The Magnificent Seven

Calvera: "Somehow, I don't think you've solved my problem."
Chris: "Solving your problems isn't our line."
Vin: "We deal in lead, friend."

release year: 1960
genre: western
viewing setting: home Bluray 12/19/15 and home DVD, 11/17/12 and 5/17/01 and several times before

synopsis: A poor farming town offers everything it has - which isn't much - to anyone who will defend it from marauding bandits. Seven tough guys take the job, each with his own reasons and motivations. Showdown ensues.

impressions: Good classic western based around the Seven Samurai formula, and packaged in a way that Western audiences can better understand and enjoy. As fun as it is to watch the heroes stand down bad guys or each other, it's as much fun to see their various motivations for doing it. This is pretty much a movie for guys, but they sure do have some classic lines.

acting: As I said, this is a testosterone-laden actionfest. Yul Brynner is the leader, a level-headed guy who tries to do the right thing and doesn't back down from any challenge. Steve McQueen is the other main protagonist. Charles Bronson and James Coburn are both good and memorable in early tough-guy roles. Horst Buchholz is notable as the youngest of the seven, a guy who has no experience but a big heart and lots of courage. Robert Vaughn and Brad Dexter round out the heroes. Eli Wallach is outstanding as the leader of the bandits - he's menacing and serious but also quite funny. This movie's strength lies in these performances, both on their own and interacting with each other.

final word: Must-see action western.

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