Number 1000!!! – Friday, October 28th - Larry H. publishes his one thousandth movie review 1997-2022
The Magnificent Seven
Released:  September 23, 2016
I first saw “The Magnificent Seven” starring Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, and James Coburn in 1960. I loved that version and thought that cowboys in the old West circa 1879 should act like those guys - full of courage and willing to help defend a poor village who were being terrorized by bad guys.
That was the basic story created by the Japanese genius, Akira Kurosawa, (1910-1998). It was Kurosawa’s story that was stolen by Hollywood as he did not get any credit for the 1960 movie, but someone came to their senses for this Magnificent Seven and appropriately refers to Kurosawa - “based on his screenplay.” Ok, I can live with that if Director Kurosawa’s family can.
The beautiful and magical story of a ragtag group of cowboys willing to fight for the downtrodden against impossible odds is universally appealing and many will flock to the theatres hoping to see Denzel Washington as Chisolm re-capture the enchantment of Chris Adams played by Brynner in 1960. And they will be disappointed.
Ticket sales will be good, because there are many of us who can vividly remember James Coburn throw a knife in the chest of a guy who was drawing a pistol and the wink and a nod by McQueen as he joins Brynner in gathering the characters of The Magnificent Seven. And don’t forget seeing Charles Bronson chopping wood with his shirt off as he was working for food. Wow, I didn’t realize how entrenched the 1960 movie was in my psyche.
Having admitted that, I can also confess that this current Magnificent Seven was barely tolerable for me. My friend Michael B. gave it an 82; that’s about right. There’s nothing wrong with the acting and the plot is the same and the cinematography is exceptional, but I needed my guys resurrected so I could re-live my early impressions of a Western with some of the Hollywood greats of the 1960’s.
No offense to Denzel, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, and Vincent D’Onofrio; they were adequate and believable, but they knew that they were taking a big chance trying to re-make one of the all-time great Westerns. Everybody involved will make a few bucks and nobody’s career will suffer, but I can’t remember much about this movie which I saw about an hour ago, and I can tell you all about the black gloves and costume worn by Robert Vaughn in 1960. Rock ‘n Roll.
Grade 80. Larry H.
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