Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Guns of the Magnificent Seven|
Actors: George Kennedy, James Whitmore, Monte Markham, Reni Santoni, Bernie Casey
Director: Paul Wendkos
Genres: Action & Adventure, Westerns, Drama
The Magnificent Seven ride again in this "fast-moving follow-up" (Variety) to one of the greatest Western sagas in film history. Academy AwardÂ(r) winner* George Kennedy (Cool Hand Luke) and James Whitmore (The Shawshank R... more »
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The Cowards Die Many Deaths but the Brave Only One
gobirds2 | New England | 05/23/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"GUNS OF THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN can be adequately described as the third entry out of a group of four films that may or may not be described as a "series" of westerns based on the concept of gallantry and redemption for the mythological and eternal "seven" gunmen. Its direct predecessor RETURN OF THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN was certainly a true sequel to THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN. I found RETURN OF THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN to be a great supplement to the original. Dark and labyrinth-like it examined and analyzed the central character Chris, brilliantly portrayed by Yul Brynner, and his ability to ferret out the motivations of all the other important characters and bring each to terms with themselves.In GUNS OF THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN we start over fresh with Chris now portrayed by George Kennedy. Physically and in a histrionic sense he bears little resemblance to the character of the first two films. As Yul Brynner commented on his character: there are only two things clean about him - his gun and his soul. And these are the two qualities that Kennedy brings to the role. Thematically GUNS OF THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN is much closer to the original. However, its plot manages to be innovative and it contains some refreshing dialogue. Not only does it take the notion of "seven" gunmen seeking redemption for past transgressions but it even touches on Sam Peckinpah's familiar theme of the demise of a noble way of life in the face of a modern world. Our seven heroes in this film are indeed noble. Instead of protecting Mexican farmers against hordes of marauding bandits, they are now recruited to free a revolutionary leader, Quintero (Fernando Rey) from the prison fortress "cave of the rats" commanded by the evil Colonel Diego (Michael Ansara). The oppressed Mexican people need their leader. A real highlight of this film is the recruitment of the seven. After Max (Reni Santoni) witnesses Chris save Keno (Monte Markham) from the gallows in a very entertaining scene he requests his help. Chris agrees and Keno signs on first. Max also signs on "not for the money, but because seven is your lucky number" so he tells Chris. Next Chris recruits Cassie (Bernie Casey), the dynamite expert for "one hundred dollars and not many laughs." Chris and Keno next visit Levi Morgan (James Whitmore) who is now married and retired from the profession. Whitmore demonstrates just how fine an actor he is in this film playing his part with restrained wit and charm. He's brilliant. Onto a traveling sideshow Chris and Keno next meet Slater (Joe Don Baker) the one-armed gunman who wears a ragged Confederate tunic. "I can't whip a six year old girl in a fair fight but I can blow a man's eyeballs out at a 100 yards, in a sandstorm!" Chris finally signs on P.J. (Scott Thomas) apparently as a favor to the sick and coughing gunman who is also an expert with rope. As all seven sit around a table playing cards Chris holds up the seven of spades and the scene cuts to the seven riding majestically across the landscape on their way to help the downtrodden to the familiar strains of Elmer Bernstein's theme. This one scene really defines what The Magnificent Seven are all about. Elmer Bernstein not only reworked quite a bit of his earlier music but he composed a good deal of original music for this film. However, `The Magnificent Seven' theme remains central to the film and goes through many brilliant interpretations. This was another highlight of this film. The producers spared no money when it came to the music and it makes a significant difference. There is a great relationship in this film between the ex-slave (Casey) and the ex-Confederate (Joe Don Baker). They start out hating each other but in the end respect each other for what life has handed them. Another interesting character is the young boy Emiliano Zapata (Tony Davis) who is temporarily orphaned while his father is held prisoner in the "cave of the rats." In the mean time James Whitmore adopts him. The boy asks many simple yet philosophical questions on the meaning of life which gives the film real substance. Also there is the adversarial relationship between Chris and Colonel Diego which grows darker as the film progresses. This is good against evil and there are no pretensions here. This film visually looks quite different from its two predecessors. Though filmed in Spain we never see any signs of the desert as we did in RETURN OF THE SEVEN. Instead it is mostly filmed against vibrant green hills and meadows, uprooted gray rock formations and blue skies with billowing white clouds by cinematographer Antonio Macasoli. Director Paul Wendkos wanted to show us that the era of the gunman was coming to an end. The horses, not the guns fit the landscape. The claustrophobic images of gunmen gambling and drinking in smoke filled saloons and lurking in dark streets are gone. As the seven come closer to their date with destiny the landscape mirrors their final resting-place in the great beyond. I always liked this film. It has a certain "Saturday matinee" quality about it that makes it very entertaining and uplifting. However, that very quality has seemed to diminish its very importance to some. All I know is that when Max (Reni Santoni) delivers the final line of this film I got a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye. Like one of the Mexican farmers in the THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN told Steve McQueen, "That's a feeling worth dying for.""
Third entry for Magnificent Seven series
T O'Brien | Chicago, Il United States | 05/18/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This third film in the Magnificent Seven series is a very worthy sequel to the previous two movies. The story involves a new group of seven who join together to free a Mexican revolutionary from a prison called the Cave of the Rats. The movie is entertaining throughout as the group is organized and then their efforts in the prison break. Many scenes show the influence of spaghetti westerns whether it be close-ups or camera angles during shoot-outs. Either way, this is still a very good movie. George Kennedy replaces Yul Brynner as Chris, the leader of the Magnificent Seven. Joining him are James Whitmore in a very good supporting role, Monte Markham as Keno(who seems to be a replacement for Steve McQueen's Vin), Reni Santoni, and Joe Don Baker as the one-armed gunman. This movie tends to focus on the beliefs of the Seven as they prepare for battle and the friendships between them. Also joining the cast is Frank Silvera, Fernando Rey, and Michael Ansara as the sinister Colonel Diego. Kennedy is excellent as the new Chris with the other six also being worthwhile replacements. Another star of the movie has to be Elmer Bernstein's rousing score that almost everyone around the world has heard. This is an entertaining sequel that isn't as good as the first one, but probably more on the level of the second sequel. VHS is of decent quality, but this one deserves to be on DVD."
They're BACK.........and with a vengeance!
Michael J. Chrush | Kent, WA United States | 02/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"To some this was an inferior sequel to the original MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, but it is actually a splendid follow-up with a sensational cast, thus making the characters more believable, and in a way, giving them more of a personality.The noted "seven" are as follows, and as stated from the advertising compaign from the original theatrical trailer, "They Are Not Aiming to Please!". George Kennedy replaces Yul Brynner as Chris Adams, making him a more pleasant character who is one to assist his comrades in need. One would almost expect a hard-headed character in the Lone Ranger tradition who is merely out for a bounty. Monte Markham is Keno, Chris' main partner of the piece and fleeing from the Law had it not been more Chris' help. James Whitmore is Levi Morgan, the knife-wielding family man. Bernie Casey is Cassie, dynamite expert and one unable to make decent profits through it. Joe Don Baker is Slater, almost literally refrained to the use of one arm and a Colt 45 weapon his trademark. Scott Thomas is P.J., rope and rifle his weapons of choice. Reni Santoni is Max, the young Mexican who heists[some] of Frank Silvera's dollars to help Chris in the manner.Enter Michael Ansara as Colonel Diego. A truly sensational actor who made a niche for himself portraying Indians or evil mercenaries. Thus he makes Colonel Diego a nasty character who takes great enjoyment out of watching his slaves suffer torture. Whether it's being whipped until they beg to die, stuck with their heads in the sand while horses trample over them, or leaving them out to dry in the sunlight, he is thoroughly relishing it. He is the leader of the band of marauders, and all throughout makes the character intimidating, and at the same time, believable in the sense that he plays him with such conviction.Film works more of an individual piece than a sequel is what makes it so unique and different. Thus the characters develop more of a trust and friendship, and they provide an excellent team when having a showdown with the villains of the piece. Elmer Bernstein's music score is excellent, and makes the action throughout even more exciting, and Paul Wendkos' direction is top notch. Great performances from all supporting characters as the cast is great.I hope it's not long before the DVD is released as this has been out of print, and hard to obtain a copy of through video stores. If you're a Western fan, this is for you!"
The Magnificent Seven Are Back and They Do Not Aim to Please
hille2000 | USA | 05/24/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"That's what the theatrical original poster proclaimed. And so they are! GUNS OF THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN is much closer to the original THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN than RETURN OF THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN even though George Kennedy takes over the role of Chris from Yul Brynner. This movie was filmed in Spain just as RETURN OF THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN was. However, this film retains a whole new look. The original THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN was filmed in Mexico and was necessarily done so because the land and the people were an integral part of the story. GUNS OF THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN is concerned more about the characters that make up the seven. Instead of helping a group of people, the seven are hired to free a lone Mexican Revolutionary leader. Freeing one man instead of many allowed the script to rely solely on the lives of the seven and not tread on territory already covered in the previous two films. George Kennedy as Chris is generally a good-natured individual willing to help the underdog. Monte Markham as Keno lives on the fringes of the law but is also generally good-natured and acts as Kennedy's partner. James Whitmore is very good as Levi Morgan, the knife-throwing married gunman who sees one more chance for adventure. Bernie Casey as Cassie is the Black gunman who is an expert with dynamite but can't make a decent wage in the post Civil War West. Joe Don Baker plays Slater a very proficient marksman with a Colt 45, who wears his Confederate coat as a shroud to cover his now "dead" arm. Scott Thomas plays P.J. the dying ex-wrangler good with rope and rifle. Rounding out the seven is Reni Santoni as Max, the young Mexican who is sent reluctantly with six hundred of Frank Silvera's dollars (American) to find Chris and get his help. This is a great action adventure film in the tradition of the ideals that made THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN so popular. Elmer Bernstein's rousing score for this film is excellent and has never been given any real recognition. There is just so much music in it and it is very good. When this film was originally released it was rated "G" suitable for all audiences. I think that turned away many people from the box office. More people got killed in this film than the first two combined, yet it received a "G" rating. I think this is because these "seven" are such good-natured fellows and they vanquish the most evil of villains in the form of Michael Ansara as Colonel Diego in this film. Colonel Diego does not have one redeeming quality about him, nor is he possibly misguided as were Calvera or Lorca from the previous films. "G" rating or not, evil in any form does not stand a chance against the GUNS OF THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN."