The Magnificent Seven

Magnificent Seven

I met a guy the other  day over 50 educated, the whole ten yards who hadn’t seen The Magnificent Seven. The greatest Western ever made. Where had he been, what kind of life can ignore this film. Brynner, McQueen, Bronson,Coburn and bad guy Eli Wallach. It was a remake of the Jap classic Seven Samurai. I have seen it dozens of times and know  whole scenes off by  heart, Places to call home none, wives none, kids none.  Insults taken none, enemies none……

The seven nearly redundant gunmen ride to save defenceless Mexican villagers from a marauding, Mexican  bandit gang. As they save the village they find their own salvation. Its so pure, through dying for others they wipe out their  sins. All this to Bernstein’s great score.

No one takes my gun and tells me to ride on….. Who made us like we are……I am not brave because I carry a gun, your fathers  are brave because they carry responsibility….It was the worst shot,I was aiming for the horse.

The film was made in 1960 and was a hardly subtle metaphor for US  foreign policy. Vietnam was   after all Uncle  Sam pl aying big brother to its  weaker sibling , the S. Vietnamese who   were being terrorised by those nasty Commies from the North. OK we live and learn. Apparently before the Bay of Pigs, Kennedy watched High Noon. Nixon loved Patton Thirst for Glory.

Its all  summed up in the last take as Yul turns to Steve and says,”the old man was right, its the farmers who always win, we lost, we always do” No better statement of  US  foreign policy.

I have just learnt that a remake is in the pipeline. In these diverse times an all white crew will not do. Black actor Denzil Washington leads the new Seven which includes a full blooded Red Indian  complete with deadly bow and arrow.  Certainly judging by the trailer there are gun fights galore, blood flows and  the body count would not  disgrace a High School /ISIS massacre.

Well with all that going on   we  cant have some third world party  insulted by being the bad  guys. No the bad guys in the remake are some ruthless industrialists who  have taken over a town. So we have a rewrite of the modern fairy story of how the little guys, Hansel and Gretal go into the dark wood and get their  own back on the Nasty Corporates. I hope the LGBT community approve. Apparently Denzil does not change sex but its good to hear The House of Rising Sun again.


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2 Responses to The Magnificent Seven

  1. Gary Rees says:

    A remarkable coincidence: the daughter of the composer, Mr Bernstein, will be moving into our house in 6 weeks time. She grew up in a ‘magnificent’ home just 7 houses up the road from our modest place.
    She was telling us about her dad’s challenges with the “House Committee on Un-American Activities” just a few years before the making of the movie which re-established his career.

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