One town without hope is about to meet seven men without fear! Lee Van Cleef takes on the role of the legendary Chris Adams in this thrilling, action-packed finale of the hard-hitting western film series! Married and on ... more »the side of the law, Marshal Adams (Van Cleef) has settled in Arizona Territory. When his wife (Mariette Hartley) is killed, Chris tracks down the gunmen and administers swift justice but then discovers that a nearby border town is under attack. A ruthless horde of marauders has killed all the men and will come back for the women Â? unless Chris and his bold recruits can stop them. Outnumbered, but with a steely resolve and an arsenal of firepower, the gunfighters saddle up for the fight of their lives!« less
Larry N. from BEALETON, VA Reviewed on 12/27/2014...
This final episode of the Magnificent Seven series is just OK in my opinion. It's a quite a bit different than the previous three.
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Peter Q. (Petequig) Reviewed on 9/28/2009...
All Westerns have some value, but this one stretches the 'Magnificent Seven' franchise a little too far. Lee VanCleef always makes the ride worthwhile.
End of an Era
gobirds2 | New England | 04/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I grew up with the original THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (1960) to the extent that it became an integral part of my youth. I greeted RETURN OF THE SEVEN (1966) with open arms and grew to endear GUNS OF THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (1968). I first saw THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN RIDE! in 1972 on its initial theatrical release. In many ways it brakes away from the story line formula established by its three predecessors and in some ways is a disappointment.
The character of Chris, the leader of the seven now portrayed by Lee Van Cleef, is a complete departure from that established by Yul Brynner in THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN and again in RETURN OF THE SEVEN. Instead of a noble gunslinger that skirts the law, Lee Van Cleef's Chris is a cynical lawman who shoots first and asks questions latter. We see Van Cleef reluctant to help an old friend (Ralph Waite) who desperately needs his aid. Van Cleef's Chris is even happily married (to Mariette Hartley) as opposed to Brynner's Chris who was the immitigable stoic yet virtuous loner.
Much of the plot also goes against formula except for the conflict and climax which ultimately has the seven going up against seemingly insurmountable odds from yet another bandit leader. The earlier part of the film has lawman Chris pursued by journalist Noah Forbes (Michael Callan) who is bent on making him a legendary Western hero in print. It also deals with Chris avenging the murder and ravaging of his wife by a pair of young thugs (Gary Busey and Hank Allan). Gradually the film falls into the formula of the seven coming to the rescue of the downtrodden once again. Interestingly, the film once again breaks formula when Chris recruits the seven. After signing on journalist Forbes, we get shades of THE DIRTY DOZEN when Chris goes to the territorial prison to recruit five inmates to round out the seven. These men are portrayed by Ed Lauter, Luke Askew, James B. Sikking, Pedro Armendariz Jr. and Bill Lucking.
The film's budget looks terribly feeble in comparison to its three predecessors. It looks like a "back lot" production. Even Elmer Bernstein's score has lost its majestic quality. The orchestra sounds as if it were manned far below that of a standard size symphony, which can not be blamed on Bernstein if that's what the budget allowed. Some of the film's strong points are its witty dialog, an excellent performance by Luke Askew and the preparation and defense of the village by the seven.
THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN RIDE! seems much less like the fourth film in a movie series but rather a half-hearted effort to turn out one more story that may have looked more effective on television than on the big screen. The presence of Stefanie Powers as the love interest even seems to reinforce this impression. In some ways THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN RIDE! is an appropriate end to this quartet of films. It was really a reflection of the times. It represented an end of an era when the Western once rode tall in the saddle of the silver screen. By 1972 that era was sadly coming to an end. Looking back with affection I am now glad that Lee Van Cleef, a true veteran of the Western, ended this one on a note of endearing optimism. The spirit of those magnificent seven men will always live in our hearts."
Rob | Texas | 10/04/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I can't say I was expecting much from the final Magnificent Seven movie, but with Lee Van Cleef in it, I had to check it out. Of course, nothing matches the first film, but this one is better than Return of the Seven, which I thought had a weak premise. "Ride", however, begins a bit weak, but once Chris gets on the trail, its an absorbing story that will leave some sweat on your palms. The usual "Seven" situation is given a twist by making it a village of women to be defended against further rapine and the way that Van Cleef must ensure the allegiance of his current allies. The current crew does not have the charisma of the original Seven except for Van Cleef, Michael Callan, and Luke Askew. Askew's character is fun to watch, since he is the ultimate test of Van Cleef's leadership. This makes the ending both appropriate and humorous. Van Cleef's method of tactical dispersal of the women is ingenious and helps give some definition to some of the characters. Overall, I was impressed by how small a budget it must have taken to make this film and yet it's an effective, enjoyable movie."
Brand New 7 Doing Their Number
Algonquin | 12/06/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a brand new 7 doing their number or so the poster said. According to the United Artists Pressbook this is not a true sequel to the three preceding films. Instead it is a tale of a brand new Seven rooted to themes and traditions that the earlier films embraced. That same United Artists Pressbook also pointed out that this film contained a very original and innovative story while not abandoning the thematic idea of seven gunmen coming to the rescue of the downtrodden. Chris is the main character of this film and the entire story revolves around him rather than the seven as a cohesive force. Chris, portrayed by a very engaging Lee Van Cleef, is an ex-gunman turned town marshal and now married. Where all three previous films opened with a protracted conflict affecting the lives of poor Mexican farmers, this film has no apparent immediate danger that would draw Chris into and away from his current lifestyle. Needless to say, that changes dramatically. This film really caries no formula recognizable from THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN but approaches the conflict with a bandit hoard quite differently. The conflict, the motivations and the stakes are all different. This film lacks the grandeur or depth of its predecessors and plays out acts of violence for effect rather than substance. Elmer Bernstein apparently assembled a much smaller orchestra perhaps feeling a need to bid farewell to the Seven with a whimper rather than imply some majestic idealism as the sun was setting fast on day of the Western. "
Saturday Matinee Stuff
kametamorphic | East Haven | 04/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN RIDE! showcases an outstanding cast that includes Lee Van Cleef, Stefanie Powers, Mariette Hartley, Michael Callan, Luke Askew, James B. Sikking, Ralph Waite and Pedro Armendariz Jr. This time Lee Van Cleef leads the Magnificent Seven with a daring plan to save a town from a vengeful bandit. This movie has another outstanding score by Elmer Bernstein."