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Friday, November 16, 2012

Magnificent Seven Ride! - NY Times Review - August 1972

'The Magnificent Seven Ride!' Routinely!

Published: August 3, 1972

Routine Westerns aren't so common these days that I should want to dismiss any one of them out of hand. But George McCowan's "The Magnificent Seven Ride!", which opened yesterday at neighborhood theaters, is a routine Western so perfunctory in its routines that I can't recommend it even to people who, like me, delight in seeing the same thing done all over—and over—again.

The magnificent seven this time consist of an Arizona marshal (Lee Van Cleef,) a mildly unscrupulous journalist (Michael Callan) and five convicts who the marsal paroles so they can help him defend the women and children of a border town from a band of desperadoes that have massacred all their men.

By the time the battle is over, all the right people have been killed (including four of the five convicts) and Lee Van Cleef has fallen in love with the prettiest of the town's new-made widows (Stefanie Powers), and the journalist has also fallen in love and has discovered in himself a sense of moral discrimination. This last has no purpose, but the movie makes rather a thing of it, and perhaps it adds tone to the aura of the happy ending.

But the happy ending is a betrayal anyway, signifying that nothing of much importance has happened, despite the 100 minutes and maybe 50 killings that have gone before. Westerns usually deal best with the impermanence of happiness, and "The Magnificent Seven Ride!" would have been no exception if it had been made with the conscience and the care for certain ritual patterns of action that it might have deserved. But as it actually was made, it is sloppy in detail. And in theme, plot and character it is merely trivial.

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN RIDE!, directed by George McCowan; written by Arthur Rowe; photography, Fred Koenkampe; film editor, Walter Thompson; music by Elmer Bernstein; produced by William A. Calihan; released by United Artists Corporation. At the New Amsterdam Theater, 42d Street west of Broadway, and neighborhood theaters. Running time: 100 minutes. This film is classified PG.

Chris . . . . . Lee Van Cleef
Laurie Gunn . . . . . Stefanie Powers
Noah Forbes . . . . . Michael Callan
Skinner . . . . . Luke Askew
Pepe Carral . . . . . Pedro Armendariz Jr.
Walt Drummond . . . . . William Lucking
Hayes . . . . . James B. Skikking
Madge Buchanan . . . . . Melissa Murphy
Scott Elliott . . . . . Ed Lauter

1 comment:

  1. Well now. I think it's a pretty good movie myself & the DVD has sold well over the last few years.