A bandit terrorizes a small Mexican farming village each year. Several of the village elders send three of the farmers into the United States to search for gunmen to defend them. They end up with 7, each of whom comes for a different reason. They must prepare the town to repulse an army of over 100 bandits who will arrive wanting food.
An Americanization of the film, Shichinin no samurai (1954)
Yul Brynner ... Chris Adam
Eli Wallach ... Calvera
Steve McQueen ... Vin
Charles Bronson ... Bernardo O'Reilly
Robert Vaughn ... Lee
Brad Dexter ... Harry Luck
James Coburn ... Britt
XVid / AC3
Dual Audio: English / Espanol
John Sturges acquires a reputation as a solid director of superior Westerns filled with tense action scenes such as: "Escape From Fort Bravo," "Bad Day at Black Rock," "Backlash," "Gunfight At The O.K. Corral," "The Law and Jack Wade," "The Last Train From Gun Hill," "Sergeant Three," "The Hallelujah Trail," and one of the best of all Wyatt Earp movies, "Hour of the Gun."
He succeeds in one of the most exhilarating opening sequences of all Western movies, when he had McQueen and Brynner riding a hearse up legendary Boot Hill creating a mood and peril that never allow the slightest degree of viewer confusion or ennui... For Sturges, the West is a man's world, and his cool, hard, detached style, emphasizing action, excitement and the rugged environment of the frontier, endorses the point...
"The Magnificent Seven" is derived from Kurosawa's superb "The Seven Samurai," a compelling tale of intimidated and impoverished medieval villagers hiring mercenary warriors to repel bandit ravages... The villagers in this case are Mexicans, plagued beyond all bearing by the activities of bandit Calavera, who always leaves them on tortillas and few beans... Three of them cross the border to offer meager pay and sustenance for any professionally skilled fighting men who will aid them...
Yul Brynner is the man, dressed in black, with the luminous dome and the hypnotic Mongolian eyes who portrays the distinctive Chris Adams leader of the seven hired gunmen hired to chase some 'flies from a little Mexican village.'
Eli Wallach is memorable as Calvera, chief of the ruthless outlaws... He is greedy and merciless terrorizing without pity the poor peasants...
Steve McQueen gives a standout performance as the sardonic gunman ('We deal in lead, friend'), carrying appealing ease and sense of humor to his role as Vin, Brynner's first recruit and second-in-command...
Charles Bronson portrays Bernardo O'Reilly, who explains his curious name to Chris, with 'Mexican on one side, Irish on the other—and me in the middle!' Bronson, the strongest face in Western, and with a bit of Mexican in him—cunning face, steady eyes, revealing voice—the character of Bernardo O'Reilly suits him perfectly... This half-breed gunfighter becomes the conscience of the team... Because of his tender paternal instincts, he is adopted by three children who promise him, in case he falls, to bring him, every day, fresh flowers...
Robert Vaughn—who was to do nicely on TV in "The Man from Uncle" spy spoof— plays Lee, the 'good gun' with black gloves and nightmares, living in style with no enemies alive...
Brad Dexter plays Harry Luck, Brynner's happy friend who returns to join the team convinced of the existence of a large amount of hidden gold...
James Coburn makes a big impression as Britt, the expert gunman who can out-draw a gun with his knife-throwing... His looks and vague figure of violence are quite a response for his few talks...
Horst Bucholz represents youth, eagerness, and the urge to be proved and sorted out from the boys... He was caught on the road by Rosenda Monteros...
Robert J. Wilke is Britt's insisting challenger who swells the ranks of the villains in many Westerns like "High Noon," "The Far Country," and "Man of the West."
The Magnificent Seven's success spawned three sequels: "Return of the Seven" (again starring Yul Brynner), "Guns of the Magnificent Seven" and, last and least of all, "The Magnificent Seven Ride."
With a terrific Oscar-Nominated Musical Score by Elmer Bernstein, "The Magnificent Seven" remains a richly enjoyable Western, shot on location in Morelos state, Mexico...
* Robert Vaughn played the role of Lee in the film. He later came back to star in the TV series "The Magnificent Seven" (1998) playing Judge Oren Travis.
* Elmer Bernstein, whose score for this movie is one of the best-known ever composed, also wrote the score for the parody of this film, ¡Three Amigos! (1986).
* Yul Brynner was married on the set; the celebration used many of the same props as the fiesta scene.
* The film was cast quickly to beat an actor's strike.
* Mexican censors required the peasants to always be wearing clean clothes.
* Walter Bernstein did the original adaptation of Akira Kurosawa's film (Shichinin no samurai (1954)) but it wasn't used. Walter Newman wrote the screenplay that is substantially what you see on screen.
* Steve McQueen wanted to act in this film but couldn't at first because the schedule of his TV series, "Wanted: Dead or Alive" (1958), wouldn't allow it. He crashed a car and while he was "out sick", he shot this film.
* Composer John Williams was a member of the orchestra that recorded Elmer Bernstein's score; he played the piano.
* James Coburn's friend Robert Vaughn recommended him to director John Sturges for the last remaining lead, the role of Britt. Sturges said he needed a Gary Cooper type of actor, and Vaughn said Coburn was the actor he needed.
* James Coburn (Britt) and Robert Vaughn (Lee) have only 11 and 16 lines in the entire film respectively. Although they were close friends for almost fifty years, this is their only film together.
* Yul Brynner was concerned to make sure he always appeared substantially taller than Steve McQueen, to the point of making a little mound of earth and standing on it in all their shots together. McQueen, for his part, casually kicked at the mound every time he passed by it.
* Pay close attention to Eli Wallach whenever he handles his gun. Whenever he puts the gun back into his holster, he always looks down at it. That was because Wallach wasn't used to drawing the weapon and didn't want to look foolish by missing the holster while putting his gun back, as Wallach would admit in the DVD Documentary.
* According to Eli Wallach's autobiography, Yul Brynner had a major problem with what he perceived as Steve McQueen's trying to upstage him. According to Wallach, McQueen would do things when on screen with Brynner to draw attention to his character. Examples were his shaking of the shotgun shells and taking off his hat to check the sun during the hearse scene and leaning off his horse to dip his hat in the river when the Seven cross into Mexico. Brynner was supposedly so worried about McQueen stealing his limelight in scenes that he hired an assistant to count the number of times McQueen touched his own hat when he [Brynner] was speaking.
* Body count: 55
* George Peppard was first considered for the role of Vin.
* Sterling Hayden was originally supposed to play the knife expert, Britt. Hayden dropped out for unknown reasons, so John Sturges sent out an extensive casting call. Robert Vaughn (Lee) recommended old schoolmate and friend James Coburn for the role. Vaughn and Coburn helped each other get roles throughout the rest of Coburn's life.
* When filming began in Mexico, problems arose with the local censors, who demanded changes to the ways that the Mexican villagers would be portrayed. Walter Newman, who had written the screenplay, was asked to travel to the location to make the necessary script revisions, but refused. The changes written in by William Roberts were deemed significant enough to merit him a co-writing credit. Newman refused to share the credit, though, and had his name removed from the film entirely.
* A young Gene Wilder auditioned for the role of Vin.
* James Coburn was a big fan of Shichinin no samurai (1954) and his favorite role in that film was the character that he ended up playing in the Americanized version.
* According to the DVD notes, both John Ireland and Sterling Hayden were approached for the role of Britt.
* Despite some credit listings, Natividad Vacío plays Miguel, not Tomas, and John Alonso plays Tomas, not Miguel.
SINOPSIS: Un pueblo mexicano se halla a merced de una despiadada banda de forajidos. Sus habitantes, campesinos que no saben defenderse, deciden contratar los servicios de siete pistoleros.
"Sturges recoge la semilla de "Los siete samuráis", de Kurosawa, y monta un western con reparto de rostros afilados y sangre roja como la pasión. Más entretenida que magistral, ha pasado a la historia por su banda sonora" (Javier Ocaña: Cinemanía)