The Magnificent Seven (1960)
IMDB Rating 7.8/10 128 min - Rated U Western | Thriller
Stars: Yul Bryner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson Director: John Sturges
Chris (Brynner) gathers together six other mercenaries to protect a Mexican mountain village from marauding bandits, led by the ruthless Calvera (Wallach). Having fortified the village and won hearts and minds by feeding the kids, they are let down by the peasants' lack of fighting spirit. But the seven overcome the bandits in a climactic battle. This wonderfully stirring, exciting and humorous Western ingeniously transposes the traditional Japanese jidai-geki genre to the traditional American genre. It was perfectly logical that such a tale could have been adapted from Akira Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai given that the great Japanese director himself has acknowledged his debt to the Hollywood Western. A further link with the earlier film was the casting of the oriental-looking Yul Brynner as the leader of the gang of seven. What fascinated director John Sturges was the different lethal skills of the seven, and the development of their self-sacrificial idealism. The pulsating action, the charisma of the cast and Elmer Bernstein's sweeping music score made it the huge hit it was. The movie boosted the careers of Steve McQueen, James Coburn and Charles Bronson and led Eli Wallach to be cast as the heavy in Spaghetti Westerns a few years later. Three far from magnificent sequels followed.