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Click on the title to get the juice...
|The Magnificent Seven|
The 2 Disk Collectors Edition DVD is the best homevideo option for this movie.|
It is 16/9 enhanced and in the films Original Aspect Ratio of 2.35:1.
The Disks Extra features are listed at the bottom of this review.
|The story of The Magnificent 7 is simplisticly beautiful. It is the universal tale of the powerful oppressing the weak, and the weak standing up for themselves. In Mag7 the weak are represented as a simple farming community, who act to protect themselves from a powerful gang of bandits by hiring 7 brave and mysterious gunmen. The story goes beyond the predicatable action/gunfight formula, as all good westerns do, and explores the relationship between the oppressed farmers and their hired protectors, ultimately bringing into question our notions of the romanticism of the western gunfighter, and asking the question, "who are the true hero's of this story, the gunfighters or the farmers"?|
|Mag7 was certainly no ordinary western for its time (1960). It's heros were larger than life, but displayed human flaws and inner darkness, in some ways foreshadowing the 'anti hero' who was about to emerge in American cinema as a new type of icon.|
|The only established movie star in this movie at the time was Yul Brynner, but by the time he was finished with his masterpiece, director John Sturges had made big screen stars of Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Eli Wallach and Robert Vaughn, all of whom displayed amazing screen 'presence'.|
|McQueen and Brynner|
A remake of a Japanese classic, and featuring a largely unknown cast, the film struggled in its initial US release, becoming a hit in Europe before finding success in the USA. It's popularity spawned not only 3 sequels and a TV series, but also various imitators, with MGM even going as far as to make a Roman Gladiator version in 1962 with the rather poor 'Gladiators 7'.
Yul Brynner believed in this project from the beginning, playing a key role in getting it off the ground, and Steve McQueen displayed similar conviction, going so far as to purposely crash his car and 'fake' an injury in order to get time off from his successful TV series to appear in it.
|Niele McQueen Toffel (Steve's first wife)|
Featurette #1 - An excellent *in depth* doco called Guns for Hire (46 min) which includes interviews with cast, crew and family of the actors (Including Steve's first wife Neile McQueen Toffell).
Featurette #2 - Christopher Frayling on The Magnificent Seven (20 min)
Featurette #3 - Elmer Bernstein and The Magnificent Seven (14 min)
Featurette #4 - The Linen Book: Lost Images from The Magnificent Seven (14 min) features thousands of original set stills from the movie as well as Robert Relyea and Eli Wallach who relive their colourful memories of making the filming.
An Audio Commentary with James Coburn, Eli Wallach, Walter Mirish (producer) and Robert Relyea (Assistant Director).
A second Audio Commentary by film historian Sir Christopher Frayling.
A Still Photo Gallery.
Special Note: the two theatrical trailers present on the previous special edition are not on this collectors edition