introductory sequence during which he reluctantly pits his prowess with a knife against a fast gun in an electrifying showdown, is a powerful study in commanding concentration.

Elmer Bernstein’s lively pulsating score, emphasizing conscious percussion, strongly resembles the work of Jerome Moross for The Big Country.

1960: Nomination: Best Scoring of a Dramatic Picture

Magnificent Seven

Production: United Artists. Director John Sturges; Producer John Sturges; Screenplay William Roberts; Camera Charles Lang Jr; Editor Ferris Webster; Music Elmer Bernstein; Art Director Edward FitzGerald

Crew: (Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1960. Running time: 128 MIN.

With: Yul Brynner Eli Wallach Steve McQueen Horst Buchholz Charles Bronson Robert Vaughan Brad Dexter James Coburn

More Film

  • Olmo Teodoro Cuaron, Alfonso Cuaron and

    Alfonso Cuarón Tells Why His Scoreless 'Roma' Prompted an 'Inspired' Companion Album

    Back around the ‘90s, “music inspired by the film” albums got a bad name, as buyers tired of collections full of random recordings that clearly were inspired by nothing but the desire to use movie branding to launch a hit song. But Alfonso Cuarón, the director of “Roma,” is determined to find some artistic validity [...]

  • Berlin Film Festival 2019 Award Winners

    Berlin Film Festival 2019: Nadav Lapid's 'Synonyms' Wins Golden Bear

    Israeli director Nadav Lapid’s “Synonyms,” about a young Israeli man in Paris who has turned his back on his native country, won the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlinale on Saturday. The Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize went to François Ozon’s French drama “By the Grace of God,” a fact-based account of the Catholic Church [...]

  • Alita Battle Angel

    Box Office: 'Alita: Battle Angel,' 'Lego Movie 2' to Lead President's Day Weekend

    “Alita: Battle Angel” is holding a slim lead ahead of “Lego Movie 2’s” second frame with an estimated four-day take of $29.1 million from 3,790 North American locations. “Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” meanwhile, is heading for about $25 million for a domestic tally of around $66 million. The two films lead the pack [...]

  • Marianne Rendon, Matt Smith, Ondi Timoner

    Robert Mapplethorpe Biopic Team Talks 'Fast and Furious' Filming

    Thursday night’s New York premiere of the Matt Smith-led biopic “Mapplethorpe” took place at Cinépolis Chelsea, just steps from the Chelsea Hotel where the late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe once lived — but director Ondi Timoner had no sense of that legacy when she first encountered him in a very different context. “When I was ten [...]

  • Bruno GanzSwiss Film Award in Geneva,

    Bruno Ganz, Star of 'Downfall' and 'Wings of Desire,' Dies at 77

    Bruno Ganz, the Swiss actor best known for dramatizing Adolf Hitler’s final days in 2004’s “Downfall,” has died. He was 77. Ganz died at his home in Zurich on Friday, his representatives told media outlets. The cause of death was reportedly colon cancer. In addition to delivering one of the definitive cinematic portrayals of Hitler, [...]

  • Steve Bannon appears in The Brink

    Sundance Film Review: Stephen K. Bannon in 'The Brink'

    Stephen K. Bannon drinks Kombucha (who knew?), the fermented tea beverage for health fanatics that tastes like…well, if they ever invented a soft drink called Germs, that’s what Kombucha tastes like. In “The Brink,” Alison Klayman’s fly-on-the-wall, rise-and-fall-and-rise-of-a-white-nationalist documentary, Bannon explains that he likes Kombucha because it gives him a lift; he drinks it for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content