16 January 2007

Once A Lifetime - "The Magnificent Seven" (1960)

With no doubt, "The Magnificent Seven" is one of those titles that can be labeled as cult and classic in a history of cinematography. It is a fine remake of "The Seven Samurai" (1954), originally directed by Japanese legend Akira Kurosawa.
Significant difference between two movies is a reality described. John Sturges decided to put medieval Japan story into American-Mexican border, making one of the most recognizable and popular western genre film from it. Decision to do it required courage to challenge such a masterpiece as Kurosawa’s picture.

On the other hand, having a cast including stars as Wallach, Brynner, McQueen, Coburn or Bronson, success should be guaranteed. With ridiculous salaries in the film industry of 21st century, it is almost impossible to gather such an outstanding pack of actors these days. But it happened nearly half of century ago.
"The Magnificent Seven" represents typical western plot, where good characters called by their conscience, are coming out in support of defenseless individuals, oppressed by aggressive outlaws, who follow no rules and are insensitive to people’s misery. It is a simple story and what makes the film interesting is a great co-operation between cinema maestros assembled in it.

Collaboration of Steve McQueen, later becoming first action movie star of Hollywood, famously known from "Bullitt" (1968), "The Getaway" (1972) or "The Great Escape" (1963), Yul Brynner, charismatic Pharaoh Ramesses II in big-budget "The Ten Commandments" (1956), Charles Bronson, an iconic tough-guy, idolized by fans, creator of "Death Wish" (1974-94) series, James Coburn, who took part in radical Sam Peckinpah’s productions like "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid" (1973) or "Cross of Iron" (1977), Eli Wallach, starring in "The Misfits" (1961) or "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" (1966), spaghetti western diamond, is a mesmerizing pleasure to participate in, shows the best acting skills and makes an all-time classic.
Behind the tale stands the message. No people who use violence can win anything. There is no bravery in shooting and killing the others, not even when it is done in the name of justice. Moral victory is in hands of humble individuals, taking responsibility for their families. The truth is it needs an acceptance of lot, sacrifice and conformist’s attitude.

Kaohsiung (16-10-2006)

"The Magnificent Seven" (1960), directed by John Sturges, starring: Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Eli Wallach, James Coburn, Charles Bronson.

No comments: