The Magnificent Seven: Best Western Ever?

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The Magnificent Seven

The cast of the original The Magnificent Seven (L-R): Brynner, McQueen, Buchholz, Vaughan, Bronson, Dexter and Coburn

One of our favorite movies when we were growing up was the 1960 Western The Magnificent Seven. Though we were too young to watch it when it first came out, we tuned in every time it played on TV. (The film is itself a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 epic Seven Samurai.) The 1960 version starred a host of movie and TV stars: Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughan, James Coburn, Brad Dexter, and a 26-year-old German actor named Horst Buchholz, among them. And in an inspired bit of casting, the great Eli Wallach, playing the Mexican badass, Calvera.

To the three of you who are unfamiliar with the movie: a bunch of Mexican villagers raise a pittance to engage an American gunslinger (Brynner) to help protect them from the ongoing raids led by the aforementioned Calvera. Brynner is able to recruit six others to come to their aid, not for any financial reward but for the noble cause it involves. The movie was filmed on location in Mexico.

Watch a classic scene… “the reception committee is forming…”

Here’s our Classic Video: the original trailer where the amazing McQueen says (in a straight face) to Wallach: “We deal in lead, friend.”

McQueen, dubbed “The King of Cool,” was born March 24, 1930. He was just 50 when he died on November 7, 1980. His other memorable film roles include The Great EscapePapillonBullitt and The Getaway.

Brynner was born July 11, 1920. Bronson was just a wee bit younger, born on Nov. 2, 1921.

The musical score was from genius composer Elmer Bernstein, who also did The Ten Commandments, The Great Escape, and many more. His primary piece for The Magnificent Seven is also familiar to those of a certain age as the music used in many Marlboro commercials.

The great 1960 film is available to stream or purchase here.

And because a law in Hollywood is that every movie must be remade, a new The Magnificent Seven was released in 2016. It starred Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ethan Hawke and a host of others. Here’s the remake’s trailer…

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6 Comments so far

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  1. Andrew B.
    #1 Andrew B. 25 March, 2019, 08:45

    Great article on the Magnificent Seven!!

    Reply this comment
    • J.T
      J.T 12 July, 2020, 12:36

      ‘THE MAG. 7 (1 & 2)

      Reply this comment
  2. Batchman
    #2 Batchman 8 November, 2020, 14:05

    The theme not only showed up in Marlboro commercials but also as the horn intro to Arthur Conley’s “Sweet Soul Music” (getting back to classic bands topicality).

    Reply this comment
  3. Sludge
    #3 Sludge 10 November, 2020, 11:57

    I always watch the Magnificent Seven when it’s on. My western list is topped by The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Unforgiven then M7. All three are great and I enjoy every viewing.

    Reply this comment
  4. Fab 4 Fan
    #4 Fab 4 Fan 17 July, 2021, 02:59

    What, no mention of Brad Dexter, the, er, seventh of the Seven?

    Reply this comment
  5. Sean St. X
    #5 Sean St. X 4 November, 2021, 14:17

    I’ll Take The Wild Bunch. Or, The Good, The Bad & The Ugly. Or, Once Upon A Time In The West. Magnificent Seven Is A Good Western, Good Cast & Many Fine Moments

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