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Eli Wallach revisited …

27 Jun

eli wallach 5

Eli Wallach

Eli Herschel Wallach (December 7, 1915 – June 24, 2014)

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

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

Incredibly, though Eli Wallach appeared in only 6 Westerns, at least 3 are considered Classics: John Ford’s How the West was Won  (1962), The Magnificent Seven  (1960) and The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly  (1966) .
Not bad shootin’ … for a badguy.

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

Eli Wallach Western Filmography

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)

Eli Wallach - The M7

 

“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 rein to improvise that scene any way he wanted.
Nicely done.

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

eli wallach 3

Eli Wallach passes …

25 Jun

Eli Wallach, star of The Magnificent Seven, dies at 98

From BBC News Site: http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-28012230

eli wallach 5
On screen, Wallach was frequently cast as “the bad guy”

Eli Wallach, whose films included The Magnificent Seven and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, has died aged 98.

Character actor Wallach – who began his film career in 1956 after 10 years on stage – was admired for his wide range in a career spanning six decades.

His portrayal of bandit chief Calvera in The Magnificent Seven was regarded by many as his definitive role.

When he received an honorary Oscar in 2011, he was described as a “quintessential chameleon”.

Eli Wallach with Carroll Baker in Baby Doll
Eli Wallach with Carroll Baker in Baby Doll

Though he was never nominated for an Oscar during his 60-year career, the Academy rewarded him in 2011 for “effortlessly inhabiting a wide range of characters, while putting his inimitable stamp on every role”.

His films included the classic westerns How the West Was Won and The Misfits.

Arguably best known for his villains, he made a lasting impression as Tuco opposite Clint Eastwood, in Sergio Leone’s 1966 spaghetti western The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Years later, Wallach said strangers would recognise him and start whistling the distinctive theme tune.

Eli Wallach (centre) in The Magnificent Seven
Eli Wallach (centre) as Calvera in The Magnificent Seven

“As an actor I’ve played more bandits, thieves, warlords, molesters and mafioso than you could shake a stick at,” the Hollywood Reporter quoted him as saying.

He was also successful in light comedy and appeared in many TV shows, including playing Mr Freeze for a spell in the 1960s Batman TV series.

The veteran star continued making films into his 90s, making his last big screen appearance in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps in 2010.

His death was confirmed by his daughter Katherine in the New York Times.

Eli Wallach with Clint Eastwood in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Eli Wallach with Clint Eastwood in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Wallach was born on 7 December 1915 in Brooklyn to Polish Jewish immigrants.

He graduated from the University of Texas, initially intending to become a teacher.

But his focus shifted to acting, and after serving in World War II he studied at the Actors’ Studio, where he became a practitioner of method acting.

Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson
Wallach, with his wife Anne Jackson at the premiere of The Holiday in 2006

He first appeared on the New York stage in 1945, where he met his wife Anne Jackson, to whom he was married for 65 years.

Wallach made his London debut in 1954 with The Teahouse of the August Moon.

His screen debut came two years later, playing an unscrupulous seducer in Baby Doll.

The role earned him a Golden Globe nomination for best supporting actor and a Bafta award for most promising newcomer.

But the theatre remained Wallach’s first love. “For actors, movies are a means to an end,” he told the New York Times in 1973.

”I go and get on a horse in Spain for 10 weeks, and I have enough cushion to come back and do a play.”

He became a household name as Calvera in 1960’s The Magnificent Seven, alongside Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson and James Coburn.

He went on to earn an Emmy in 1967 for his supporting turn in the drama Poppies Are Also Flowers, and picked up four further nominations – most recently for his guest turns in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (2007) and Nurse Jackie (2010).

Other notable roles came in How the West Was Won, Mystic River, The Holiday, Lord Jim, and The Godfather: Part III, playing an ill-fated Mafioso.

Asked about possible retirement, he told the Times in 1997: ”What else am I going to do? I love to act.”

Eli Wallach with (l to r) Anne Bancroft, Ben Stiller and Jenna Elfman in Keeping the FaithEli Wallach with (l to r) Anne Bancroft, Ben Stiller and Jenna Elfman in Keeping the Faith

Massive UPDATE: The Magnificent Seven Page …

16 Feb

The Magnificent Seven Official Soundtrack theme … Elmer Bernstein

MFW Banner

Posters

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YUL BRUNNER 2

Yul Brynner / Chris

Yul Brynner official pic magnificent seven

Yul Brynner as Chris

“I’ve been offered a lot for my work, but never everything.”

It’s said that the idea of (“An Americanization of the film, Seven Samurai (1954)”) to The Magnificent Seven, was Yul Brynner’s idea.
In any case, it’s no secret who the Star of this film was: Yul himself. And a magnificent Star he was – surely one of the most charismatic actors in Hollywood history.
The whole success of the film and it’s cast – one the the major Western Classics even carries to this day – where constant rumours or a remake swirl. A remake, which would possibly be an impossible task in it’s challenge to find Stars of the stature or a Yul Brynner – and the rest of the cast. A very daunting task.
Brynner cemented his image as Western Film Star and went on to appear in several spin-offs – none of which were as imposing as Magnificent Seven – yet still worthy of a look due to Brynner’s Star power.
Alas dying far too early at the age of 65 from lung cancer.

Yul Brynner Western Filmography
The Magnificent Seven / 1960
Invitation to a Gunfighter / 1964
Return of the Seven / 1966
Villa Rides / 1968
Adios, Sabata / 1970
Catlow / 1971
Westworld / 1973
_____________________________________________

Steve McQueen / Vin

steve mcqueen 3

“We deal in lead, friend.”

Billed 3rd behind Yul Brynner and Eli Wallach, McQueen’s shameless antics to steal scenes is the stuff of movie legends – as McQueen evidently feared Brynner’s notable charisma would overshadow him – and eventually started a one-upmanship duel between Brynner and McQueen throughout the filming. Steve, of course, eventually went on to become a big Star and success in his own right – and I wonder if they both didn’t share a chuckle about all this later on.
In the long run, it’s interesting that both of these great Stars seemed to pass before their time: McQueen of cancer at age 50 and Brynner of cancer at age 65 – both from smoking.
Tragic, as both would have undoubtedly continued to make good work.

Steve McQueen Western Filmography:
Tales of the Wells Fargo
/ TV Western / 1958 Guest Appearance
Trackdown / TV Western / 1958 Guest Appearance (2)
Wanted: Dead or Alive 
/ TV Western / 1958 Series Star / 1958 – 1961
The Magnificent Seven / Co-Star / 1960
Nevada Smith / Star / 1966
Junior Bonner / Star (Directed by Sam Pekinpah) / 1972
Tom Horn / Star / 1980
___________________________________________

James Coburn / Britt

james coburn

“Nobody throws me my own guns and tells me to ride on. Nobody.”

James Coburn Western Filmography
1959 Ride Lonesome
1959 Face of a Fugitive
1960 The Magnificent Seven
1963 The Man from Galveston
1964 Major Dundee
1967 Waterhole No. 3
1971 Duck, You Sucker! / Renamed A Fistful of Dynamite for U.S. release
1972 A Reason to Live, a Reason to Die / Renamed Massacre At Fort Holman for U.S. release
1973 Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid / Sam Peckinpah
1975 Bite the Bullet
1984 Draw!
1990 Young Guns II
1994 Maverick
1996 Ben Johnson: Third Cowboy on the Right
2000 Texas Rangers

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Charles Bronson / Bernardo

CASTING charles bronson

Bronson seemed (to me) to be a man that had paid his dues (he had) and this seemed to shine through his on-screen persona.

But he had that soft side too – as we see with the kids in The Magnificent Seven. Maybe that comes from his upbringing in a real life family of 14 brothers and sisters.

When we are introduced to Bronson in The Magnificent Seven we encounter him chopping wood. You better believe that no acting was necessary. And he could just as easily have been swinging a pick.

It’s a smart casting trick: choosing people who don’t need to act.

Bronson’s unique looks, however, allowed him to play roles of different cultures and races. Mexicans, Indians … his name in The Magnificent Seven is Bernardo O’Rielly … Italian Irish ?

___________________________________________________________

CHARLES BRONSON /
Charles Dennis Buchinsky

WIKIPEDIA: Bronson was born Charles Dennis Buchinsky in Ehrenfeld in Cambria County in the coal region of the Allegheny Mountains north of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. During the McCarthy hearings, he changed his last name to Bronson, fearing that Buchinsky sounded “too Russian”; the name was taken from Bronson Avenue in Hollywood, where the famous gated entrance to Paramount Pictures is located.

He was one of fifteen children born to a Lithuanian (Lipka Tatar) immigrant father and a Lithuanian-American mother. His father, Walter Bunchinski, who later adjusted his surname to Buchinsky to sound more “American”, hailed from the town of Druskininkai. Bronson’s mother, Mary (née Valinsky), whose parents were from Lithuania, was born in the coal mining town of Tamaqua, Pennsylvania. He learned to speak English when he was a teen, before that he spoke Russian and Lithuanian.

Bronson was the first member of his family to graduate from high school. As a young child, Bronson did not initially know how to speak English and only learned the language while in his teens. When Bronson was 10 years old, his father died. Young Charles went to work in the coal mines, first in the mining office and then in the mine itself. He earned $1 for each ton of coal that he mined. He worked in the mine until he entered military service during World War II. His family was so poor that, at one time, he reportedly had to wear his sister’s dress to school because of his lack of clothing.

In 1943, Bronson enlisted in the United States Army Air Forces and served as an aerial gunner in the 760th Flexible Gunnery Training Squadron, and in 1945 as a Boeing B-29 Superfortress crewman with the 39th Bombardment Group based on Guam. He was awarded a Purple Heart for wounds received during his service.”

charles bronson 2

“I admire your notion of fair odds, mister.”
~ Charles Bronson / The Magnificent Seven.

charles bronson 1

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____________________________________________________

Robert Vaughn / Lee

Yaughn as Lee

ROBERT VAUGHN 2

“Till you lose your nerve. You can feel it. Then you wait … for the bullet in the gun that is faster than you are …”

Lee is probably the most complicated Character of the Seven.

Vaughn’s and (Director) John Stuges’ portrayal of Lee is be-gloved, dapper, dudish, white shirted, articulate gentleman gunsfighter – with a string tie,
who had lost his nerve and his touch.
A washed up gunslinger.

A bit of a tragic figure to be sure … only redeemed moments before his death – a death we sense is somewhat of a relief for him from the torture of the failure that he feels himself to be.
It’s pretty well telegraphed to us from the beginning that Lee will not be one of the Seven who rides off into the sunset.

ROBERT VAUGHN 3

Robert Vaughn Western Filmography
Good Day for a Hanging
 (1958)
The Magnificent Seven (1960)
TV Work:
Gunsmoke (1956) Guest
Frontier (1956) Guest
Tales of Wells Fargo (1957) Guest
The Rifleman (1958) Guest
Law of the Plainsman (1959) Guest
Wichita Town (1959) Guest
Laramie (1960) Guest
The Man from Blackhawk (1960) Guest
Bonanza (1961) Guest
The Blue and the Gray (1982 mini-series)
_______________________________________________________

Horst Buchholz / Chico 

Horst Buchholz

I wonder if people really appreciate the acting of Horst Buchholz in The Magnificent Seven? I doubt it.

Here’s a young German actor who comes over here … and does a Mexican Hat Dance, a mock bullfight, handles the romance, the action, some comic relief, and is also brilliant in the several dramatic scenes including the famous ‘audition scene’ with Yul Brynner. Displaying a breadth and depth of emotion throughout the movie.

Pretty heady stuff.

Brynner and Buchholz

Brynner and Buchholz …. renegotiating

Horst Bucholz bullfighter

el toro !

Horst Bucholz and Rosenda Monteros

Horst Bucholz and Rosenda Monteros

Horst Buchholz 3

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Brad Dexter / Harry Luck

Brad Dexter as Harry Luck
The Magnificent Seven

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The Magnificent Seven

The Magnificent Seven - Bronson, Dexter, Vaughn

Bronson, Dexter, Vaughn

Let’s call it Luck … bad luck, because sadly, strangely, unfairly, movies often all boil down to that intangible element called Charisma.
You either got it … or you don’t.

The Magnificent Seven

The proof is in the most famous trivia question of Western Film:
“Who was that Seventh guy anyway?”

Even when people are shown his picture …
most people STILL don’t know his name.

Brad Dexter

Playing Harry Luck.

Brad Dexter 10

Against the other members of the Seven … Brad simply fell into shadow.

Oh, Brad Dexter was cast correctly for his part alight – as the cynical member of the Seven who was ‘just in it for the money’.

But most everyone else in the cast was already an established Star (Brynner, McQueen, Wallach) – or moving swiftly up the ladder toward bright daylight (Bronson, Coburn, Bucholz and Vaughn).
Brad simply fell back – and never quite made it.

Brad Dexter 6

Brad Dexter 8

___________________________________________

Brad Dexter / Veljko Soso
April 9, 1917 – December 11, 2002

Brad Dexter 2

Yet Dexter still had a successful film career that spanned some 50 years and included at least 40 movies.

Luck had nothing to do with it.
________________________________________

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________________________________________________

Let’s ride !

TM7 Lets ride 2

TM7 Lets ride 3

The Magnificent 7 Update 2 … project revived ??

11 Jan

Britt (Coburn): “Nobody throws me my own guns and says run. Nobody.”

From:

The Playlist

‘Magnificent Seven’ Remake Continues With New Writer, But Loses Tom Cruise

http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/magnificent-seven-remake-continues-with-new-writer-but-loses-tom-cruise-20131226?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

BY KEVIN JAGERNAUTH
DECEMBER 26, 2013 10:00 AM

MGM are leaving no stone unturned in their catalogue when it comes to remakes. With “Robocop” and “Poltergeist” on the way for 2014, and “Road House,” “Death Wish,” “WarGames,” “The Idolmaker,” “Ben-Hur” and more all in development, the name of game seems to reboots over original material. And that brings us to the classic western “The Magnificent Seven.” In the works for a couple years now, the project gained some serious steam when Tom Cruise put his name to it in 2012, with a writer added over this past summer. But heading into 2014, the redo will need to find another star as a screenplay gets more work.

The Wrap reports that John Lee Hancock (“The Blind Side,” “Saving Mr. Banks”) has been brought in to re-write the first draft of the script by Nic Pizzolatto (“True Detective”). For now, it’s just a writing gig for Hancock who has no plans to direct, but with credits to his name including “The Alamo,” “Snow White & The Huntsman” and next year’s “Maleficent,” he knows his way around spectacle. Meanwhile, Tom Cruise has exited the project mostly because his plate is currently full with about five zillion other movies on the go, so he could probably do with one less.

So the remake machine continues on this project, and we’ll ask you this: who do you think can direct or star in this movie and at least attempt to do justice to the original?

__________________________________________________

My Favorite Westerns: 

I’ve already posted my own fantasy cast which I will boldly match up against anybody else’s projections.
Except for Tom Cruise, of course, who has now bailed out. This leaves a VERY large hole – as casting Yul Brynner’s former role was the biggest challenge of them all.

My Favorite Westerns casting for The Magnificent Seven / Remake:

Yul Brynner … TOM CRUISE

Brynner - Cruise

Steve McQueen … VIGGO MORTENSEN

Steve McQueen - Viggo Mortenson

James Coburn … GUY PEARCE

James Coburn - Guy Pearce

Charles Bronson … WILLEN DAFOE

Charles Bronson - Willem Dafoe

Robert Vaughn … BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

Vaughn - Cumberbach

 Brad Dexter BRENDAN FRASER

Brad Dexter - Brendan Fraser

Horst Buchholz AARON PAUL

Horst Buchholz - Aaron Paul

Eli Wallach … ANTONIO BANDERAS

Eli Wallach - Antonio Banderas

O’Reilly (Bronson): “I admire your notion of fair odds, mister.”

 

The Magnificent 7 Update … project in jeopardy

11 Jan

From: 

express_logo

By: Mike Parker

Published: Sun, December 29, 201

http://www.express.co.uk/entertainment/films/450888/Tom-Cruise-shoots-down-Magnificent-Seven-remake

Tom Cruise shoots down Magnificent Seven remake

TOM CRUISE’s departure from a planned remake of the star-studded western has put the project back to square one

CLASSIC The original 1960 cast

HOLLYWOOD studio MGM has “called in the cavalry” to rescue a planned remake of classic 1960 western The Magnificent Seven after Tom Cruise stunned producers by quitting.

Cruise, 51, blamed a personal “scheduling conflict” for his departure more than six months after agreeing to a lead role.

As he rode off into the sunset, studio bosses hired John Lee Hancock, who directed current box-office hit Saving Mr Banks, to re-write what was seen as a troubled script.

The turmoil comes at the end of a year in which the original Magnificent Seven was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry of America’s Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant”. It starred Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter and Horst Buchholz.

Yesterday a senior MGM source said: “Tom’s departure has thrown a real wrench in the wagon wheel.

“He was the only one of the seven we had cast and would obviously have helped draw other A-list stars into the project.

“Now it’s a case of going right back to square one in terms of casting and having John Lee Hancock re-write the script from top to bottom. You might say he’s leading our cavalry on a rescue mission.

“We’re hoping that once John Lee has completed a first draft of a new script, we will be firmly back on track and in a position to attract some of Hollywood’s best-known actors.”

Hancock, a hugely respected Hollywood figure, is no stranger to the genre, having directed 2004’s Disney remake of another 1960 western classic, The Alamo.

Even before Cruise backed out, studio bosses had become concerned about committing a reported £100million-plus to the film. They saw rival Disney take a financial hit earlier this year as an equally costly remake of The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp as Tonto, flopped.

Los Angeles-based media analyst Mike Raia insisted yesterday: “I believe the western can survive and even thrive as a genre.

“However, the onus is on the filmmakers to make their modern versions resonate with today’s younger audiences as well as older fans.”

 

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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