ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How the West Was Really Won, Magnificently!

Updated on April 19, 2021
Robert J Sodaro profile image

Robert J. Sodaro is an American-born writer, editor, and digital graphic artist who loves writing about comics, movies, and literature.

The Magnificent Seven

A remake worthy of the original!
A remake worthy of the original! | Source


e Magnificent Seven: Rated PG-13“ (2 hours, 13 minutes)

Starring: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Byung-hun Lee

Directed by: Antoine Fuqua

To Remake or not Remake; That is the Question!

As a rule, we are not in favor of remakes, especially when those remakes are of most excellently made, classic films. After all, it was the production values and the acting that mad the film work so well in the first place, so unless you plan on bringing something new, different, or exciting to the remake why even bother? (In fact, our stand has always been why remake an iconic film, it was made excellently in the first place, why not take a mediocre film, or one that should have/could have been great and make it better — could you seriously think that anyone could make The Godfather I or II better? Citizen Caine, Gone with the Wind?) And yet, here we are reviewing a remake of The Magnificent Seven.

The Magnificent Seven (Special 1960 Edition)

The Magnificent Seven (Special Edition)
The Magnificent Seven (Special Edition)
Spectacular gun battles, epic-sized heroes and an all-star cast that includes Academy AwardÂ(r) winners Yul Brynner* and James Coburn**, together with Steve McQueen, Eli Wallach and Charles Bronson, make The Magnificent Seven a legend among westerns. Spawning three sequels and a successful television series, and featuring Elmer Bernstein's OscarÂ(r)-nominated*** score, thisstunning remake of The Seven Samurai is "a hard-pounding adventure" (Newsweek) and "an enduringly popular" (Leonard Maltin) cinematic classic. Merciless Calvera (Wallach) and his band of ruthless outlaws are terrorizing a poor Mexican village, and even the bravest lawmen can't stop them. Desperate, the locals hire Chris Adams (Brynner) and six other gunfighters to defend them. With time running out before Calvera's next raid, the heroic seven must prepare the villagers for battle and help them find the courage to take back their town or die trying!

A (Very) Brief history of the Seven

Needless to say; John Sturges’ 1960 Seven was actually a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai (a 1954 Japanese epic historical drama adventure film that was actually modeled after American westerns of the era). That original group of actors who comprised the Seven consisted of Yul Brynner, Horst Buchholz, Brad Dexter, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, and Robert Vaughn. The U.S. film was so well received that it spawned a 1966 sequel where the three survivors of the initial film; Chris (Brynner), Vin (Fuller), and Chico (Mateos) recruit four new members to replace their fallen comrades so as to re-form the group and help defend some Mexican villages from vicious bandits. In ‘69 George Kennedy took over Brynner’s role of Chris for Guns of the Magnificent Seven, only to be succeeded by Lee Van Cleef in ‘72’s The Magnificent Seven Ride!. (There was also a TV series that ran from 1998 –2000 that stared Michael Biehn (Chris), Eric Close (Vin), and Ron Perlman (Josh). Robert Vaughn, one of the seven gunmen in the original 1960 movie, often guest-starred in the series.

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (2016) - Official Trailer (HD)

Yes, They Are Magnificent!

So yes, while The Magnificent Seven has admittedly had a long and checkered cinematic history (to be sure, none of the film’s sequels actually did have the impact as did the original, and — lets be clear — we were never even aware of the TV series), but all of these versions were all essentially sequels or spinoffs, while this new Antoine Fuqua version is the first actual remake, and as much as we are loath to admit to unequivocally enjoying a straight-up remake of a classic film, we have to say that this was a thoroughly worthwhile version of that classic Western.

The Original Seven (1960)

Back in 1960, this is what "Magnificent" looked like.
Back in 1960, this is what "Magnificent" looked like. | Source

The Backstory of this New Seven

In the 1960 version of the film, an oppressed Mexican peasant village hired a group of seven gunfighters to help defend their homes from aggressors, in this update. All that was fundimentally altered was the location of the town itself, from Mexico to the states. Here, it is the residents of a small frontier town who are being pressured by a robber baron named Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) to sell him their land to him for a paltry price. Naturally reluctant to do so, these hardy, but downtrodden folk gather together in order to determine how best to deal with the problem and how they should handle Bogue. Unfortunately for them, while they are gathered at the church, Bogue shows up with his gun-slinging thugs, threatens them, and then burns the church down. When one of the town’s citizens, Matthew Cullen (Matt Bomer) stands up to Bogue he shoots Cullen dead. Unbowed, the man’s wife, Emma, (Haley Bennett) heads off with another resident to find someone who can help them win back their town.

Never Piss Off a Redhead

Always a bad idea to get a Redhead angry at you.
Always a bad idea to get a Redhead angry at you. | Source

Gathering the Seven

During her search, Emma locates a bounty hunter named Sam Chisolm (Washington) and requests his help, at first Chisolm refuses, but when she tells him about Bogue, he changes his mind, and agrees. Chisolm’s first recruit is a man he saw handle himself quite well named Faraday (Pratt) who says yes and then they go on to recruit another five more, and head for the town. They go to the town and engage in a shoot-out where they kill all but one of Bogue’s men, whom Chisolm sends back to Bogue to deliver a message Bogue that he is totally going to hate. Chisolm then prepares the town for what is to come by informing them, that they need to get ready because Bogue is coming back with an army.

A gathering of Heroes

What Magnificent looks like in 2016.
What Magnificent looks like in 2016. | Source

Preparing for the Fight to Come

What follows is a series of sequences where Chisolm and his men attempt to train the townsfolk how to shoot and what to do when Bogue’s men do arrive — which they do, with a vengeance. Not one to give up on what he believes is (or should be) “His” Bogue arrives a week hence with a veritable army of gunslingers who are bound and determined to take back the town from Chisolm’s Seven. What Bogue and his men don’t seem to understand is the determination of not only of the Seven, but what they have inspired in both the townsfolk and the rescued mineworkers who had been forced to dig Bogue’s mine just outside of town. Further, Bogue’s thugs are largely just owl hoots, recruited for their proficiency with guns, and unwillingness to actually work for a living. These men have no comprehension of how effective Chisolm and his team are at killing, something that they soon discover when they ride pell-mell into town shooting wilding expecting to find a population full of frightened farmers.

Magnificently Badass

"A man's got the right to choose the way he dies."
"A man's got the right to choose the way he dies." | Source

An Unforeseen Consequence

Needless to say, what they discover instead is a team of highly-skilled killers who have chosen to take up the cause of the townsfolk if for no other reason than because (as Vin Tanner (McQueen) stated in the first film), “It's like a fellow I once knew in El Paso. One day, he just took all his clothes off and jumped in a mess of cactus. I asked him that same question, ‘Why?’ … He said, ‘It seemed to be a good idea at the time.’” Which — interestingly enough — proves to be the ideal reason as to why this film (an iconic Western) has come to be remade in this modern-day era.

The Magnificent Seven Official Trailer #2 - Charles Bronson Movie (1960) HD

A Return to Moral Certitude

We seem to be caught up in a period of moral ambiguity, where we have a rise of new robber barons, and their ilk, who threaten bodily harm on folks who simply want to live in peace. Rightly or wrongly, we perceive the Old West as a time of moral certainty, where folks helped out their neighbors, and stood up against evil simply because it was the right thing to do. We believe that these are the values that stand at the core of the American experience, and justifiably wish to return to the simplistic nature of neighbor, community, and shared ethics. So perhaps with the remake of films of this type Hollywoodland can help return this still great country to reaffirm those core values.

“It's like a fellow I once knew in El Paso. One day, he just took all his clothes off and jumped in a mess of cactus. I asked him that same question, ‘Why?’ … He said, ‘It seemed to be a good idea at the time.’”

— Vin Tanner (Steve McQueen. 1960)

A Film well Worth Watching

Or, perhaps this is still just a really cool movie, with outstanding actors, a terrific script, and most excellent direction. Go, watch it for yourselves, and make your own decision.

Washington & Pratt

You are going to want to watch this Magnificent film!
You are going to want to watch this Magnificent film! | Source

© 2016 Robert J Sodaro


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)