The Magnificent Seven

Hanspostcard is hosting a movie draft from 12 different genres…this is my Western entry.

There have been actors and musicians that exuded cool…Steve McQueen would be one of the top ones…and he was just starting in this movie…and not the star. 

This cast is just incredible… Along with McQueen, you have Charles Bronson, James Coburn,  Eli Wallach, Robert Vaughn, Horst Buchholz,  Brad Dexter,  and the great Yul Brynner. We are not talking about cameos here…Brynner is the unquestioned leader of this band of mercenary gunfighters…but money is not the most important thing to most of them. They believe in Brynner’s character and the adventure.

I could go through talking about each actor, but I won’t…there are a few I’ll touch on. Eli Wallach… did a masterful portrayal of Calvera. He is one actor that I would have loved to have met. His personality was so big in films, but he didn’t over act…he was just that good.

The actor that caught my attention the most in this was the newcomer of the seven. Chico, played brilliantly by Horst Buchholz. His character was young, impatient, cocky, but a nice kid who you saw grow in the movie. He wanted to join the six fighters, but he wasn’t accepted until he persisted and wore Chris Larrabee Adams (Yul Brynner) down.

John Sturges directed this movie and also The Great Escape plus Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. This movie was not shot on some studio backlot somewhere. It was real locations and it showed.

A brief look at the plot. A gang of bandits terrorizes a small Mexican farming village each year. They ride in and take what they want like the village is their own personal store. Several of the village elders send three of the farmers into the United States to search for gunmen to defend them. They end up with seven, each of whom comes for a different reason. They must prepare the town to beat an army of thirty bandits who will arrive wanting food. In came the Magnificent Seven to defend the village and teach the farmers how to fight.

A little trivia about the movie. Yul Brynner had a major role in casting, and he wanted Steve McQueen in the movie. At the time McQueen was in a television western called Wanted: Dead or Alive.

They ended up not getting along because McQueen supposedly was trying to upstage Brynner. When McQueen was dying of cancer he called Brynner and made up with him for the trouble in the film. McQueen said: “I had to make it up with Yul ’cause without him I wouldn’t have been in that picture.”

It’s not only a great western, it has comedy, drama, and most of all…all the characters are real. There is a reason some of them were huge at the time and others went on to be not only popular but legends. 

CAST

Yul Brynner … Chris Larabee Adams
Eli Wallach … Calvera
Steve McQueen … Vin Tanner
Horst Buchholz … Chico
Charles Bronson … Bernardo O’Reilly
Robert Vaughn … Lee
Brad Dexter … Harry Luck
James Coburn … Britt
Jorge Martínez de Hoyos … Hilario (as Jorge Martinez de Hoyas)
Vladimir Sokoloff … Old Man
Rosenda Monteros … Petra
Rico Alaniz … Sotero
Pepe Hern … Tomas
Natividad Vacío … Villager (as Natividad Vacio)
Mario Navarro … Boy with O’Reilly

 

Death Wish 1974

When I started to watch this movie…I thought it was going to be Charles Bronson randomly mowing down the people in New York City…but it had a purpose and was a pretty good movie.

There was some controversy when this movie was released because of Bronson being a vigilante in the movie. The critics who disliked the film complained that it irresponsibly exploited fear. They also claimed the film gave an exaggerated picture of crime in New York and that it glorified vigilantism… that it endorses violence as a solution to violence.

I enjoyed the film. New York in the mid-seventies makes a great atmosphere…although not a safe one. The movie is brutal but realistic.

On a side note…this movie is Jeff Goldblum’s film debut.

From IMDB

Open-minded architect Paul Kersey returns to New York City from vacationing with his wife, feeling on top of the world. At the office, his cynical coworker gives him the welcome-back with a warning on the rising crime rate. But Paul, a bleeding-heart liberal, thinks of crime as being caused by poverty. However, his coworker’s ranting proves to be more than true when Paul’s wife is killed and his daughter is raped in his own apartment. The police have no reliable leads and his overly sensitive son-in-law only exacerbates Paul’s feeling of hopelessness. He is now facing the reality that the police can’t be everywhere at once. Out of sympathy, his boss gives him an assignment in sunny Arizona where Paul gets a taste of the Old West ideals. He returns to New York with a compromised view on muggers…