Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Guns of the Magnificent Seven (1969)

Director: Paul Wendkis

Writer: Herman Hoffman

Composer: Elmer Bernstein

Starring: George Kennedy, James Whitmore, Monte Markham, Reni Santoni, Bernie Casey, Scott Thomas, Joe Don Baker, Tony Davis, Michael Ansara, Frank Silvera, Wende Wagner, Sancho Gracia, Luis Rivera, George Rigaud, Fernando Rey, Vincente Sangiovanni, Ramon Serrano

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The Magnificent Seven are back - and they don't aim to please.

Plot: A Mexican revolutionary hires an American gunslinger to organize the rescue of their leader from a brutal army prison.

My rating:  8/10

Will I watch it again?  Yes!!!

Dude!  Good flick!  It's great seeing George Kennedy in a leading role.  He's a badass and he's a lot more fun to watch than Yul Brynner was in RETURN OF THE SEVEN (1966).  This is a better film than that one all the way around.  Hell, GUNS should have been the first sequel instead of RETURN.  It's a great flick that delivers the action/Western goods.  Unlike the previous two films, there's no finger counting as each member joins the group.  We get this after the last one is recruited...

and that's it.  Plus, it's not even remotely cheesy how the do it.  It happens at the end of a nicely acted and tender scene when Chris (Kennedy) talks to PJ who ends up being the last to join.  George Kennedy is a badass.  I would've loved to have met him before he passed earlier this year.  I've never seen an interview with him where he wasn't full of beans and smiling.  Elmer Bernstein's familiar music is back but there's a lot more new material than in RETURN.  That was a relief as I'm growing tired of hearing the same themes over and over.  Elmer must've loved taking these gigs because he didn't have to write much.  At least for this one I feel like he earned his check.  It's a good score.  It's so refreshing (in this series) to have the heroes not do the same thing they did in the last one.  RETURN was nothing more than a carbon copy (more or less) of the 1960 film. 

What a wonderful ensemble cast.  There's not a slouch among them.  Top drawer stuff.  Guns has one character, Chris (and George does a better job than Yul (sorry, Yul, I love ya but George is all manly badass) that's a holdover from the earlier films and the only other similarity is some fightin' men go after the bad Mexican cuss and puts the whoop up on his ass.  I LOVED that it wasn't a peasant village and the big battle is violent and lots of fun.  I think more of the seven die in this one than the previous films.  I'm totally going to watch this again someday.  It's a gritty Western from an era when Westerns were still highly admired and frequently made.  I want a time machine.  I'd have a few drinks with George and convince him to put me in one of his movies.  The rest will be legend.   The MGM DVD gives you the film in a great looking anamorphic widescreen print but not one extra. 

No comments:

Post a Comment