Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Ten Statements About....THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN RIDE! (1972)

"I know I look nothing like George Kennedy or Yul Brynner.
Just go with it."
“Well, should we bury 'em?"
“The living need us more."

1) Maybe it’s because Lee Van Cleef is a different kind of actor than either Yul Brynner or George Kennedy, but his Chris Allen is a lot more ruthless and near-unfeeling in his deadpanedness.  At times, his attitude is downright offputting.

2) Even though it all happens off-screen, this film is awful rapey.  Not only is it implied strongly that villain Del Toro and his men have had their way with the women of Magdelena, but it’s explicitly stated that Mariette Hartley’s Arietta was violated before she was killed.

3) And speaking of Del Toro--because the character doesn’t appear until literally the last moment, we’re never given the sense of him the previous films gave us of their bad guys.  As a result, he’s a paper tiger, a target for the seven to shoot at.

4) I don’t care how hard you try, it’s impossible to make the sight of our heroes’ horses strolling along around an uncovered wagon look majestic.

"Watch it...critics right around this corner.  And they ain't
pretty!"
5) For a village of Mexican farmers, the women are all uniformly white.

6) By having the kid Chris holds partially responsible for Arietta’s death killed (off screen) by someone else, it sort of blunts the character’s arc.  If they had allowed the kid to be a part of Del Toro’s gang and confront Chris in the climax, the film would have had a more satisfying spine.

7) This film is so...drab.  The main characters are dressed not in the easily definable, colorful outfits of previous films in the series, but in dark, lookalike clothing.

"You gals are mighty white..."
8) I miss the ‘getting the band together’ sequences the previous films had.  The remaining five members are literally picked up in one fell swoop at the prison.

9) You know what would have made it easier to tell the seven apart?  Saying their names more than once, and even then in an offhanded way.

10) Gee, it’s nice to know that Chris gets over the death of his pregnant wife quick enough to take up with Stephanie Powers.  Good way to engender character sympathies, writers.

Overall...a tired, dull and lackluster last entry in the series with just enough of a scuzzy edge to it to make it unappealing.

1 comment:

  1. This is the one MAGNIFICENT SEVEN movie I don't own on DVD. It contains the one performance by Lee Van Cleef I don't like, it was so obviously made on the cheap that it looks more like a Made For TV Movie than a theatrical feature and the concept here is more "Dirty Dozen" than "Magnificent Seven" as all of these characters are far from being anywhere near Magnificent. My viewing recommendation:
    The Seven Samurai (because it is the granddaddy, after all)
    The Magnificent Seven
    The Return of The Magnificent Seven
    Guns of The Magnificent Seven
    Then skip this one and jump straight to the remake starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt

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