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The Magnificent Seven at The Belcourt

Eastern Western


In a bucket-of-blood Mexican cantina, Chico (Horst Buchholz) drunkenly faces down good-guy gunman Chris (Yul Brynner), who's rejected the kid's application to join a group of hired guns he's putting together. Enraged at not making the cut, the greenhorn aims a pair of wide-of-the-mark shots at Chris. The unflappable gunslinger lights a cigar and doesn't even turn to look. Chico is reduced to pleading: "Turn around and face me!" Brynner's cowboy sangfroid is typical of his character--as well as the movie. Engaging with questions of race and suggesting the ultimate futility of heroism, John Sturges' revisionist 1960 Western transposes Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai to a Mexican village under siege by cutthroat bandit leader Eli Wallach; standing against him is a brigade of outnumbered bad-asses, including Charles Bronson, James Coburn and Steve McQueen (in the role that made him a star). Elmer Bernstein's thrilling score earned it an Oscar.
Sat., July 4; Sun., July 5; Mon., July 6, 2009

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