The Magnificent Seven [Special Edition] [DVD] [1960]

  • SKU: 4152357
  • Release Date: 05/08/2001
  • Rating: R
John Sturges' The Magnificent Seven has finally gotten the treatment that it deserves, 41 years after its original release, complete with an accompanying narration, a feature-length documentary about its making, and a bunch of trailers. The movie, now considered one of a handful of classic Westerns -- alongside John Ford's Stagecoach and My Darling Clementine, Fred Zinnemann's High Noon, and Howard Hawks' Rio Bravo -- was dumped on the U.S. market in 1960, closed quickly, became a massive hit overseas, and was re-released here to massive success. United Artists, still oblivious to what they had, sold it to television very quickly, then degraded the original with a series of ever-poorer sequels. It was issued at least three times on laserdisc, the first two in totally unacceptable full-screen and letterboxed editions, then one last time in an improved version from a partly restored source, with an unmixed music track (not on the DVD) and with the first sequel, Return of the Magnificent Seven, appended. This DVD makes that last laserdisc almost irrelevant, except for the presence of the unmixed music on the latter -- but even that has been made somewhat obsolete with the release of the actual soundtrack from the film (there was no soundtrack LP released in 1960). The picture is sharp and the colors rich and solid (though one suspects a full-blown restoration might look even better in that regard), and the contrasts are about all that one could hope for. The audio is a little muted, but pumps up alright and very cleanly; overall this is the best way to see the movie in 40 years. The bonus materials are as big a treat as the presentation of the movie. Eli Wallach, Walter Mirisch, James Coburn, and Robert Relyea (the assistant to director/producer Sturges) are dazzling in their recollections, and glowing in their recollections of Sturges' work, but also in their appreciation of Akira Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai, the source for this movie. It's also interesting to hear the contrast between the recollections of how the project originated here, versus the material on the documentary film that also appears on the disc -- associate producer Louis Morheim rightfully claims credit on the latter for generating the idea, though Yul Brynner also claimed for years that he had conceived of the notion. The discussion is warm, funny, and lively, and the only thing that might have made it better would be if Sturges had lived to record this track; when Sturges recorded his audio track for Criterion's laserdisc edition of The Great Escape in 1992, he expressed the fervent wish that he be asked to do one for The Magnificent Seven. And one wishes that the producers could have gotten Brad Dexter to contribute, and that there were fewer long blank stretches, though the unnarrated portions are interesting and exciting to watch. The documentary makes for good viewing on its own, and would have been worth a ten dollar bonus charge. One key element of the production that has seldom been discussed anywhere are the problems that the film ran into with the Mexican government. It was considered essential, both for verisimilitude and to avoid an impending writers' strike, that The Magnificent Seven be shot in Mexico, but Robert Aldrich's film Vera Cruz, which had been shot there (and was also a UA film), had outraged the government with what it felt was the offensive portrayal of the Mexican population. It took some serious diplomacy on the part of Sturges and the other makers of the movie -- and the presence of a censor from the government on the set to approve virtually every shot and line of dialogue -- to get The Magnificent Seven approved. The menu opens automatically on start-up, the "Special Features" section is easy to access and manipulate, the chapter markers are generous and well chosen, and the disc is accompanied by a souvenir booklet about the production.
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Overview

Ratings & Reviews


Overall Customer Rating:
98% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (605 out of 620)

Special Features


  • Documentary
  • Audio commentary by Eli Wallach, James Coburn, and Walter Mirisch
  • Photo Gallery
  • Collectible booklet
  • Original theatrical trailers

Synopsis


The Magnificent Seven
Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai (1954) is westernized as The Magnificent Seven. Yul Brynner plays Chris, a mercenary hired to protect a Mexican farming village from its annual invasion by bandit Calvera (Eli Wallach). As Elmer Bernstein's unforgettable theme music (later immortalized as the "Marlboro Man" leitmotif) blasts away in the background, Chris rounds up six fellow soldiers of fortune to help him form a united front against the bandits. The remaining "magnificent six" are played by Charles Bronson, Steve McQueen, Horst Buchholz, Robert Vaughn, James Coburn, and (the one that everybody forgets) Brad Dexter. Though jam-packed with action, William Roberts's screenplay pauses long enough to flesh out each of its characters, allowing the audience to pick their own favorites. The Magnificent Seven was followed by three sequels, not to mention dozens of imitations. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew


  • Yul Brynner
    Yul Brynner - Chris
  • Eli Wallach
    Eli Wallach - Calvera
  • Steve McQueen
    Steve McQueen - Vin
  • Horst Buchholz
    Horst Buchholz - Chico
  • Charles Bronson
    Charles Bronson - O'Reilly



Overall customer rating

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars with 620 reviews

98%of customers would recommend this to a friend

Most helpful reviews

See all customer reviews
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    THE ORIGINAL !

    Posted
    uncletanoose
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    • My Best Buy® Member
    • Top 500 Contributor

    Treat yourself to the old school version of this iconic western and then decide which one's best !

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Magnificent Seven is a GREAT Classic

    Posted
    Teri
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    • My Best Buy® Member

    You don't want to miss this movie. It certainly is a classic. Typically I don't care much for westerns, however, I grew up with them in my life with my father, even my mother liked westerns. They cast of characters are magnificent in their own right. They (Hollywood) just don't make them like they used to anymore. It's a movie you will want to watch more than once, and keep in your library.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Classics Never Die

    Posted
    Prelude2Cinema
    • Verified Purchaser

    Love going behind the scenes of this classic movie. Love the quality of the Blue-ray and great price to build my collection.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Classic

    Posted
    Nativewarrior
    • Verified Purchaser

    I picked up this all time great western for only 5 dollars. It looks great on blu ray. Features a lot of great actors early in their career. For anyone who loves westerns this is a must buy.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    A CLASSIC

    Posted
    SIVADLR
    • Verified Purchaser

    WHAT CAN I SAY! ONE OF THE BEST WESTERNS EVER MADE.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    great western

    Posted
    prlwctd

    This great western remake of Akira Kurosawa's film The Seven Samurai should be required viewing for western lovers. The title characters (Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn, Charles Bronson, Brad Dexter, & Horst Buchholz) are recruited by villagers to fight a bandit (Eli Wallach) who has been terrorizing them. The classic Elmer Bernstein music is the icing on the cake. Without this film, we'd have never seen The Right Stuff, Three Amigos!, or even Monsters, Inc.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    A classic western

    Posted
    tbgrewal
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    One of the greats although based upon The Seven Samurai.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Classic Western

    Posted
    MovieLover
    • Verified Purchaser
    • My Best Buy® Member

    Always a classic Western with so many great celebrities. If you like Westerns, you'll definitely like this one! A real keeper.

    I would recommend this to a friend



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