MOVIE: The Magnificent Seven

The Magnificent Seven (1960) is an American western film directed by John Sturges and starring Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach and Steve McQueen. The picture is an Old West-style remake of Akira Kurosawa's Japanese-language film Seven Samurai (1954). The supporting cast features Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, James Coburn, Brad Dexter, and Horst Buchholz. They play a group of seven American gunfighters hired to protect a small agricultural village in Mexico from a group of marauding native bandits led by Calvera (Eli Wallach). The film's musical score was composed by Elmer Bernstein. In 2013, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". Plot A Mexican village is periodically raided for food and supplies by bandits led by Calvera (Eli Wallach). As he and his men ride away from their latest visit, Calvera promises to return for more booty and loot the village again. Taking what meager goods they have, the village leaders ride to a town just inside the American border hoping to barter for weapons to defend themselves. While there, they encounter Chris Adams (Yul Brynner), a veteran Cajun gunslinger; after listening to their tale, Chris suggests that the village hire more gunfighters as they would be cheaper than guns and ammunition. The village men relentlessly try to convince him to be their gunman; while at first he agrees just to help them find men, eventually he decides to help them out in person and find six other men to join them, despite the poor pay offered. The other men include hotheaded, inexperienced Chico (Horst Buchholz); Chris's friend Harry Luck (Brad Dexter) who believes Chris is seeking treasure; the drifter Vin Tanner (Steve McQueen), who has gone broke after a round of gambling and is loath to accept a position as a store clerk; Bernardo O'Reilly (Charles Bronson), a gunfighter of Irish-Mexican heritage who has fallen on hard times; a cowboy, Britt (James Coburn), who joins for the challenge involved; and an on-the-run gunman Lee (Robert Vaughn) in the midst of a crisis of confidence. The group recognizes they will be outnumbered but hope that, when Calvera realizes that the village has hired them, he will move on to a different village. Arriving at the village, the seven begin to train the villagers how to defend themselves. They all find themselves bonding with the villagers, sharing the meal the women of the village have made them when they discover that the villagers have little food themselves. Chico is fascinated by Petra (Rosenda Monteros), one of the village's young women, while Bernardo begins to bond with three of the village's little boys.[4][5] Lee, meanwhile, struggles with nightmares and fears the loss of his skills. Calvera and his bandits soon arrive, sustain heavy losses, and are run out of town by the gunmen and the villagers working in concert. Chico, who is Mexican, follows Calvera back to his camp, pretending to be one of the gang of bandits. There he learns that Calvera still plans to return and raid the village because he is desperate for food to feed his men. Chico reports this back to Chris and the rest of the men. Though a part of the group believes they should leave, Chris insists that they stay; and they ride out to make a surprise raid on Calvera's camp. However, they find the camp empty; on returning to the village, they find that the fearful villagers have allowed Calvera to take control. Calvera spares the gunmen's lives, believing they have learned the lesson that the simple farmers are not worth fighting for, and fearing reprisals from the U.S. Army. The seven are escorted out of the village. The group debates their next move, and all but Harry agree to return and free the village from Calvera. Harry believes the effort will lead to their deaths and rides off alone. A gunfight breaks out, and the villagers, recognizing the courage of the gunmen, soon join in the fight. Bernardo is killed protecting the children he had befriended, and Britt and Lee die after killing a considerable number of bandits. Harry, who had a change of heart, arrives in time to protect Chris but is fatally shot. The bandits are soon routed, and Chris shoots Calvera. Calvera, in his dying breath, asks him, "You came back ... to a place like this—why? A man like you—why?" The three remaining gunmen help to bury their own and the villagers' dead. Chico decides to stay in the village with Petra, while Chris and Vin begin to ride out. The village elder bids them farewell and comments that it is only the villagers who have really won: "You're like the wind, blowing over the land and ... passing on ... ¡Vaya con Dios!" However, as they leave and pass the graves of their fallen comrades, Chris fatalistically observes: "The Old Man was right. Only the farmers won. We lost. We'll always lose.