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Movie Review: The Magnificent Seven

Rating: It's a Keeper!


Ok I will admit it. I have never seen the Magnificent Seven. But one of the great things about a home theater is being able to watch classic movies on the big screen.

Rating: It's a Keeper!


Ok I will admit it. I have never seen the Magnificent Seven. But one of the great things about a home theater is being able to watch classic movies on the big screen.

Some of the older movies have not fared so well in the transfer to DVD. Some only have a stereo soundtrack and the picture may not be very good. In fact the Magnificent Seven had some shots that were not as clean as the movie as a whole. I am sure when it comes time to transfer these old movies they need to be pieced together from several prints to get the best possible print. So if nothing else the seemingly constant change over of format (VHS, Laserdisc, DVD, HD-DVD) gets someone to look at these original prints every few years and hopefully try to maintain or salvage them.

According to the extra features on the DVD this movie at one time was the second most frequently played movie on TV. So I don't know how I managed to miss it. I don't even remember seeing short scenes form it as I flipped through channels late at night.

So it was a treat for me form beginning to end. The movie is based on the Japanese movie "The Seven Samurai" by Kurosawa. And for a change Hollywood actually acknowledges the source. Sometimes when they do this I watch the whole movie and just have the vague feeling I have seen it before.

The story is fairly true to its source with a few differences. A group of farmers are being terrorized by a gang of roving bandits. The bandits come by several times a year and take almost everything this poor village has. Just leaving them enough to survive. (Hey wait a minute now that I think about it they also ripped off this story for "A Bugs Life") So the villagers decide to fight back by hiring gunslingers to defend them.

The cast seems to be an all-star western cast. But this is the movie that helped make big stars. Yul Brynner plays the lead with Steve McQueen and James Coburn as two of the seven. The chemistry between them is good but this movie is about action not drama.

I would like to suggest there is an eighth main character in the movie and that is the soundtrack. Even if you haven't seen this movie you will know the music. It is probably one of the best scores in movie history. Just the music in the opening credits builds anticipation.

Not all of the old classic movies hold up as well as the Magnificent Seven. But a movie like this that has a great story, good action and a great soundtrack it is a real treat in any home theater. Watch it the way it was meant to be seen, on the big screen.