In a small village, peasants have suffered for years from the outrages of local bandits. Their leader, Culver, terrorizes the whole neighborhood, tormenting the villagers with constant extortions and punishments. One day, the villagers decide to hire their own defenders – seven armed horsemen. The magnificent seven quickly restore order, but Culvera still manages to escape. And then the capture of the villain and his associates becomes a matter of honor for the Magnificent Seven.
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And Colonel Colt made everyone equal again.
There are dashing Winchester and Remington handymen walking around in cowboy Texas, whose chief talent consists in dashing out a revolver to the cotton. The particularly advanced ones get to wear boots with spurs, jeans, a plaid shirt, and a stetson hat. Or sombreros, ponchos, and buffalo pants. And, of course, to kill packs of drunken, unshaven bandits in Westerns.
The Soviet Union was unpretentious about familiarity with foreign cinema. The Mexican melodrama Yesenia was number one in attendance, followed by The Magnificent Seven. And nostalgic memories are stronger than all critical convictions or new impressions. And the fearless defenders of the Mexican peasants, headed by the Sakhalin-born Yuli Borisovich Brynner, took their rightful place in the pantheon of movie characters, moving Fantomas and Fanfan the Tulip.
And, it is unseemly to question the quality of our parents’ beloved movie. Yes, everyone already knows that Seven sits on the shoulders of Akiro Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, and they, in their turn, were born from Sergei Gerasimov’s Seven Brave. But the halo of legend does its job. And John Sturges’ film is regularly mentioned in Western anthologies.
Which reawakens interest in revisiting the picture. The dry sand scattered by the hooves of the ridden mustangs, the steely gaze of the daredevils, the folklore of the farmers. Critics note a step in the development of the genre, which consists in increasing the number of protagonists, because usually the cowboy-hero is either alone or with a faithful partner (girl). I do not know, to me, Brynner clearly pulled the blanket of attention on himself. Culver’s main villain, on the other hand, was more of an operetta villain. I can’t help but think of the brutal Lee Van Cleef, shading Clint Eastwood in relief.
The plot is downright fabulous. About good and evil. Good and bad. Winning, of course, always the good. Chris lamented that all the laurels shook the farmers, but we know who the main character here.
From today’s point of view, it was unusual to see a whole team of handsome white men. Today’s filmmakers would have added a Negro or an Indian, maybe a girl or an invalid, or even, to think, an inhabitant of Brokeback Mountain. That’s probably why you’re drawn to the movies of the ’60s, when you didn’t bashfully hide a cigar in your teeth, when you drank whiskey from your throat. Political correctness, that’s a drag, too, isn’t it?
Four defenders were left to lie forever beneath the roughly chipped crosses, one was left to cultivate maize, and a couple of friends galloped leisurely across the hot prairie with a sense of restored justice. They’ll be back in sequels, but they’ll only pique the interest of fans of the genre. Oh, and John Sturges will no longer come close to the peak of his career (the closest he came was with ‘Joe Kidd’). The water has run out.
And ‘The Magnificent Seven’ will remain a model of Wild West tunes. At least in the eyes of our audience.
Codec: HEVC / H.265 (85.0 Mb/s)
Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.35:1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
English: Dolby Digital 2.0
English, English SDH.