The Magnificent Seven … ??? Casting Eli Wallach …

22 Sep

The Magnificent Seven …
Casting Eli Wallach / Calvera

“My first Western was called The Magnificent Seven.”
~ Eli Wallach

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Eli Herschel Wallach (born December 7, 1915)
Eli Wallach is 97 years old.

In his acting career Wallach appeared in approximately 90 films and 85 Television shows.

“I never dreamed I would do Westerns.”
~ Eli Wallach

Eli Wallach Westerns

The Magnificent Seven (1960)
How the West Was Won (1962)
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
Mackenna’s Gold (1969)
Long Live Your Death (1971)
Shoot First… Ask Questions Later (1975)

Wallach says he once received a letter from the Pope who told him that his favorite Wallach Movie was The Magnificent Seven.

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“As an actor I’ve played more bandits, thieves, killers, warlords, molesters, and Mafiosi than you could shake a stick at.”
~ Eli Wallach

Below is my favorite Wallach scene from the The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

I heard Wallach say that Director Sergio Leone basically gave him free reign to improvise that scene any way he wanted.
Nicely done.

Bandito ?

Amazingly, by today’s standards for Western Badguys, Wallach was a pretty nice chap. In The Good, the Bad and the Ugly he may be Ugly and ornery, but he’s basically comic relief, while Eastwood and Van Cleef handle the drama.

Likewise, in The Magnificent Seven, after Wallach and his gang get the drop the Seven, he merely scolds them … and then lets them go! THEN, he gives them back their guns !!! Nice guy. The Seven promptly ride back and kill all the bandits – including Wallach.

He’s also pretty clean … nice red shirt and vest … no tortilla stains, no spitting, cussing, abusing, raping … a little bit of pillaging … but that’s it.

And those peons … in immaculate white togs.

Fact is, the Mexican government was furious at the way Mexicans were depicted in a previous Western, Vera Cruz (starring Burt Lancaster and Gary Cooper) and therefore placed people on the set whose job it was to censor any negative depictions of Mexico or Mexicans.

Funny, but nobody seems to notice this … unless someone points it out.
Sorry.

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“I always end up being the evil one, and I wouldn’t hurt a fly.”
~ Eli Wallach

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The Magnificent Seven ??? …
Casting Antonio Banderas as Calvera

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2 Responses to “The Magnificent Seven … ??? Casting Eli Wallach …”

  1. did' September 27, 2013 at 12:01 am #

    Hi JC ! I like The Mask of Zorro, very good tandem with Anthony Hopkins, Zeta Jones is very beautiful… and the final scene -the two duels in the Gold mine, is great. Tis is a very good movie, one of his best !
    (I added you in the links of Riowestern…)
    See you soon my friend ! Didier

    • jcalberta September 27, 2013 at 12:48 am #

      WOW ! Thanks Amigo !
      Yeah, anything Catherine Zeta … nobody should be that good looking.
      I love the sword play in the movie. All around, the cast … inspired stuff. One of the great Popcorn Classics.

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