seven awesome things about Mag7

Emma is hosting her Legends of Western Cinema blog week again, and while I didn’t participate in the last one (because, a year ago, I didn’t like Westerns), I thought I would this time.  Since watching The Magnificent Seven, my interest in Westerns has skyrocketed, but I’ve only seen a pitiful few – High Noon, Ride Lonesome, and The Ox-Bow Incident are the only other ones that come to mind, which is a shame, isn’t it?  Any suggestions from you guys?  I’d really like to broaden out and watch some new films (a LOT of new ones).  Anyway…this post isn’t about my lack of eduction when it comes to Western movies.  It’s about the awesomeness that is The Magnificent Seven (aka Mag7).

~The insanely amazing music.  Elmer Bernstein, you are a genius.  An absolute genius.  You created perfect, unique scores for two of my favorite movies (Mag7, The Great Escape) and you accomplished your goal of moving Mag7’s story along with music, without all the talky scenes and quiet moments getting draggy.  When I’m feeling low, all I have to do is listen to that incredibly cocky, upbeat theme for Great Escape or (more often than not) the epic, high-spirited Mag7 soundtrack.  My hat’s off to you.

~The characters.  There are seven very good reasons to watch Mag7: Chris, Vin, Britt, Bernardo, Lee, Harry, and Calvera.  Because they’re awesome.  And y’know, I’ve even come to accept Chico + understand how his story arc contributes to the plot + appreciate his character development.  Vin is played by Steve McQueen, so of COURSE he’s gonna be perfect; ditto for Britt/James Coburn and Bernardo/Charles Bronson.  And all the other guys are great too, even Calvera, who happens to be one of the best villains ever, so there you go.  Great cast of characters all around.

~A surprising amount of depth for a Western/action movie.  Seriously, who doesn’t tear up at the ending?  (Come on, you know you did.)  Ending aside (’cause I’m devoting a whole point to it later), there are other moments throughout Mag7 that tend to hit me pretty hard, like the ‘gunfighter arithmetic’ scene.  Or the “I just didn’t want you to think you were the only sucker in town” line.  The thing is, for the amount of plot crammed into the film’s two hours and seven minutes, the characterization is surprisingly deep, which naturally makes for thoughtful moments in the script.

~Allllll those ridiculously quotable lines.  “I’ve been offered a lot for my work, but never everything.”  “Fella says I’m going to make a crackerjack clerk.  Crackerjack.”  “No, I’m doing this because I’m an eccentric millionaire.”  “You don’t happen to have an older, grateful sister, do you?”  “We deal in lead, friend.”  “Generosity. That was my first mistake. I leave these people a little bit extra and they hire these men to make trouble.”  “We come cheaper by the bunch.”  “Nobody throws me my own guns and says run. Nobody.”

~The knife scene.  Because it’s one of my favorite movie scenes EVER.

~The ending.  Full of poignancy and bits of hopelessness, but also hope.  Those kids laying flowers on Bernardo’s grave, The Old Man inviting Chris and Vin and Chico to stay (but admitting that the villagers will not be sad to see them go), Chico’s return, and Chris and Vin riding off into the proverbial sunset (okay, it’s actually mid-afternoon, but whatever) after Chris’ pronouncement that “The Old Man was right. Only the farmers won. We lost. We’ll always lose.” *sniffffff*  For such an exciting, action-based movie, it ends a pretty sad, serious note, doesn’t it?

~Mag7’s endless re-watchability.  In the words of one of my friends, how many times do you have to see The Magnificent Seven before you’ve really watched it?  From the moment when the stirring theme thunders over the speakers to when the words “The End” appear on-screen, I’m hooked.  Every. Single. Time.  Ohhhhh, it’s SO amazing and incredible and marvelous and wonderful and there really aren’t enough words to describe the way I feel about this film.  It is truly magnificent.  If you’ve never watched it, you’re totally missing out.  Totally.

So there you have it.  Seven reasons why The Magnificent Seven is awesome + why you need to watch it right now, today, no delay, even if you’ve seen it a gazillion times before.  Go, go, go!

Eva

P.S. I’ve also reviewed Mag7, if anyone’s interested.

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14 thoughts on “seven awesome things about Mag7

  1. I need to watch it. Yes. I do.
    I wish I had some suggestions about good Western movies for you . . . but unfortunately, I’ve watched basically zero. I know Emma and Olivia have said a lot of good things about “Hidalgo” and “True Grit” (the new version that is).
    Oh, I did REALLY enjoy “Seabiscuit,” which isn’t exactly a Western . . . but a lot of the action takes place out West, one of the major characters is a former cowboy, and the plot revolves around a horse . . . so maybe that counts. It’s a wonderful story overall and really well-acted, although I would definitely recommend checking it out on Plugged-In or someplace before watching it, because there is a good bit of swearing and some other inappropriate stuff.

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    • I’ve seen Hidalgo, actually, but it was a reeeeally long time ago, so I forgot to add it to the list. My dad keeps bugging me to watch True Grit, but I’m not sure when that will happen, ’cause we don’t own it on DVD.

      Is that the movie based on Laura Hillenbrand’s book? I’ve read the book, and really enjoyed it, and also liked the older version of Seabiscuit (with Shirley Temple), so I might get my parents to preview the new one for me. 🙂 Thanks for the recommendation(s)!

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      • Yep! That’s the one! I didn’t read the book, but I really, really enjoyed the movie–I thought it was incredibly well-done, both as a “horse story” AND as a “people story.” The three lead actors–Jeff Bridges, Toby Maguire, and Chris Cooper–were just incredible. Especially Toby Maguire. And it had a really inspiring theme–“You don’t throw a whole life away just because it’s banged up a little.”

        I would highly recommend it, especially if you can get somebody to tell you when the few “objectionable” scenes are coming so you can skip them.

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  2. It is entirely right and proper that you put the score at #1. Elmer Bernstein ought to have gotten top billing, in my opinion. 🙂

    I think you hit all the best points here. The quotable lines part is one of my favorite things—Calvera’s awfully quotable for a villain, too, isn’t he? (“Somehow I don’t think you’ve solved my problem!”)

    Oh, and if you’re looking for movie suggestions, I’ve got a post scheduled for Friday that might help for starters!

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    • In my opinion, his score makes the whole movie. The cast and the script and all that are great and cool and awesome, but it’s the music that really does it for me. I really need to listen to more of Elmer Bernstein’s scores.

      Calvera’s one of the best screen villains ever, and so much of that comes from all the great dialogue he was given.

      Ooooh…I’m looking forward to that post! 🙂

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  3. This movie. Oh, the perfection that is this movie.

    Cowboy quotes Calverra the most, especially, “I know we took it anyway! I’m just showing you how little respect people have for religion these days.” And “In Texas, only Texans can rob banks.”

    Westerns you should see:

    3:10 to Yuma (the 1957) — review coming later this week on my blog
    The Searchers — juicy and serious
    Rio Bravo — fun and awesome
    Destry Rides Again (1939 version) — funny and poignant
    The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance — serious and amazing
    Shane — sweet and good
    Silverado — fun, but serious about it
    Support Your Local Sheriff — hilarious and quotable

    But none of them are as perfect as Mag7. That’s just life.

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  4. Alright, apparently this is going to have to be priority. I MUST WATCH THIS. Usually I don’t like the old OLD westerns as much as, say the ones from the 80’s, but maybe that’s because mostly all the ones I’ve seen are from the 80’s!

    Hmmm, if you really ARE on the lookout for more good westerns to watch, I can help you with that. ;-D The first four I recommend to people are True Grit (the new one), Silverado, Hidalgo, and my absolute favorite Lonesome Dove.

    Thanks for your contribution, Eva! 🙂

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    • Yes, watch it! Let me know what you think when you do. 🙂 And you know what? If I can locate it in my family’s DVD collection today, I’m going to start watching Hidalgo. Promise.

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