The Magnificent Seven Movie Poster Image

The Magnificent Seven

(i)

 

Classic shoot-'em-up not for young viewers.
  • Review Date: November 30, 2005
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 1960
  • Running Time: 127 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Characters often display racist and sexist tendencies. White actors wearing make-up portray the Mexican characters.

Positive role models

The characters unite to protect the peasant town from bandits. 

Violence

Lots of fighting – with guns and without.

Sex
Not applicable
Language

The characters do a lot of yelling and loud talking, but the language is clean.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters drink and smoke.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Magnificent Seven is a classic Western filled with gun violence. Characters drink, smoke, get in fights, shoot at one another, and often display racist and sexist tendencies. It is based on a Japanese film from 1954 called Seven Samurai and was itself remade in 2016's The Magnificent Seven.

What's the story?

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN tells the tale of a tiny village kept at the brink of poverty by Calvera (Eli Wallach) and his bandits. Apparently, if your Mexican peasant village is being harassed by a band of thieves, the thing to do is to enlist the help of a black hat-wearing cowboy. The villagers enlist Chris Adam (Yul Brynner) and six other gunmen to defend them. The gunmen all choose to help for different reasons, and much of the film is dedicated to characterizing the gunmen as they help the town get ready to fight back against Calvera's gang.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

This particularly good example of the Western genre is based on an earlier Japanese film, Akira Kurosawa's 1954 masterpiece Seven Samurai. The Magnificent Seven is steeped in elements of the Western genre, from the pistols to the saloons to the good guy/bad guy plot. The cast does well, and Yul Brynner is especially charismatic on-screen. The film has not aged particularly well, though, and the pacing will feel slow to viewers not used to films of the period.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about race and wild west mythmaking in The Magnificent Seven. Why do the villagers need American cowboys to help save them? Is what the "magnificent seven" do in any way "noble"?

  • The use of white actors wearing make-up to portray the Mexican characters also merits some attention. Why do you think filmmakers did that? Do you find it offensive?

  • Does violence have the same impact in a movie like this as in an action movie like Live Free or Die Hard? Why or why not? Which type of movie violence do you find more affecting and/or upsetting? 

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 23, 1960
DVD release date:May 8, 2001
Cast:Eli Wallach, Steve McQueen, Yul Brynner
Director:John Sturges
Studio:MGM/UA
Genre:Action/Adventure
Run time:127 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byUnapologetic Am... March 9, 2011

WHAT "racism"? WHAT "sexism"?

"Characters often display racist and sexist tendencies. White actors wearing make-up portray the Mexican characters. " WHAT "racism"? Because some NON-mexicans played mexicans? Mexican ISN'T a "RACE", it's a nationality. I see that you have no trouble calling people "white". THAT'S 'racism". WHAT "sexism"? This film is set in 18th century rural Mexico. It depicts rural Mexican life, the gender roles are ACCURATE to that. Are you insane? This is a GREAT and CLASSIC western, with a great cast and story. The only "problem" I see for "modern" viewers is that watching this film will show you what dreck and TRASH so called modern westerns are. It will spoil you because once you see it you will know what a GREAT western ought to look like. I was 10 years old when I first saw this film in 1960. If your children even watch so called "children's" TV today they see more violence, sexism and racism and just plain trash than there is in this film. Not to mention the MESSAGE that the film delivers, a story of redemption and victory even unto DEATH in the name of defending INNOCENTS. Are you insane?
Adult Written byDr3w November 8, 2011

The Magnificent Seven prove themselves truly magnificent

This is a classic film that has so many things going for it. Great performances by a young cast that would almost all go on to have legendary careers, a rousing musical score, beautiful cinematography, cool action scenes (even some of my teen friends were visibly impressed), and a saddlebag full of unforgettable one-liners. Watching the documentary about the making of this film gave me an even greater appreciation for it as I discovered that Steve McQueen and the rest of the cast were all trying to one-up eachother and especially the established star, Yul Brynner. All that said, all that would have only made The Magnificent Seven a good film. What makes it a great film is its heart. So many scenes in it are poignant and moving as the The Magnificent Seven prove themselves truly magnificent. Their sacrificial decision at the film's end echoes the sacrifice of Christ in the Bible in that they are willing to give up their lives for people who have betrayed them. The first time I watched this film, I was thirteen years old, and I remember crying as MILD SPOILER WARNING several members of the Seven die heroic deaths SPOILER END. Parents should know that there are about 8 mild curses in this film (h-words and d-words, mostly in one scene), a brief mention is made of rape (mild, not graphic at all), there is some passionate kissing, alcohol use, and the violence can be fairly bloody (despite what other reviewers say, when people get shot in this movie, and I counted a body count of about fifty, there is sometimes quite a bit of blood). This film remains one of my favorite westerns, one of my favorite films to quote, and a film that I watch time and time again.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 16 years old Written byNapoleon15 September 12, 2013

The Greatest Western

This film is truly a iconic Hollywood masterpiece. From the multi dimensional characters to the heart racing gunfights, this film is a must see. It also has some A list stars- Yul Brynner and Steve Mcqueen to name just two. By modern standard the gore is almost nill. Altogether a smashing film.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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