Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Return of the Magnificent Seven|
Actors: Yul Brynner, Robert Fuller, Julián Mateos, Warren Oates, Claude Akins
Director: Burt Kennedy
Genres: Westerns, Art House & International
The legendary Magnificent Seven thunder through Mexico and make cinematic historyagain! StarringAcademy AwardÂ(r)winner* Yul Brynner and a stellar supporting cast that includes Robert Fuller, Warren Oates and Claude Akins,... more »
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Brooding and Absorbing Sequel
gobirds2 | New England | 05/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Scratching deeper beyond the surface one can find RETURN OF THE SEVEN to be significantly different from its predecessor, THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN. It is much more than a thematically framed sequel which it can easily be mistaken for. RETURN OF THE SEVEN is a dark film and it does not offer the hope of a truly optimistic future for any of its characters. In this respect it is a complete inversion of THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN. Through their catharsis in the original we saw an attempt at redemption through an act of nobility on the part of the seven. They truly were noble and I believe were redeemed for their transgressions as gunmen. Some thought they could start their lives over again but inevitably they could not. That film had to end as it did with the seven ultimately all committed to their singular code of ethics and morality in an emotionally charged finale. In this film there is very little emotion on the surface. Instead director Burt Kennedy gives us a thought provoking study into the human psyche and the very nature of defeatism of the human spirit. In this film there are no pretensions on the part of the seven. For most of them this is just another gun job. There are no higher aspirations that they are cognizant of. If it were not this job, it would be the next. To tell his story Burt Kennedy focuses almost entirely on the character of Chris the leader, perfectly portrayed again by Yul Brynner. This is not really a tale of the seven. Instead Kennedy uses Brynner with all his aplomb and apparent stoicism to curiously examine and probe the motivations of the other six, Lorca the villain (pompously played by Mexican director Emilio Fernandez) and several other key characters. In effect Kennedy takes what was apparently a happy or satisfactory ending from THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN and asks what if. What if 10 years later the remaining characters are not so contented as prior events led us to believe they would be? Would friends be willing go up against innumerable odds? Would strangers once again sign on to go up against those same innumerable odds? Do the strong still have to help the weak? And who really are the strong and the weak? When 50 or more marauding vaqueros whisk away Chico (Julian Mateos) and other Mexican farmers from surrounding villages Chris and Vin (Robert Fuller) agree to come to his aid. However it is Chris alone that recruits the members of the "seven" this time out. Kennedy singularly endows Chris a sense of morality and level headedness in this film that comes from his wisdom and manner of nobility. In effect this is Brynner's film all the way. Just as John Sturges' directorial style was so smooth that his own storytelling glossed right over the depth and complexity of his own work so is Burt Kennedy's. However, Kennedy is challenged with a very dark and brooding tale to tell. Where Sturges' THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN could easily have been taken on a purely action film level and still been successful, Kennedy does not have that luxury. Kennedy has to deliver an action film built on previous events and he also has to approach the story from a different perspective to remain fresh yet keep it thematically to the concept of the original "Seven." Not an easy task! If the viewer does not look deeply into this film it may just appear as a well produced `dud.' However, I believe Kennedy succeeds far beyond expectations the more times I view this film. Again it comes back to Brynner. He makes members of the seven (Vin, Chico and Colbee) all come to realizations about themselves with his subtle yet profound dialogue. He gives Riker and Luis a chance at redemption even though both men come from total opposites of the spectrum. He helps the failed priest rise from his failures "at least as far as his knees." Chris even gives Lorca, the villain a chance to ride out because when Chris was younger he gave him the same chance. However, Chris refuses to let Lorca now bathe his personal grief as an ineffectual father "in other men's blood." Yet even Lorca is literally redeemed by the end of the film. When Petra tells Chris that the farmers will never forget them he simply replies, "That's all a man can ask." That is the mystique and legacy of the "seven." Even the character of Chris is endowed with human flaws. He recklessly took on the young Manuel rounding out the seven "for luck" with tragic results and we see Brynner deeply grieved on the screen. This is a film of hard lessons learned. Technically this is a well-made film. The cinematography is full of crane, dolly and tracking shots, which gives it both perspective and movement. Bernstein's score is full and lush and this is the single cohesive element that keeps the seven together. The set designs are dark, grim and rustic giving the film a pensive psychological depth. The payoff for Brynner and the viewer comes in the final shot. Looking at the farmers rebuilding the village he comments, "I'll be damned." Vin looks at him and responds, "I doubt that. I doubt that very much." They both ride off. They just don't make heroes like that any more."
RETURN OF THE SEVEN is a Worthy Sequel
hille2000 | USA | 04/26/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Anyone who liked the original THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, I mean really liked it, should find this movie to be an excellent sequel. However, many people do not seem to like this movie and find it dull. They are missing the point. In this film the producers did not want to repeat exactly what they did in the original. Instead, they picked up characters and events several years later and gave us a new story. It was not about Mexican farmers trying to struggle for survival while cultivating their land. Nor was it purely about gunmen seeking redemption for past sins. It is a story about good vs. evil and the film tends to examine both sides. Lorca, the villain of the piece, essentially wants to subjugate all humanity for his failure as a father. Enter the seven to the rescue, an even more mixed bag than in the original. Their motives are much more diverse and even more difficult to fathom. That is what makes this an interesting film. To appreciate it you really have to get into it and the whole mystique of THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN. On the surface there are still many things to recommend it. Yul Brynner returns in the role of Chris and he is still as cool as ever. Warren Oates and Claude Akins give excellent performances as members of the `seven' and could even have held their own in the original. This movie was filmed in Spain, not Mexico like the original, yet the production designers made every effort to duplicate Mexican architecture and find locations to match the original. The final battle is well staged and photographed and packs a good emotional punch. Last but not least is Elmer Bernstein's brilliant and powerful score adding prestige to this production. This film deserves a second look."
Good but not great sequel
T O'Brien | Chicago, Il United States | 05/22/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Return of the Magnificent Seven is a good sequel that picks up ten years after the first one ended. The story follows Chris, the gunman in black, who is trying to free Chico, from the original seven, from a bandit who has kidnapped the men from several small villages. Joining Chris is another group that he puts together to help him free his old friend, Chico. This is an exciting movie that examines several questions about the Old West. What if ten years after it happened these men are beginning to think if they have accomplished anything or what is their value? The movie poses this question as the seven ride to Chico's rescue. The only returning star from the original is Yul Brynner who takes the role of Chris again and plays it to perfection. Robert Fuller takes the role of Vin, previously played by Steve McQueen. This movie could have been much better with McQueen in the role. Other members of the Seven include Warren Oates, Claude Akins, Julian Mateos, Virgilio Texiera, and Jordan Christopher. Also starring are Emilio Fernandez, Elisa Montes, and Fernando Rey. Part of the problem with this sequel is that the characters are not as likable as those in the original. The film is still very good, but just doesn't reach the same level of the first one. Elmer Bernstein's music is still one of the greatest movie soundtracks of all-time. The DVD is pretty good with a widescreen presentation and theatrical trailer included. Different tone than the original Magnificent Seven(still a classic) but a good movie nonetheless. Check it out!"
MISUNDERSTOOD SEQUEL THAT ENTERTAINS
gobirds2 | 07/08/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yes this one is darker than the first, but I don't think that's a bad thing. It's a very good film if accepted for it's what it is: a great Western. I'm glad they didn't just copy the first but came up with a different and darker approach that really drew me in. I know that the party line has been to dislike this sequel, but man is it great! Some have said on here that there's no character development. Not true! There's plenty of depth here. Not as much humor as the first perhaps, but it's gritty and really entertained this Western fan. Great cast. Great action. Plenty of absorbing character elements that drew me in. Much better than some say it is. I loved every second of this movie."