Return of the Seven
Return of the Seven, later marketed as Return of the Magnificent Seven, is a 1966 American-Spanish Western film, and the first sequel to The Magnificent Seven (1960). Yul Brynner, who reprises his role as Chris Adams, is the sole returning cast member from the original film, while Robert Fuller, Julian Mateos and Elisa Montés replace Steve McQueen, Horst Buchholz and Rosenda Monteros as Vinn Tanner, Chico and Petra respectively.
|Return of the Seven|
US film poster
|Directed by||Burt Kennedy|
|Produced by||Ted Richmond|
|Written by||Larry Cohen|
|Music by||Elmer Bernstein|
|Edited by||Bert Bates|
|Distributed by||United Artists|
|19 October 1966|
The film was written by Larry Cohen and directed by Burt Kennedy, and features Warren Oates, Claude Akins, Jordan Christopher and Virgilio Teixeira. Emilio Fernández is the villain. Fernando Rey portrays a priest. Rey was in the next film, Guns of the Magnificent Seven, as a different character.
Fifty gunmen force all of the men in a small Mexican village to ride off with them into the desert. Among the captured farmers is Chico, who years before was one of seven hired gunslingers responsible for ridding the village of a tyrannical bandit, Calvera. Chico's wife, Petra, seeks out the other members of the band of whom only two, Chris and Vin, survive. She begs them to save the village once more. To replace the deceased members of the group, Chris buys the release of Frank (a taciturn gunman) and Luis (a famous bandit), held in the local jail and recruits Colbee, a ladies' man and deadly gunman, and Manuel, a young cockfighter.
The six men discover that the missing villagers are being used as slave labor to rebuild a desert village and church as a memorial to the dead sons of wealthy rancher Lorca. In a surprise attack, the six gunmen force Lorca's men to leave, and prepare for a counterattack with Chico. The cowed farmers offer no assistance, but the seven defenders successfully repulse Lorca's initial attack. Lorca, the rancher, then gathers all of the men on his land to rout the seven men.
The situation seems bleak until Manuel discovers a supply of dynamite which the seven use in a counteroffensive. They are eventually overrun, but Chris emerges victorious from a shootout with Lorca. The rancher's gang flee, leaving Frank, Luis, and Manuel dead in the fighting. Chico plans to resettle the village on Lorca's fertile land, and Colbee remains to help teach the villagers how to defend themselves against future attacks; he also plans to pursue the available women. Chris and Vin once more ride off together.
Return of the Seven was critically panned. Industry journal Variety called it "unsatisfactory... plodding, cliche-ridden". On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a critical approval of 13%, based on 8 reviews, with an average rating of 3.6/10. Composer Elmer Bernstein received an Academy Award nomination for his score, a re-recorded version of his score for The Magnificent Seven (1960).
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