The Magnificent Seven: Ten Things To Know About The Movie

Here are 10 trivia facts about The Magnificent Seven from 1960, which originally appeared on our Facebook page. There are hundreds of pieces of behind-the-scenes information about this movie. Please feel free to comment and add more trivia we might have missed.

1. This movie was nominated for an Oscar, but not in an acting category.

Hard to believe but true; This high-grossing crowd pleaser didn’t garner any major-category Academy Award nominations, but was tapped for Best Score (Elmer Bernstein). Ultimately, the Oscar went to Ernest Gold for Exodus.

2. The film is equallywell-respected outside the U.S.

It’s difficult to find a movie more respected than The Magnificent Seven–if you live in Russia, that is. To this day, thanks to its release on DVD continuing its awareness, it would not be uncommon to hear people recite lines from the movie, word for word. After the film played in the U.S.S.R. for about a year, it was reported that authorities would not permit anyone under 16 years of age to see it, since the movie made head-shaving very popular among young boys.

The Magnificent Seven shares a much larger cultural heritage in Russia than in the U.S. Why, you ask? Because once it was discovered that Yul Brynner was actually Russian-born, he became a national treasure. Brynner had for years been mysterious about his lineage, claiming to be part Swiss and part Japanese, but son Yul ‘Rock’ Brynner II made details clearer about his dad’s Russian nativity. In his books about his actor-father, “Yul: The Man Who Would Be King” and “Empire and Odyssey,” the younger Brynner said, “Recently, a renowned actor in the Moscow theater spoke to me with tears in his eyes, insisting that ‘only a Russian could have made a great western like The Magnificent Seven.’”

3. Government authorities got involved with the production of this film.

Filming was done in Mexico, and at the time, Mexican censors would not permit any of the peasants seen in the film to wear soiled clothing. Additional problems with censors caused concerns over how local villagers were portrayed. At one point they wanted changes to Walter Newman’s screenplay. When he refused to travel south of the border to discuss the matter. William Roberts was sent to “fix it.” But after revisions were made, Roberts felt his changes were important enough to get his name in the credits, angering Newman to the point of walking off the film and eventually having his screen credit removed completely. Even though it’s true that Roberts’ name is seen on screen as the writer, there is further irony in the fact that the first adaptation of Akira Kurosawa’s The Seven Samurai was provided by Walter Bernstein. However the Bernstein version wasn’t ever used, and the final cut shown in theaters was actually Newman’s…albeit with some of Roberts’ changes.

4. The main star of the film once hosted a TV talk show.

Yul Brynner, famous for his prolific life in theater and films, as well as for his unusual-at-the-time shaved head, is also recognized as co-hosting the very first TV talk show, “Mr. and Mrs.” in 1948 alongside his then-wife, actress Virginia Gilmore.

Brynner can also be credited with suggesting the reworking of Kurosawa’s classic into a Western, when he came to producer Walter Mirisch with his idea. Accordingly, once plans were finalized, Brynner was a major force in casting decisions. One of the actors he wanted was Steve McQueen for the role of Vin Tanner, which as sometimes happens in Tinseltown, turned out to be a bad decision. The two actors did not get along when Brynner suspected McQueen was constantly upstaging him. One example: Brynner–at 5’10″ a fraction taller than the 5′ 9 1/2″ McQueen–looked for ways to appear even taller, going so far as to create off-camera mounds of dirt that he could stand on during filming…but McQueen made it a practice to kick the dirt away before Brynner could apply his stance.

In Eli Wallach‘s autobiographical book, “The Good, The Bad and Me: In My Anecdotage”, he elaborated on the Brynner/McQueen rivalry, explaining that McQueen was always using similar one-upmanship tactics. It got to the point, according to Wallach, that Yul hired an assistant to keep a record of how often McQueen mimicked Brynner’s onscreen gestures.

5. Two of the stars of the movie had less than 30 lines between them.

Both Robert Vaughn and James Coburn only have a few lines of dialogue in the movie, less than 30 combined (under 20 for Vaughn, while Coburn clocks in at fewer than 15). These two actors were good friends off-screen for more than 50 years and often helped each get parts, however in all of that time they only worked together this once. Supposedly, Sterling Hayden was signed for the role of knife-tossing Britt, but when he opted out for reasons unknown, director John Sturges was looking for another “Gary Cooper type” to step in, which is when Vaughn recommended his friend Coburn as the ideal choice for the part. It also helped to cast the film as fast as possible to avoid a then-looming actors’ strike.

6. The writer of the film’s music also wrote the score for its parody years later.

Elmer Bernstein could not have known that 26 years after composing one of filmdom’s best-remembered film scores, he would return to write the music for John Landis’ parody, Three Amigos!, in 1986. Along with Bernstein’s music, the comedy also featured Randy Newman’s song, “Ballad of the Three Amigos,” plus two others.

In his book “John Sturges, Stories of a Filmmaker,” author Emmanuel Laborie says that his interview with Sturges produced the story that the director originally expected composer Dimitri Tiomkin to score the movie. But during an argument about how the opening credits were to be mounted, Tiomkin was replaced with another Hollywood icon, Bernstein.

7. One of the stars of the film was acting in a TV show of the same genre at the time of production.

Oddly enough, it was only by chance that Steve McQueen was able to appear in The Magnificent Seven. His rigorous TV show schedule on Wanted: Dead or Alive (and his iron-clad contract with actor Dick Powell’s Four Star Productions) didn’t allow for the time off to work on a feature film, but McQueen’s auto accident in a rented Cadillac landed him in a neck brace and provided ample recuperation time, which he used to do the movie. Now that so many years have passed since the incident, there are various reports stating it wasn’t an accident at all. Steve, knowing his role in The Magnificent Seven would do much more for his career than his TV show, caused him to take the shot at ramming his car into a brick wall. Is it true or false?

More trivia: Originally considered for the part of Vin Tanner was George Peppard, and Gene Wilder, also very early in his career, auditioned for the role as well.

8. More than 50 people were killed in this film.

The total body count in The Magnificent Seven clocks in at 55 and there are some theatrical oddities surrounding who died and when. Charles Bronson, playing Bernardo O’ Reilly, is the last member of the “seven” to bite the dust, but in the original Japanese film The Seven Samurai, his corresponding screen role was the first to die. In another twist, although actors Robert Vaughn and Eli Wallach both get killed off in the film, they were the only surviving major cast members of the film, as of 2011. Wallach, the movie’s villain was born in 1915 — actually the oldest of the main cast–and he along with Vaughn (born 1932) have outlived the others.

9. This movie is based on another film.

The Magnificent Seven is a faithful re-working of Akira Kurosawa‘s time-honored 1954 Japanese classic, The Seven Samurai (Shichinin no samurai). Although there are tremendous differences that can be found in specific scenes, the storyline is pretty close to the original, as well as some of the dialogue.

10. This was the first of four films in a series.

The motto in Hollywood seems to be “always stick with a winner,” and it would be hard to find a much better winner than The Magnificent Seven, which garnered three sequels: Return of the Magnificent Seven (1966) brought Yul Brynner back to form a new band of mercenaries; Guns of the Magnificent Seven (1969), which had George Kennedy in the lead; and The Magnificent Seven Ride! (1972), which told the story from Lee Van Cleef’s point of view. These big-screen outings were followed by The Magnificent Seven TV Series in 1998.

And now, get into the excitement of The Magnificent Seven with the theatrical trailer from 1960:

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  • Blair Kramer.

    It has always been said that “The Seven Samurai” is actually a thinly vieled Western with a different setting and time period. In any case, even though many (if not most) hard core movie goers prefer the Japanese film, I do not. As far as I’m concerned, “The Magnificent Seven” is much more entertaining than the original japanese film. I know that some of you will consider that opinion to be heresy, but I can’t help it. “The Magnificent Seven’ is simply a lot more fun. As a side note, I just acquired a Blu-Ray DVD of “The Magnificent Seven” which I highly recommend. The film has never looked better. You can nearly spot Yul Brynner’s five O’clock shadow on his closely shaved head!

  • Charles

    This is one of my all-time favorite movies. I very much enjoyed your article. Thanks.

  • Judy Roberts

    Great article and interesting facts. The music sounds similiar to the music they played on the TV series “The Big Valley.” Is it????

  • Jerry Frebowitz

    Judy has a good ear. Elmer Bernstein did write the music for 24 episodes of The Big Valley.

  • Blair Kramer.

    By now I’m sure everyone knows that Elmer Bernstein was Leonard Bernstein’s brother. And now for something completely different… My maternal grandmother was convinced that the music from “The Magnificent Seven” was originally written for the Marlboro cigarette TV commercial! And she certainly should have known better. She was a pianist. I continually informed her that the commercial debuted years after “The Magnificent Seven” was released to theaters, but she wouldn’t hear of it. She sincerely believed that the composer of the film actually “borrowed” the music from the commercial! Can you beat that?!

  • sonny lachner


  • Linda M

    I found this article interesting as “The Magnificent Seven” has always been one of my favorite Westerns due to the story line, music score (which still comes to mind now and then), as well as, in good part due to the various actors in the movie – in particularly the King of Cool, Steve McQueen. So I have say that it saddens me that he would have been the way he is being portrayed in this article. I hope that at least some of that is made-up either by Wallach (a two-bid actor, if you ask me) or whomever would say those things about my guy.

    And, on a different note, it makes me feel good that to this day, my favorite actor of all time, Gary Cooper, is still referenced.

  • Blair Kramer.

    Two bi”t” actor???!! Really???!!! Eli Wallach???!!! Nope. Wrong. Mr. Wallach was, and remains, one of the greatest character actors in the history of American entertainment. And he was certainly great in “The Magnificent Seven.” Sleight of build, Mr. Wallach is a religious Jew from New York City who perfectly transformed himself into a controlling, demanding, Mexican murderer and gang leader! His portrayal of Calvera was absolutely spot-on! Moreover, his Mexican accent was as good as it gets. It wasn’t comedic. It was real. If any one of the actors in “The Magnificent Seven” should have been nominated, it should certainly have been Eli Wallach!

  • Allen Hefner

    I recently watched Seven Samurai for the first time, and I am well acquainted with Magnificent Seven. The similarities are very evident, and I believe I give a slight edge to Samurai. The only difficulty I had was with the comedic Japanese actors, which seems to be a requirement in Asian films. They are usually over the top, and several of the villagers in Samurai were no exception.

    The lead samurai, played by Takashi Shimura was brilliant. You can see that Brynner based his character (Chris Adams) on Shimura.

    The filming by Akira Kurasawa was also perfect. Using the old 1.37:1 aspect ratio (almost a square screen) and black and white film, he made every shot a beautifully framed composition. He didn’t have Panavision (2.35:1) or color film, which made the western landscapes really pop and Magnificent Seven a cinematic pleasure to watch on the big screen. Technically there is only six years between these films, but Samurai seems decades older.

    Lastly, Kurasawa’s scenes in the hollow, away from the village, were lined with flowers (black and white flowers!) everywhere, as a contrast to all the men who were there to kill. This kind of dichotomy has been used for years in film. I wonder if it really started in 1954 with Seven Samurai?

    • fbusch

      Along about the 3rd. or 4th. time I saw Mag 7, I noticed in the credits the reference to 7 sam, Which jogged my memory when 7 sam showed up on the box. allowing for culture diffs,I could relate to all the charactors and followed the script easily. Getting used to what seemed a lot of silly expressions and arm flayling, I noticed that manyJapanese films including “Godzilla and most monster and SiFi films had the same kind of stuff in them. I agree that the history of the nations and their time frames saddle each and color our perceptions. A another comment, I think that True grit and The Shootist were 2 of the Dukes best because he was allowed to act.

  • Blair Kramer.

    Thank you Allen Hefner! I was never able to put my finger on it before. You nailed it! Some of the characterizations in “The Seven Samurai” contrast with the grim circumstances of the story. I don’t think there is much reason to laugh when your village is about to be wiped out! The comedic characters, secondary though they may be, are very much out of place. “The Magnificent Seven” really IS the better film.

  • version

    You answered a burning questioning for me – how much laundry did the peasant villagers do? OR did they never do any dirty work?

    Loved this version of the Seven Samurai – This is a wonderful film.

  • fred buschbaum

    So many opinions! I’m enthralled by both films, and cannot pick one over the other. Having seen mag. 7 first, I can follow the dialogue and subs in 7 sam closely. About actors in general, most have rather large egos and compete voraciously for the footlites. As for japanese comedic actors, much of what we perceive as comic expressions are portrayals of fear and terror in a country whose history of abject serfdom is only a couple of hundred years old. While a lot of running to and fro seems a bit silly to us, most of it makes sense to a japanese audience. Kurosawa was very impressed by mag 7 and sent Sturges a gift of a samurai sword. While many fine actors played in the sequals, I’m not into sequal one upsmanship just to keep the money flowing. Guess that’s why there are so many opinions!!

  • Gord Jackson

    This one I am going to have to re-see. I have viewed it twice, I am crazy about westerns, I love Bernstein’s score but I have never been able to warm up to the movie. Maybe it’s because I was so blown away by the Hapanese original.

    As for McQueen’s antics, different sources alude to them. Robert Vaughan in his recent autobiography makes a mention or two and Norman Jewison in his book, “This Awful Business Has been Good To Me” notes that Steve McQueen was not the most giving of actors to others. He was a scene-stealer, all for Steve and Steve for none.

  • Gord Jackson

    Of course I mean blown away by the Japanese original. Sorry about that.

  • Lynn WM

    Linda M, I hate to disappoint you about Steve McQueen, but just about anyone who ever worked on the movie and did interviews backed up Eli Wallach’s stories about McQueen’s one-upmanship. Maybe not a nice thing to do, but Steve was as ambitious as the next dedicated actor.

    McQueen was okay as the King of Cool, but in this film, few words or not, the King of Cool belonged to James Coburn.

  • Randy Dannenfelser

    Many thanks to MovieFanFare and Jerry Frebowitz for a wonderful piece about my all-time favorite movie.

  • dave castellarin

    what a fantastic classic this mag 7 is. tried watching the japanese version but could never get into it. charles bronson, steve mcqween and james cobourn starred again in another fantastic classic ,the great escape. the theme from the mag 7 is so delightful and great litening, elmer bernstein ALSO did the soundtrack for the great escape and other westerns. al caiola did a version of the mag 7 theme and made it a hit on the hit parade charts in 1960..oh, does good old days!

  • Tiny Tim

    The tidbit about the number of lines was funny to me because my reaction to McQueen and Brynner’s characters has always been that they were too cool to even talk. The scene where they finally introduce themselves after the opening bit with the hearse is priceless. As for comedic characters, my complaint with the American movie is the Horst Buchholz character, whom I can’t stand. I had about the same reaction 20 years later to a similarly callow stereotype — The Schofield Kid (Jaimz Woolvet) — in Eastwood’s ‘Unforgiven.’ Both of these characters and performances are unworthy of their films.

  • Grace

    I love, love, love this film – everything about it including the “magnificent” music. I’ve read about the McQueen/Brynner antics and it doesn’t surprise me, ambition and competitiveness abound in the industry. I have to agree with Mr Castellarin regarding an equally “magnificent” film, The Great Escape – more great characters and music. I never tire of watching these two films.. Wish there were more films of this caliber made today. Character development is so much more important than special effects, I think.

  • Raif D’Amico

    I loved both movies and they can stand on their own. Sorry Linda M…I am a huge fan of Steve but he did scene stealing… like the hat off to block the sun and shaking the shot gun cartridge in the beginnig of the movie on the hurst with Yul.Oh,I like Gary Copper too.

  • aldanoli

    I think Blair was winking (or had his tongue firmly in-cheek) with his comment about Elmer and Leonard Bernstein — who though they were acquainted were not related.

    My favorite tidbit about “The Magnificent Seven” is simply trying to remember who all seven gunfighters were. The first five are easy — Brynner and McQueen, the two main stars; and then Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughan, and James Coburn, all of whom had successful careers throughout the 1960s and onward. I also always remember Horst Buchholz, who isn’t as well-known today, although he did a lot of movies (apart from this movie, most notably in “Nine Hours to Rama,” in which he played the man who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi). But a lot of his work was done in Europe, so he’s not as familiar to American audiences. And then there’s . . . hmmm. The answer, of course, is Brad Dexter, whose primary claim to fame apart from this role and a few others (although he has a lot of screen credits) was that he was one of Frank Sinatra’s buddies — cemented when he saved Sinatra from drowning when they were filming “None but the Brave).

    There’s a great “looking back” feature that’s available on the DVD, in which they interviewed a number of the surviving participants around 1999-2000 for the movie’s 40th anniversary — and thankfully so, because Buchholz, Coburn, and Dexter, all of whom were still alive and appear in the feature, would all be gone within a few years. Sadly, Charles Bronson, although also still alive, was too far gone with Alzheimer’s to participate.

  • michael j.

    This movie was & still is my favorite Western. My second favorite is Shane, followed by Once Upon A Time In The West. Honorable mention goes to How The West Was Won. All are truly great Westerns.

    • HCUA

      Shane is the BEST.

  • lee mathis

    i agree with Grace. character development is more effective and more entertaining but to have good character development you have to have good actors.but today that is the have to make up for it with all those special effects.


    Probably ONE of the top 3 WESTERNS since 1960– TRUE GRIT & the GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY!! being the others(not in any orderLUV EM ALL!!) All of Clint Eastwood’s 60′s WESTERNS get MOST HONORABLE mento to round out the TOP10 in my BOOK!!

  • Kitty

    I loved this movie but one thing has bugged me since the first time I saw it. What was up with that too-small-for-his-head cowboy hat worn by Yul? I was hoping this would be answered in this article.

  • Blair Kramer.


    Nope. I didn’t have my tongue in my cheek. But you’re right. I don’t remember where I read the notion that Leonard and Elmer were brothers, but this was what I learned. Just re-checked and it turns out they weren’t brothers after all. Oh well… Sometimes You just can’t be sure which internet sites you can trust… Which is to say, now then then, we ALL end up trusting info from the wrong sites!

  • aldanoli


    Yes, I know how that is . . . I’ve done it myself many times. It’s like that Will Rogers comment, “It isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble, it’s what we know for certain that just ain’t so.” I once posted a review on IMDB in which I said that actress Hallie Foote was the daughter of Shelby Foote. Ahem . . . wrong, as someone e-mailed me to point out; she’s actually the daughter of Horton Foote — a writer, yes, but the wrong one. And yet I was *so* sure . . . .

  • Alana

    Yep, I’ve got the Seven Samurai too; find the subtitles easy to follow without losing the movie (I’m a big fan of Toshiro Mifune). Have the soundtrack to the Magnificent Seven (which says something special about the music). I agree with How the West Was Won (was lucky enough to have seen it on the big screen at the theater!) and have the soundtrack on LP to that one too! But alas, of all the wonderful westerns, I have to say that number one on my list is SILVERADO (and I have the soundtrack to that one too!)

  • Doug

    This is one of my favorite westerns. I must have seen it a dozen times and will mostly likely watch it all the way through, again and again.

    It has so many different elements going on that it’s hard to get bored. Also, seven different men with different backgrounds and their stories, and the bad guys (Eli Wallach really shines in this film as the leader of the bandits), and the almost comedic relief of the villagers at times; just a great all around film.

    Thanks for the post.

  • Steve

    I first saw this movie on TV at the height of “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”‘s run. I remember being disappointed seeing Napoleon Solo now a “coward” and of course was devastated when he got killed. He did have that great “fly on the table” scene though!

  • JohnCougar’sMelonCamp

    Actually,there are two trailers on the Blue Ray for”The Magnificient Seven”.
    This isn’t the original trailer.
    The original shows Brynner;Bucholz;Bronson;Dexter;Coburn;McQueen and Vaughan all walking into the town square while a male chorus sings”Seven;Seven;Seven;The Magnificient Seven.
    They Were Only Seven
    But They Fought Like
    Seven Hundred to
    Bring The Kind of Justice
    That Would Last.

    They Made a Brave stand
    The Maginificient seven.
    They Fought For The Future
    To Wash away Their Past.”.

    Other than that,one of the all time great westerns ever!!

    • John

      i well remember as a 13 year old going to my local cinema to see one of my all time greats , the tin star, 1957 with henry fonda anthony perkins and the town bully neville brand , it was at this outing that i saw the trailer for the magnificient seven which was to show the following week ,now i was confused when i saw the trailer version here on this site, as john cougar correctionally states this is not the original i well remember the original as john cougar describes above , they were only seven ,but they fought like seven hundred,etc etc, still ringing in my ears after fifty three years . well i went back to see the magnificient seven the following week and well as they say [ the rest is history]really loved the movie but could not like horst bucholz and brad dexter dont know why maybe i feel they did not fit the PART? also did not think too much of the sequels, i now collect all the old westerns on dvd and those available on blu ray, of course when the magnificient seven came out on blu ray i snapped it up ,brings back great memories of the cinema screen curtains rolling back, the lights going down, and hearing the elmer bernstein score thundering out at you as you see the title ,the magnificient seven appearing on the screen, magic, loved the knife scene between james coburn and robert j wilke, but then lots of memorable scenes , some great acting the likes of which we will not see again.

  • JohnCougar’sMelonCamp

    My List of The Greatest Westerns Ever Made:
    (1)The Searchers.The Duke Shoulda Got The Oscar For His Role as Ethan Edwards.
    (2)She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.One of The Duke’s Understated Roles as Captain Nathan Brittles in the first of Pappy ford’s cavalry Trilogy.
    (3)Winchester’73.A very dark almost film niorish tale of a stolen Winchester rifle.
    Very understated role by Jimmy Stewart.
    (4)Shane.Alan Ladd as the title character became one of the greatest loners in the movies.
    The other two being The Duke in”The searchers”and Clint Eastwood in”Outlaw Josey Wales”.
    (5)My Darling Clementine.Hank Fonda and Pappy Ford’s sentimental tale of the Gunfight at the OK Corral.
    In some ways,since both Fonda and Ford served in the Navy in WWII,it could be an allegory of how the US as the Earps defeated the Axis standing in for the Axis.
    Great speech by Fonda as he leaves Tombstone.
    (6)The Wild Bunch.For it’s time,it was considered
    one of the most violent movies ever filmed.
    However,once you look past the graphic violence,it’s a great story of betrayal and redemption.
    (7)Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid.The second in the western trilogy that made money at the box office in the summer of ’69-the others being The Wild Bunch and True Grit.
    A very lighgthearted romp about the infamous bank and train robbers who never really harmed anyone during their crime spree and dissapeared into mystery in South America in 1905.
    (8)True Grit.The Duke finally won his only Oscar
    for his role as one eyed US Marshall Rooster Cogburn.
    If you can’t repeat the gunfight between The Duke and Robert Duvall,there’s something wrong with you!!
    BTW:The remake with Jeff Bridges is just as good!!
    (9)Unforgiven.Clint produced;directed;starred and won an Oscar in his gritty story of corruption and revenge in the Old West.
    Gene Hackman was excellent as the sadsistic sherriff Little Bill Daggett.
    (10)The Shootist.The Duke’s last movie as a dying gunslinger in the Old West who wants to go out with a bang instead of a whimper.
    Ironically,in a case of”Life Imitates Art”,three years later,he succumbed to cancer.
    (11)The Magnificient Seven.Great ensemble cast;catchy theme song and great directing by an underrated director John Sturges.
    (12)Hombre.Thirteen years before Kevin Costner joined the Lakota Nation in”Dances With Wolves”,
    Paul Newman played a white man who was raised by the Apache yet didn’t feel comfortable in either world.
    Ironically,two of his other two greatest roles were in movies that started in’H’:The Hustler and Hud.
    (13)Tombstone.Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer were great as Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday in the 1993 retelling of the Gunfight At The OK Corral alongside an all star cast that included western movie veterans am Elliott and John Ford stock Company regular Harry’Dobie’Carrey,Jr. and the lovely Dana Delaney.
    Tombstone could almost be’The Rocky Horror show’for straight guys!!
    Just say’I’m Your Huckleberry’or’Ya’ll Killed Two Cowboys’and they’ll immeditely holler”Tombstone”!!
    (14)Dances With Wolves.Kevin Costner’s tale of a Union Army Cavalrymen who joins the Lakotas almost could’ve been directed by Pappy Ford.
    (15)Red River.”lonesome Dove’wasn’t even in the mind of nine year old Larry McMurtry when Howard Hawks directed the saga of Ranchers Thomas Dunston and Matthew Garth driving a herd of longhorns from Texas to Kansas.
    Well,that’s all the time I have.What are your favorites??

  • Blair Kramer.

    My wife once placed three freshly baked fruit pies on our kitchen table. However, before I could get to them, two of the pies were snatched up by our sons! I was too slow! I only got one! There was a time when I woulda’ got all three!

  • DKW

    Nothing Like The Original!! “Return of The 7″ was the Best Sequel Of The Bunch, & It Was Just Okay, Because Yul Brynner Reprised His Role As Chris.
    But This Fact Won’t Hollywood From Doing Another Sequel, Re-Imagining, Or TV Series From It!!

  • Rolf the Ruf

    John Cougars list definitely has a lot of good films to consider. Mine is considerably different, but there is a little overlap here and there:

    1. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) Eastwood, Wallach, Van Cleef
    2. Open Range (2003) Costner, Duvall
    3. Rio Bravo, (1959) Wayne, Martin, Dickenson
    4. Unforgiven (1992) Eastwood, Freeman, Hackman
    5. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949) Wayne, McLaglan
    6. 3:10 to Yuma (2007) Crowe, Bale
    7. Red River (1948) Wayne, Clift
    8. The Magnificent Seven (1960) Brynner, McQueen
    9. The Long Riders (1980) Keaches, Carradines, Quaids
    10. Tombstone (1993) Russell, Kilmer
    11. The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) Eastwood, George
    12. Winchester 73 (1950) Stewart, Winters, Duryea
    13. The Searchers (1956) Wayne, Bond
    14. The Undefeated (1969) Wayne, Hudson
    15. For a Few Dollars More (1965) Eastwood, Van Cleef, Volante
    16. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) Wayne, Stewart
    17. Dead Man (1995) Depp, Farmer
    18. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) Bronson, Fonda
    19. High Noon (1952) Cooper, Kelly
    20. Shane (1953) Ladd, Heflin
    21. True Grit (2010) Bridges, Steinfeld, Damon
    22. The Wild Bunch (1969) Holden, Borgnine
    23. Stagecoach (1939) Wayne, Trevor
    24. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) Newman, Redford
    25. Silverado (1985) Kline, Glenn

    Thar’s a lot more where these came from, and on any given day, I am likely to order my list differently, but this is a good top 25 for me.

  • Randeroo

    So JCMC wants favorite westerns? I won’t claim like JCMC did that these were the greatest ever made; but they sure did give me hours of enjoyment. So here, in order, are my five favorites:
    1. The Magnificent Seven. Did you ever like a movie so much that it transcends its genre in your mind? I really don’t think of TMS as a western — just a greatly enjoyable watch. (And with more quotable lines per lines spoken than any other western…)
    2. Tombstone. What a happy surprise that Kurt Russell worked so well as Wyatt Earp; that Val Kilmer was riveting as Doc Holliday; that Stephen Lang and Michael Biehn played bad guys so well. And both “Beef It’s What’s For Dinner” guys and their great voices…
    3. The Sons of Katie Elder. So sue me, not the “best” John Wayne movie, but it was my favorite. George Kennedy played an awesome bad guy. And the “glass eye” raffle proved again why Strother Martin was one of the all-time great character actors.
    4. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. As with the previous three, impeccable casting; James Stewart, the consummate tenderfoot; Lee Marvin, the sadistic bad guy; Vera Miles, the ultimate Femme Fatale of the old west; and all kinds of great character actors popping up throughout (including Robert F. Simon from TMS and ol’ Strother Martin again). And of course, John Wayne just bein’ John Wayne.
    5. Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid. For me, it’s the best of the rest.

    • ronfitz

      I like your top 5 but would have to put The Good, The Bad and Ugly ahead of Sons of Katie Elder.

  • Douglas Solomon

    Earlier, someone stated that the music for the old Marlboro commercials was taken from “The Magnificent Seven.” This is incorrect. That music was taken from the theme music of “The Big Country.” with Gregory Peck and Charlton Heston.

    • Gary G.

      Sorry, but I also remember the distinctive notes of Bernstein’s MAG 7 theme being used in the Marlboro commercials. They led directly into the cigarette company’s own theme (“…you’ve got a lot to like with a Marlboro…” etc.), going from Bernstein’s striking, declarative notes, to the bouncy jingle, which made for a pleasing transition. The main theme from BIG COUNTRY is highly romantic, but less forceful.

  • RupturedDuck1

    Great discussion on some great westerns and I would agree that Magnificent Seven is in the top
    ten. I would have to include The Searchers, True
    Grit, The Shootist, Hombre, Shane, Ride the High
    Country, The Big Country, Three Godfathers, and
    Yellow Sky. There are a bunch of others which also deserve mention.

    As much as I enjoyed Steve McQueen’s work in film I think he was pretty tough to work with and it’s sad that his drug use dominated much of his life.
    I have to agree that James Coburn was “Mr. Kool” of this movie and that continued for many years. Watching this movie as a kid I was saddened to see Bronson, Coburn, Vaughn, and Dexter get killed off at the end.

    Eli Wallach, a great villain. His role as Tuco a little later on should have earned him an Oscar nomination.

  • Blair Kramer.

    Maybe, at one time, a Marlboro cigarette commercial used music from “The Big Country.” I dunno ’bout that. But I DO KNOW that a good number of Marlboro commercials in the mid 60′s used the theme from “The Magnificent Seven.” The music was easy to recognize and unmistakable. About this FACT there simply is no serious debate.

  • Felton Dunn

    Fun discussion! Glad to see films like Liberty Valance, Shootist, and others make lists. Seven was very special–such a collection of icons soon to be. I think Elmer pronounced it BernSTEEN and Lenny was BernSTINE, though others change such things. I thought Brynner was probably the shortest of the lot. He just had lotsa moxie. I still am very fond of the 1960 version of the Time Machine with Rod Taylor and Yvette Mimieux. There were so many memorable films made in the late 50s and early 60s. A lot of quality, and such a window into that time. Some of Hitchcock’s greatest, for one. Consider all the major courtroom dramas–12 Angry Men, Witness for the Prosecution, Anatomy of a Murder, Judgment at Nuremberg, To Kill A Mockingbird, more–incredible stuff. And there were, what, 30 Westerns on TV in 1959? Eastwood, McQueen, Garner went on to be big film guys from TV Westerns.

  • Joy

    What about the Ballad of Cable Hogue…you have a couple of Peckenpah’s but not that and if you’re a Audie Murphy or James Stewart you have to have Night Passage. Or a very obscure Audie Murphy in The Posse From Hell….a terrible title but a very good movie. Not so much gun play but some thought went into it????
    And you have to have Will Penny on that list because that also is a great movie.
    I’m a huge fan of Ben Johnson and he’s in or did the stunts on eight of the movies on Cougar’s list.

  • Joy

    Oh and if you’re into mean movies and Lee Marvin you have to include the Professionals. Hard men all the way.

  • Frank Isackson

    As brilliant a composer as Bernstein was, he was not above stealing from his own work as one can hear vestiges of the Magnificent 7 theme in some of the episodes of the mostly forgotten TV series Riverboat, that starred the veteran Darren McGavin, the pusher in Man With The Golden Arm, and a then very new Burt Reynolds.

  • mike strauss

    what about Brad Dexter and Horst Bucholtz. No comments about them. Why. Horst was the only one that stayed back and his part was brought back in The Return.

  • James Sedares

    Elmer Bernstein was no relation to Leonard Bernstein.

  • yoda

    my number one movie!

  • Rolf the Ruf

    Response to Joy: Good additions, I considered putting both Will Penny and The Professionals into my top 25. Not a big fan of The Ballad of Cable Hogue. I also considered adding an Audie Murphy movie to my list on general principle, but I am not sure which one I would choose. I like The Kansas Raiders, Destry and The Texican, but I think you are right, Night Passage might be my favorite. As I said, on a different day my list might look different. But certain staples will stay on every list. The originl True Grit and The Oxbow Incident also deserve to be in there somewhere. Seems I am the only one around here who appreciates Spaghetti Westerns, however?

    • Loosehead

      Vera Cruz – watch the whole movie for the last 5 minutes.


    Did not know about Yul Brynner and the Russian connection. As part Russian myself, I think I like this movie more now! Not quite my all time favorite movie DR. ZHIVAGO, but a very good film in many ways. I will find time to watch it again.

  • Richard McClory

    It seems a scene is missing from the Magnificent Seven, deleted or never filmed. After the bandits are first driven off, the villagers’ celebration is interupted by gunfire from the hills. The seven make their way up the hill to get them, scene ends, and next we see them return with the bandits’ guns and a hat. They go to their quarters where Chico tries on the hat saying to Chris “You know they’ll make up a song about you and this hat. Villages like these make up a song about every big thing that happens.” So, what did we miss? What’s the story about Chris and the hat? Anybody out there know what’s missing?

  • Blair Kramer.

    I have always wondered about that myself.

  • mike jaral

    this my favorite western, each scene has somthing wonderful to remember. I really don’t care what happened behind the scenes, as the music, story and actors went together beautiful. eli, such a great character actor, how could anybody say anything less of him. we should all take this movie watch it, and just enjoy it. I remember in the 80′s they listed it as a 2 star movie, then around the 90′s it went to a 3 star movie. and just a few years ago saw it listed with 4 stars behind it. good things get better with age.

  • Pere

    Well no wendor Yul Brynner was pissed, he’s barely even on that Japanese poster! Ha. The Ten Commandments must not have been a big movie over in Japan.

  • Ajrinaldo

    This film is fricken fantastic- when stars were stars!

  • Scribe_well

    What cracks me up about THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN RIDE! is that Lee Van Cleef takes over Yul Brynner’s role–and they make him WEAR A WIG!

  • John Beaney

    The Greatest western ever made, great storyline and top class actors

    • yultide67

      High Noon is the best western ever. Magnificent 7 is up there but How do you beat Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Lee Van Cleef, Sheb Woodley (Purple People Eater)? The story was tension, had better music and got Gary the Oscar. Truly the best

  • lpark

    Watching 1/05/2013, and still one of the best Westerns ever made!

  • aldanoli

    The great trivia question, of course, is . . . who *was* the seventh gunfighter? The easy ones (at least today) are Brynner, McQueen, Vaughn, Coburn, and Bronson. Somewhat more obscure (particularly because he didn’t make any other noteworthy Hollywood movies, with the possible exception of “Nine Hours to Rama,” and also did a lot of his work in Europe), was Horst Buchholz. And . . . and . . . and . . . Brad Dexter, who is easily the most obscure. Dexter himself is quoted in IMDb as having said, “I’m the one from ‘The Magnificent Seven’ nobody remembers.”

    • John Giordano

      They should have used someone other than Brad Dexter!

  • Cathy Akiva

    Can’t say enough. Great actors and story line. Wish they were still around.

  • Charles M Lee

    It is also said – on the special features of the DVD – that Steve McQueen was upstaging Brenner so much, that Yule told him if he didn’t stop he (Brenner) would take off his hat. I do remember a scene when Brenner was helping the workers prepare by digging trenches, that he took off his hat, and that made quite an impression in the theater. Yes I am that old. LOL

    I cannot say enough about this movie. I am not a western fan, but this movie is the exception. It quickly became one of my favorite movies off all time. The nappy dialogue really got me, and the action is great. I would not like any other westerns until Clint Eastwood came along with his tongue in cheek Spaghetti westerns.

  • Brad

    Elmer Bernstein composed the music for Kings of the Sun, so you might expect there might be some similarities in the music for both movies, but I think it goes beyond that…if I watch Kings of the Sun, during certain parts, it only takes a few notes to remind me of the spirit of The Magnificent Seven…if you are very familiar with the music of The Magnificent Seven, you might want to try watching Kings of the Sun and see if it does the same for you….Yul Brynner was in Kings of the Sun, and Brad Dexter also had a part…James Coburn also supplied narration.

  • Charles Waddington

    why didnt mcqueen star in the seven 2 movie and the real chico as well

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  • jjk

    th chico guy dragged this pic down. would have been much better with someone else.

  • jjk

    This was a great film if it didn’t have buchholtz.

  • PAM

    I love The Magnificent Seven – especially Steve McQueen! He really made the
    film. Of course the others were all good too. But Steve really stood out the most.

  • Carter Lupton

    Carter Lupton

  • hangintree

    Sure the precursor was The Seven Samurai, but apparently no one notices that the real original was Beowulf.

  • Bruce Beckwith

    Another unique feature of this movie is that the same gunshot sound effect is used for revolvers, rifles, and shotgun.

  • HCUA

    Horst Bucholz and Brad Dexter were never heard from again. There should have been a couple of other guys in their roles. Robert Vaughn was nothing. The Mexican guy was too hokey.

    • Cara

      If you’re referring to the Mexican bandit, that was Eli Wallach, and he had an incredible 70 year plus acting career, including parts in The Misfits, Babydoll and Mystic River. He’s, if I’m not mistaken, still alive at 97. Horst Buchholz also starred in One, Two, Three with James Cagney, a truly funny movie. But you’re right, his Hollywood career never went far, and the majority of his later movies were German language films. Historically, the west of the 19th Century was filled with misfits from a number of different countries. That’s why Eastwood could get by with casting Richard Harris in Unforgiven. So casting Buchholz was not bizarre from a historical standpoint. Movies of the 50s were bad, however, about casting major studios’ young hopefuls in movies with better known actors. That was probably the chief reason Buchholz was cast. He was young, he was handsome, and he was a much better actor than Troy Donahue or Tab Hunter who both got miscast in some pretty important films.

      • MuseDevotee

        I agree that Horst Buchholz was very good in “One, Two, Three” (a fast-paced comedy directed by Billy Wilder, in which James Cagney talks as fast as humanly possible — in both English and German! — a hilarious performance).

  • Rob in L.A.

    When I saw the 1966 sequel on TV, it was titled “Return of the Seven” (i.e., no “Magnificent” in the name). I wonder if this was the movie’s original title or if it was re-titled something slightly shorter for television.

  • Johnny Sherman

    My favorite re-make of The Magnificent Seven is the animated film A Bug’s Life.

  • Movie Fan

    All I remember about this film is Yul Brynner. I thought he was the sexiest, most handsome man ever. He was my first and only movie star crush.

  • Bill Heyer

    Having read the biography of Steve McQueen, I don’t EVER think I can watch this movie, again, without thinking of McQueen “one-upping” Yul Brynner, in scene after scene after scene!! Poor Yul, it never dawned on him that he was playing alongside young, hungry actors competing for precious face-time on the screen? Steve McQueen was DEFINITELY the most cunning, though! It WASN’T personal, however, he did the same thing when he was acting with Paul Newman, too! He HAD to be the best!!!

  • jlwsmurf

    I’m not really big on westerns, but I do love “The Magnificent Seven”. When I heard several years ago that Brynner and McQueen had a one-upmanship tournament going on, I was surprised. However, after watching it with this in mind, I did see their sparring. But I would have had to tell McQueen it didn’t really matter. He was a good actor – and a complete non-entity to me personally. When I remember the movie, I think about Yul Brynner, James Coburn (the height of cool), Charles Bronson, and, unfortunately, Horst Buchholz (because I REALLY didn’t like him in the movie). I will say the trip up the road to the cemetery is one of my favorite parts of the movie, even though McQueen was part of it.
    And before people start yelling at me about how great McQueen was, please keep in mind that our likes and dislikes are completely individual. I agree that McQueen was an excellent actor. But he just never grabbed my attention. For instance, the first time I watched “To Kill A Mockingbird” (when I was a kid), I watched the credits to find out who played Boo Radley. Robert Duvall never said a word and was only on screen for a few minutes, but something about him caught my attention and I never forgot his name after that. I will watch a movie just because Duvall is in it, but I couldn’t care less if McQueen is in a movie. Just personal preference.

  • Yule log

    I made a magnificent shit

  • robb

    My favorite western that nobody, and I mean nobody, has seen… Rocky Mountain, with Errol Flynn, Slim Pickens, Sheb Wolley, and Flynn’s future wife Patrice Wymore.

    • Earl

      I have and it is truly a grand little film. Good choice!

  • Chris Adams

    heard that they were remaking the 60 classic Seven with Tom Cruise as Chris… rounding out the cast are Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon!
    might have 2 take off MY hat for that one