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Cast Introduction: The New Magnificent 7 … plus One

4 Oct

Cast Introduction:
The New Magnificent Seven

As they say: The atmosphere is electric.

But I hate these tuxedo affairs.

DAMN! I just spilt some wine on my boots.

“Oh Hi Mickey”

Rourke. … Everybody is here.

OOP – The lights are going down … better get to my seat.
_________________________________________________________

“Ladeeeez and Gentlemen!!!”
… announces a disembodied voice:

“Introducing your NEW MAGNIFICENT SEVEN !!!

Generous Applause …
Hopeful enthusiasm … tinged with fear.

Mine.

“Reprising the main role of Chris made famous by Yul Brynner …”

“TOM CRUISE !!!”

Brynner - Cruise

Whoa !!! Tom gets some large appreciation.
No problem.
But his selection was already out of the bag.

Tom take a bow … waves … flashes his famous grin.

“Tom’s role by default”, I’m thinking.
He’s good though. Sometimes great.
But the inevitable comparisons with (Yul Brynner)
It’s tough.

“No matter” I mumble, “I think he’s up to it.”
__________________________________________________________

Moving along …

“Ladies and Gentlemen!!”

“Reprising the role of Vin Tanner played formerly by Steve McQueen … “

VIGGO MORTENSEN !!!”

Steve McQueen - Viggo Mortenson

I notice people sitting forward in their seats.
Nodding … yeah … YEAH !
Lots of applause … LOTS.
Viggo is popular.

Viggo looks dapper, casual … salutes.

“VIggo as Vin” I say.
(I think I aced that one)

… 5 to go.
__________________________________________________________

Next …

“Ladies and Gentlemen!!”

“Reprising the role of Britt that was played by James Coburn … “

GUY PEARCE!!!”

James Coburn - Guy Pearce

“OH !”  “I love Guy.” I hear Spielberg’s wife exclaim.
Steven nods. “Yes … yes. That should work very well.”

Guy is welcomed … tanned and grinning.

I feel a swell of growing enthusiasm.

Things seem to be working.

But I’m still sweating.
__________________________________________________________

Next …

“Ladies and Gentlemen !!!!”

“Reprising the role of Bernardo O’Reilly which was played by the very popular Charles Bronson … “

WILLEN DAFOE!!!”

Charles Bronson - Willem Dafoe
“Holy Crap !!!” I hear Matt Damon shout … rising from his seat …
“This is gonna be one a hell of a movie!
Wish I was in it”

Willem shakes hands with Tom, Viggo, Guy … waves …

“Yaaa !!! Yeahhh !!!” I yell.
I can’t help it.

A lot of people are standing now …
__________________________________________________________

Next intro …

“Ladies and Gentlemen!!

“Hot, from his role as the Villain in Star Trek ,,, and playing the role of Lee made famous by Robert Vaughn … “

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH !!!”

Vaughn - Cumberbach

*silence* … a gasp or two !!
“Well I’ll be damned !!” says Harrison Ford.
“How the hell did they get him !?”
“Inspired.”

Excited applause arises … Ringing !

Cumberbatch is dapper, unscarved.

… I wasn’t too sure …

“Way to go Ben” !!!
__________________________________________________________

The next intro …

“Ladies and Gentlemen!!

“Reprising the part of Harry Luck that was played by Brad Dexter … “

BRENDAN FRASER !!!”

Brad Dexter - Brendan Fraser

“Wooo hooo” … I hear Sly yelp. “Nice call!”
“Make it sing Brendan!”

Fraser throws his cowboy hat into the crowd.

“YEAH !! YEAH !!”

I can’t believe it …

It rocks !
__________________________________________________________

Next intro …

“And now Ladies and Gentlemen!!”

“The last of the Seven … “

“Reprising the role of Chico that was performed by Horst Buchholz … “

AARON PAUL !!!”

Horst Buchholz - Aaron Paul

Aaron runs onto the stage …

The joy is high.

The SEVEN are complete !!

Everybody’s standing now …
OVATION … !!!

The New SEVEN take a bow …
__________________________________________________________

“And Lastly” … intones the MC, above the din …

… Ladies and Gentlemen …. “

“Reprising the part of the Mexican Bandito Calvera – formerly played by the great Eli Wallach … “

“ANTONIO BANDERAS !!!”

Eli Wallach - Antonio Banderas

“O My …. Goodness !”
shouts Gene Hackman.
“Way to go Tony !!!”

Antonio has his hair slicked back. Looks a bit shy.
… takes a mock poke from Fraser.

Thunderous applause !!!

___________________________________________________

All is well.
____________________________________________________

“Whew!”

I slump into my chair

“Monsieur JC …?”

I turn.
A waiter hands me a bottle of Canadian Club.
“Complements of Monsieur Cruise.”

The tag reads:

“Mission accomplished”
_____________________________________

I just hope my cheque is in the mail.
_____________________________________

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

eli wallach 5

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.

eli wallach 1

“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.

________________________________________________________________

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

eli wallach 3

_____________________________________________________________

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

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