HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Sputnik
Seducao da Carne
Yes, God, Yes
Five Graves to Cairo
You've Been Trumped Too
Woman in Black, The
Elvis: That's the Way It Is
Man Who Laughs, The
Watch List
Giraffe
Kat and the Band
Echo
Perfect 10
Octaman
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
Wizard of Baghdad, The
Ride
   
 
Newest Articles
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights in with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
   
 
  Magnificent Seven, The The Protectors
Year: 1960
Director: John Sturges
Stars: Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter, James Coburn, Horst Buchholz, Jorge Martínez de Hoyos, Vladimir Sokoloff, Rosenda Monteros, Rico Alaniz, Pepe Hern, Natividad Nacio, Mario Navarro, Danny Bravo
Genre: WesternBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 2 votes)
Review: There's a small village in Mexico where the locals toil in the fields to grow food to eat, but lately these past few years there has been a problem with that, and so it is as harvest nears so appears the bandit Calvera (Eli Wallach) with his band of forty thieves who announce that once again they will be taking the lion's share of the peasants' food, leaving them with a paltry amount, barely enough to live on. When one protests, Calvera guns him down for his trouble, and warns he will be back in a few days, but what can the villagers do? Who would possibly be willing to help them?

Well, there are seven gentlemen who might be persuaded. Grumble all you want about Hollywood remaking foreign movies, but you can perhaps put a lot of the blame for the trend as far back as this, the successful remake of Japanese director Akira Kurosawa's classic Seven Samurai. Where that took three and a half hours to detail its epic fight between right and wrong, American director John Sturges took just over two, paring down the plot to its essentials yet crucially not dumbing it down or diluting it. Quite often when Hollywood does try to make a profit on a foreign language property the results are negligable: not this time.

If anything, Sturges and his cohorts set the bar very high for every similar remake to come, because it was cast so perfectly, the action was impeccably staged, Elmer Bernstein's music was possibly the greatest of all Western soundtracks, and there was still room for a touch of philosophy on the morality of it all. Kurosawa, who had created the original as a tribute to and imitation of the American Westerns, appropriated for Japanese stylings and audiences, was delighted with The Magnificent Seven, so much so that he gave Sturges a gift of a ceremonial sword, and you can see why as not only was this remarkably respectful - all concerned were big fans of Kurosawa - but it inhabited a landscape different enough to be valid in its own right.

But look at the casting, there were few Westerns so ideally acted by such a clutch of the coolest actors around, and the fact that many of them went on to do so well was often credited to their work here. Aside from the leader Yul Brynner, they were all largely unknown, or if they were known it would be from the odd feature film supporting role or television, but after this each of the Seven would never look back, with their careers going better than they could ever have dreamed. Er, almost all: Brad Dexter never capitalised on his brief fame and was relegated to a quiz question to be answered by show-off trivia hounds. But mention Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn or Steve McQueen, and you will see respect.

Horst Buchholz was supposed to be the next big thing, the German James Dean, here as the only Mexican with a German accent after the censors in Mexico demanded a heroic character from their nation to be prominently featured so their countrymen didn't look like a bunch of losers or bandits. He worked steadily for the rest of his life, but whether he never took off internationally or whether he was uncomfortable with fame he was happier to return to Europe, leaving an impression here with his emotional hair trigger performance. You can see the others underplaying in contrast, though Brynner complained McQueen was forever trying to upstage him, so it's also fun to see the latter acting out business whenever they share the same frame.

Almost a third of the movie is involved with gathering the mercenaries from North of the Border, and it's time well spent, with each getting a sketch-like scene to delineate their personality, Coburn being a demon with a knife, Dexter having a disproportionate love of gold, Vaughn lurking in the shadows because he has seen things you people wouldn't believe and is suffering psychologically, and so forth. Once they reach the village, they get the better of the villains, but rather than being a pushover Calvera proves more wily and dangerous than they counted on, with Wallach an excellent foil to Brynner's seasoned heroism (this is likely what got him cast in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly). Acknowledging the deeper themes of Kurosawa, there are stretches where the gunfighters discuss the downside of their profession which some viewers can take or leave, but for others allow the film to take on a mythic quality. Whichever, it's never too far away from suspense or action; The Magnificent Seven well deserved its cult following if only thanks to how darn easy it is to rewatch.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2705 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: