The Magnificent Seven (1960)
Akira Kurosawa's rousing Seven Samurai was a natural for an American
remake -- after all, the codes and conventions of ancient Japan and the Wild West (at least the mythical movie West) are not so very far apart.
The Magnificent Seven
(dvd) - The Magnificent Seven effortlessly turns samurai into cowboys (the same trick worked more than once: Kurosawa's Yojimbo became Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars).
The beleaguered denizens of a Mexican village, weary of attacks by banditos, hire seven gunslingers to repel the invaders once and for all.
The gunmen are cool and capable, with most of the actors playing them just on the cusp of '60s stardom: Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn.
The man who brings these warriors together is Yul Brynner, the baddest bald man in the West.
There's nothing especially stylish about the approach of veteran director John Sturges (The Great Escape), but the storytelling is clear and strong, and the charisma of the young guns fairly flies off the screen.
If that isn't enough to awaken the 12-year-old kid inside anyone, the unforgettable Elmer Bernstein music will do it: bum-bum-ba-bum,
bum-ba-bum-ba-bum .... Followed by three inferior sequels, Return of the Seven, Guns of the Magnificent Seven, and The Magnificent Seven Ride!
great westerns actors
| A Fistful of Dollars | Butch
Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Dances with Wolves | For
a Few Dollars More | Good, the
Bad and the Ugly
High Noon | High
Plains Drifter | Magnificent
Rio Bravo | Rio
Grande | Shane
Three Amigos | Tombstone
| Unforgiven | Wyatt
(The Illustrated History of Movies Through Posters Series Vol. 2)
Bruce Hershenson Paperback
Western TV Classics
Western Actors | Big
Valley | Bonanza | Gunsmoke
Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp | Lone
Ranger | Wild, Wild West