The Magnificent Seven
American-Philippine western, 1960, by John Sturges, Language: English, Subtitles: Hungarian, 128'
Directed by John Sturges
Written by William Roberts
Screenplay by Charles Lang
Director of photography: Music by Elmer Bernstein
Cast: Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach, Steve McQueen, Horst Buchholz, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn
Production: The Mirisch Company, Alpha Productions
Kurosawa’s film was the perfect foundation on which to build the first Western in which there are no Indians. The first Western which is basically about Wild West characters and personalities. As a matter of fact, Kurosawa made his film about samurais being hired to protect against bandits under the influence of John Ford, and in his film, so in the Western version the advice-giver is a wise old man. Each of the seven hired guns personifies a character fault, and the final shoot-out, the big battle scene, contains surprises just as with Kurosawa. The Wild West version is not as complex as the Japanese film because it is anhour shorter and the denouement is not the same either. But what is definitely missing fromthe Japanese version is the brilliant music by Elmer Bernstein.