John Sturges's remake of Akira Kurosawa's 1954 classic THE SEVEN SAMURAI has become an influential film in its own right. A small Mexican village that makes involuntary donations of its harvest to a gang of bandits led by Calvera (Eli Wallach) decides to hire a group of professional gunmen, headed by gunslinger-for-hire Chris (Yul Brynner), to protect them. Despite the meager pay, Chris and Vin (Steve McQueen) sign on after the Mexicans see them confront some racist thugs. As they ride to the village, Chris picks up some other gunmen, including Bernardo (Charles Bronson), Lee (Robert Vaughan), Britt (James Coburn), Harry (Brad Dexter), and aspiring gunslinger Chico (Horst Buchholz). The Mexicans, who are at first ambivalent about having gunmen hanging around their town, finally let down their guard and allow their visitors to teach them how to shoot and how to reconfigure the town to defend against Calvera. When the bandits return, they find harvesting the crops a little more challenging. This rousing, perfectly cast action film launched the careers of Bronson, McQueen, and Coburn. It also benefits tremendously from the unforgettably polyrhythmic score by Elmer Bernstein, among the most famous in film history. So popular was the film's theme that it was used to sell Marlboro cigarettes for years afterward.
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5 stars out of 5 -- "Brynner dominates, while the screenplay questions the nature of true heroism."Uncut - Alastair McKay (05/01/2006)"...Hugely popular..."Sight and Sound - Geoffrey Macnab (09/01/2001)"...The film is fun to watch..."USA Today - Mike Clark (03/14/1994)4 stars out of 5 -- "It remains one of the most entertaining movies in the genre, as Hollywood alpha males Charles Bronson, Steve McQueen, Yul Brynner, James Colburn and Robert Vaughn crank up the charisma..."Total Film - Jonathan Crocker (10/01/2010)
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