88 – The Magnificent Seven

Welcome to The Best Movies I’ve Never Seen! This is the part of the blog where I work my way through 100 films I’ve never seen that are generally considered to be great. You’re invited to watch along with me if you can find a copy or find it streaming. So grab some popcorn and let’s get started!

The Magnificent Seven

1960

Directed by John Sturges

Quick synopsis… Classic western about an oppressed Mexican town and the seven American gunfighters they hire to protect them from outlaws.

  • I’ve seen the remake of this film that was done in 2016 starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt.
  • I think I remember liking the remake, but I don’t remember being blown away by it.
  • Most of what I know about The Magnificent Seven (this version) comes from familiarity with the score.
  • When I was in band in middle school we played at least a snippet of the score at one point.
  • I can’t promise we were any good, but in my mind we played it flawlessly.
  • It was a fun piece for anyone in the trumpet section, like me.
  • I also know that this version of the film is, itself, something of a remake based on Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, which will show up on this list eventually.
  • But it’s at number 2… so we’re quite a way from that.
  • A poor village in Mexico is regularly raided by bandits, led by Calvera (Eli Wallach).
  • After he kills a villager in the most recent raid, the men of the village come together and decide that something must be done.
  • The village elder suggests that they fight, pushing them to ride to the U.S. border with their few valuable belongings to barter for weapons.
  • Unfortunately, when three of the villagers get to the border, they’re blocked by an enormous wall.
  • Just kidding…
  • When they cross into the U.S., they’re impressed by a gunslinger named Chris (Yul Brynner) and ask him for advice.
  • Chris tells them that hiring men is cheaper than buying guns.
  • At first, Chris agrees only to help them find good men who will take up the fight, but eventually he agrees to lead the charge.
  • In spite of the villagers’ inability to pay very much, Chris is able to recruit five fighters for the cause: Vin (Steve McQueen), Harry (Brad Dexter), Bernardo (Charles Bronson), Britt (James Coburn), and Lee (Robert Vaughn).
  • On the way to the village in Mexico, they’re joined by a young, aspiring gunfighter named Chico (Horst Buchholz), bringing us to that magnificent number seven.
  • During a festival in the village, three of Calvera’s men are spotted.
  • Britt and Lee are sent to take care of the situation and Chris asks them to bring back one of the men alive.
  • Chico sneaks off and follows Britt and Lee… and Calvera’s men are all killed.
  • Any Mandalorian fans out there? This scene with Britt and Chico definitely inspired a scene between Din and Boba Fett this season.
  • I love callbacks and homages like that…
  • At this point, the hired gunmen begin helping the villagers prepare for the coming battle.
  • I won’t get into the details of the action, but it’s great to watch.
  • Not everyone survives, but I don’t want to spoil that for you either.
  • Just know that good triumphs over evil, as it should be.
  • I definitely suggest taking the time to watch this one if you get the chance.
  • Having now seen The Magnificent Seven, it currently ranks at 452 out of 2,250 movies on my personal Flickchart list.

If you’re looking to stream this one, you can do so if you have a Starz subscription through Hulu or Amazon Prime. I don’t have that particular subscription, but I was able to rent it through Prime. Aside from the recent remake, the film also spawned three less successful sequels: Return of the Seven, Guns of the Magnificent Seven, and The Magnificent Seven Ride. If you’ve seen the original The Magnificent Seven or any of its sequels, let me know what you think in the comments! Next week’s movie is one I’ve heard of but literally know nothing about, The 400 Blows.

2 thoughts on “88 – The Magnificent Seven

  1. Pingback: What Are the Best Movies I’ve Never Seen? | The Confusing Middle

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