the magnificent seven: still magnificent

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Yesterday, my family celebrated my grandpa’s birthday.  It was a great time, filled with yummy food and fun gifts and lots of happy moments.  And, afterwards, Grandpa, my four oldest siblings (Noah, Ezra, Elisabeth, and Rebekah), and I all sat down to watch The Magnificent Seven together.  It was the first time Grandpa had seen it (which was a surprise, because he loves watching old movies) and he really, really enjoyed it.  My other siblings have all seen Mag7 about as many times as I have (seven?  eight?) and they didn’t pay much attention this time around.  But since it is my favorite movie of all time, I focused pretty much all my attention on it.

Despite this being, in all actuality, probably the tenth time I’ve seen Mag7, I still loved it just as much as the first time I saw it.  So who cares that I have every piece of dialogue memorized? (I’m not kidding.)  Not to mention every scene and every piece of music and almost every camera angle.  It’s still epic.  And since the new Mag7 movie recently hit theatres, I figured it was time to discuss my love for the original some more.  Because I haven’t done that for a while, and it’s Important.  (However, contrary to my loud exclamations of disgust when I watched the first trailer for the new movie, I’m not dead-set against the remake.  But I’m still pretty wary.  I mean, the original Mag7 is very nearly flawless.  What could compete with that?)

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Anyway, I thought I’d just share a bunch of random things that stood out to me during this viewing, mostly little things.

  • My favorite scene is still Britt’s introductory scene.  Then the hearse scene.  Love the music in that.
  • Bernardo is my favorite character after Britt.
  • That score is still utterly amazing.  I could listen to it all day.  I particularly like how it plays throughout the scenes when the six (later to be seven, of course) are riding to the village for the first time.  In fact, I really enjoy that whole sequence.
  • Dialogue!  Still makes me a little sad in places, a little melancholy in others.  But most of it just makes me grin a whole lot.
  • I LOVE THESE CHARACTERS.  Even Calvera.
  • Seriously, this movie is my happy place.  I mean, I can watch it anytime, anywhere, in whatever mood, and still slip effortlessly into a world of gunmen, gorgeous scenery, heart-tugging subplots and characters arcs, and lots and lots of epic music.  There are very few movies/TV shows/books that make me feel that way, and Mag7 is probably at the very top of the list.
  • All the scene-stealing stuff that everyone (but especially Steve McQueen) does is hilarious.
  • “Nobody throws me my own guns and says ‘Run’.  Nobody.”  Britt, you are still awesome.  Also, I love the death glare you give the farmers after Chico comes in and ruins everything by dramatically telling everyone that Calvera is coming back.
  • There’s so much poignancy to the ending.  I can’t stand it. (But, at the same time, I love it.)
  • Those little Mexican kids that ‘adopt’ Bernardo are adorable.
  • This is one of those movies I wish I could go back and watch all over again.
  • Okay, so after watching this movie about ten times, I think I’m finally starting to ‘get’ Chico.  Maybe it’s because I’m growing up a little myself, but I can understand him a little better.  I mean, he basically hero-worships these guys and he’s trying really hard to be like them while also trying to forget his past and stifle the call of his old life.  I still don’t like him, not by a long shot, but I understand him.  And I really do like how he decides to settle down in the end.
  • That ‘arithmetic’ scene. *snifffff*
  • Basically, I defy the remake.  Be as amazing as you like, but you will never, ever measure up to the original.  And that’s just the way it is.

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Eva

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10 thoughts on “the magnificent seven: still magnificent

  1. My brother just watched the remake this weekend. He told me that a lot of it was really well-done, but he thought the villain and the main character were both weaker than they should’ve been (characterization-wise). But overall, he was pleased with it, I’d say.

    I haven’t seen the original . . . because, to be perfectly honest, I have a lot of trouble “getting into” old movies. I can’t explain exactly why, but I–well, I just can’t get into them. Weird. (Maybe it’s because the colors are slightly “off” a lot of the time? My eyes/brain can be super picky about little visual things like that . . .)

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  2. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. You know I love this movie. You know I consider it the finest western ever made. But I’m saying so again 🙂

    I’m trying to remember if Chico ever annoyed me. I think he’s always amused me — he’s like the Billy Nelson of the group, in over his head but doing his best, and finding that when it counts, he can measure up after all.

    in fact, you could argue that Hanley = Chris, Saunders = Vin, Kirby = Harry, Caje = Britt, Billy = Chico, and… Doc a little bit = Bernardo, in that he’s very caring. Littlejohn doesn’t quite = Lee, except that people tend to judge them wrongly…

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  3. What a magnificent post!
    It is hard to think of a more enduring theme song than Elmer Bernstein’s grand introduction to this iconic band of men, I loved this film from first viewing and watched it every Christmas as a child. All the seven (and Eli Wallach) are great, but Bronson and Coburn will always be my favourites!

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