Tag Archives: The Magnificent Seven

Magnificent Sevens … myth, math and aftermath … Part 3

17 Oct

seven-samurai-10Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai (1954) was the inspiration for M7 1960.

Often regarded as one of the greatest films of all time
– and the first “Action Film”
“It has remained highly influential, often seen as one of the most “remade, reworked, referenced” films in cinema. (Wikipedia)

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Awards and nominations

Venice Film Festival (1954)
  • Winner – Silver Lion – Akira Kurosawa
  • Nominated – Golden Lion – Akira Kurosawa
Mainichi Film Award (1955)
  • Winner – Best Supporting Actor – Seiji Miyaguchi
British Academy Film Awards (1956)
  • Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Film
  • Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actor – Toshiro Mifune
  • Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actor – Takashi Shimura
Academy Awards (1957)
  • Nominated – Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White – So Matsuyama
  • Nominated – Best Costume Design, Black-and-White – Kôhei Ezaki
Jussi Awards (1959)
  • Winner – Best Foreign Director – Akira Kurosawa
  • Winner – Best Foreign Actor – Takashi Shimura

Magnificent Sevens … myth, math and aftermath … Part 2

12 Oct


House of the Rising Sun / Heavy Young Heathens

The CWF Charismometer: Test One Continued: 
Measuring Star Power / Charisma / Casting

Fuqua’s Folly? /  Formulathe-magnificent-7-2016-washington-fuqua

“So far, so good.”
– Vin

In a lot of ways a re-make of M7 1960 was a no win scenario. Except of one way: Money. In this, Fuqua knew his formula of Denzel Washington and Action Film couldn’t miss. Though he knew his movie couldn’t match the Original Western as a Western Classic, it was bullet proof as a money maker. Just as Director Sydney Pollack knew that Robert Redford’s Star Power guaranteed Box Office success in the 7 movies he Directed Redford (including Western Classic Jeremiah Johnson – over $50 Million profit), the Box Office take for the previous 2 Washington/Fuqua Action movies: Training Day (2001) ($57 million), and The Equalizer (2014) ($137 million) guaranteed that M7 2016 would be a success. The current Box Office for M7 2016 shows a profit of $46 million – and climbing. Combining all 3 Fuqua/Washington movies, we get about $240 Million profit. So far. Pretty good business. M7 2016 isn’t a Western Classic, but it’s sure going to pay the bills.

Amazingly Wikipedia claims the original Magnificent Seven (1960) was not initially well received in the US – but did well overseas. And despite unclear statistics on it’s overall Box Office, it’s a safe bet that it made it’s money back many times over – and it’s still selling well today on DVD and Blue Ray.

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Casting?

“Once You’ve Met Them …You’ll Never Forget Them”
– A tagline from the original M7 1960

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Most any Western Movie fan can name at least 6 of this guys.

Large ensemble Casts in a movie are a problem. Writers and Directors know how important Character Development is. Because if we don’t connect with the people in the movie, what exactly are you doing? And the larger the Cast, the harder this is. With M7 (1960) however, most of  the Actors had been around for quite a while – they weren’t unknown. They just weren’t Stars yet. We knew Brynner very well; McQueen was known from the TV series Wanted Dead of Alive; Bronson had been kicking around in support roles for years; Coburn had been in several Westerns already; Vaughn had done a ton of TV work; Dexter had also done a lot of TV work – and several movies; even Buchholz had been in about 17 movies by 1960; Eli Wallach had also done extensive TV and movie work.
The point is, we had seen them before. And it’s a lot easier to do movies with ensemble casts if the audience has some familiarity with the Actors.
Frankly, in that sense, the  Casting M7 1960 was brilliant.

Can you name these guys?
the-magnificent-7-2016-the-sevenJustice might have a number, but might lack a name.

If you get 4 of those guys, I’ll send you a Tootsie Roll and a box of popcorn.

In M7 2016 we have less familiarity with the Cast. We would definitely know Washington, and likely Pratt, Hawke, and D’Onofrio though D’Onofrio is so heavily made up, I doubt most people recognized him.
Most everybody else in the movie we are unlikely to know.
This puts M7 2016 at a definite disadvantage as far as the audience (us) is able connect with the Characters – and care about them – not a good thing for a movie.

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Back when Tom Cruise started this whole M7 re-make debate,
I proposed my own Cast:
Tom Cruise, Viggo Mortensen, Guy Pearce, Willem Dafoe, Benedict Cumberbach, Brenden Fraser, Aaron Paul, Antonio Banderas.
This would have been a hell of a Cast …
but it also would have broke the bank.

my-magnificent-seven-my-castAnd I still hadn’t figured out who would Direct that thing.

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Coming:

Magnificent Sevens … myth, math and aftermath … Part 3

Magnificent Sevens … myth, math and aftermath … Part 1

10 Oct

I finally went and saw The Magnificent Seven (2016) the other night.
I had initially said that I wouldn’t judge this movie by the original,
but it raises so many issues surrounding modern Film Making – and Westerns
that I couldn’t resist.

the-magnificent-7-2016“Justice has a number”
M7 (2016) tagline

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mgm-lioncolumbia-logo“Remakes? You probably shouldn’t go there.”
– My Favorite Westerns

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The CWF Film Critique System

Being a Film Critic of no renown, I have deferred my critiquing chores to my unfamous and trusted colleague Cecil W. (Wannabe) FordWannabe is not a respected Film Critic, but to make up for that by his high HO (Highly Opinionated) Rating – especially of himself. This, combined with his unique CWF Critique System (whereby each movie is subjected to Wannabe’s stringent CWF testing criteria) he arrives at a judgment. Maybe.

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Let us proceed.

The Magnificent Seven (2016) Review

by Cecil W(annabe). Ford

the-magnificent-7-2016-banner

 I like to think that NOTHING is impossible.
But my expectations were not high.
Why? Because a Remake of the Magnificent Seven IS pretty well impossible.
Denzel Washington says right there himself at the start of the movie:

Quote:
Denzel Washington
(Sam Chisolm):
“Took a job – looking for a some men to join us.”
Chris Pratt (Josh Farraday):
“Is it difficult?”
Denzel Washington:
“Impossible.”

This is not mere dialogue (quoted from the first movie): It’s Film director and Producer Antoine Fuqua’s open admission that there is no way he could make a movie that will equal the Original Magnificent Seven (1960).
No way.
You have to give him credit for admitting that. He knew it. And there are definite reasons for that knowledge – things that were beyond his control. I’ll get to those …

antoine-fuqua

The real question is: Why? Why make the movie? Why make movie that you know is going to be compared to the incomparable? If you know something is impossible, then Why attempt it?

the-magnificent-7-why

Antoine Fuqua’s last 9 movies have all made money – including M7 2016.
In Film Making that makes him a SuperStar.

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Time for Wannabe’s Test # One:

Test One: The CWF Charismometer
Measuring Star Power / Charisma / Casting

My first Test will employ the trusty CWF Charismometer. This will infallibly measure, Star Power, Charisma, and Casting – vital components in any movie – and the main factors that Fuqua, his Writers, and the Producers … or anybody – could not match from the Original Magnificent Seven.

We’ll start with Yul Brunner and Denzel Washington.

Charismometer says:

the-magnificent-7-2016-denzel-meter

Denzel is a Star. No doubt about it. And a good Actor.
And if he wasn’t in M7 2016, it wouldn’t hardly be worth a sniff.
But compared to Yul Brynner?
Well, it’s a good thing I tested Denzel first, because Yul blew my Charismometer  to smithereens.

the-magnificent-7-2016-yul-meterBOOOM!

This is the first reason  – and likely most important reason – M7 2016 couldn’t match the original.

I will next test the rest …

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Those Thrilling Stars of Yesteryear

Is it just me? or is the Star Power in modern Film not equal to the Star Power of yesteryear – 50’s and 60’s. 70’s???
John Wayne, Cary Grant, Charlton Heston, Kirk Douglas, Gregory Peck, James Stewart, Clark Gable, Bogart, Gary Cooper, Spencer Tracy, Fonda, Brando 
I could go on and on and on. And then start on the ladies.
Yes. we certainly have Stars and some very good actors these days … but …

Part 2 … Coming Soon

 

The Magnificent Seven … 2016

20 Apr

Unless you’ve been under a log you’ve probably heard  about this Remake of The Magnificent Seven. |
So we have our first Trailers.
(brought to my attention by Tim Neath over at https://timneath.wordpress.com/) Thanks Tim!

Have a look …

Go ahead … say something.
I dare ya.

The Magnificent Seven 2016 … UPDATE

14 Sep

Denzel Washington – the Magnificent Seven Equalizer ??

“What do you see when you look at me?”

Yul Washington

“Oh, hell. If that’s all that’s holding things up, I’ll drive the rig.”
– Yul Brynner / The Magnificent Seven

Wikipedia: September 14, 2015 “The Magnificent Seven is an upcoming American Western directed by Antoine Fuqua, a remake of the 1960 western film of the same name. The film stars Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Lee Byung-hun, Luke Grimes, Wagner Moura, Haley Bennett, Matt Bomer, and Peter Sarsgaard. Principal photography began on May 18, 2015, in the north of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The film is set to be released on September 23, 2016.”

Denzel Washington gets the lead role of Chris formerly played by Yul Brynner in the 1960 film. I consider this to be a rather smart bit of casting. In my mind it completely circumvents the main problem of the remake: who are you going to cast that has enough Star Power who can measure up to Yul Brynner??! By choosing Washington – the black Superstar – for the the part it seems to approach the role from a completely different angle that deflects such judgements. Washington also has enough Star Power and acting chops to pull it off.

Despite having made plenty of Action movies in his career, this will be Washington’s first Western movie.

No trailers as of yet …

But what about the other 6 Sevens??

Well … here they are:

mag 7 2

mag 7 3

mag 7 4

Up to you to figure out who’s playing who … if indeed the former roles have any bearing. I think they will, but …

This is all I know so far.

I’ll try to keep an eye on things and hopefully we’ll have a preview trailer soon.

I still liked my own casting better:

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

… onward !!

 

 

A Magnificent 7 remake ____ here we go again …

13 Sep

The Magnificent Seven: Denzel and Fuqua to Remake Classic

By Point of Geekson September 10th, 2014 at 4:31pm

One of the greatest westerns ever made, The Magnificent Seven, will be remade for the big-screen. The western which featured many of the biggest stars of its time, was actually a remake itself of Akira Kurosawa’s epic, Seven Samurai. An important point to make before there are cries from film purists claiming it is blasphemy to remake this classic. The project has gone through many hands in the past few years as multiple producers and stars have looked to repackage the film for the current generation. Most recently there was a version to star Tom Cruise, according to ScreenRant, other veteran actors such as Morgan Freeman and Kevin Costner were sought after to make up the posse.

 

The Magnificent Seven (1960)
The Magnificent Seven (1960)

The project is now in the hands another director and actor team, who have found a high level of comfortability and teamwork. Director Antoine Fuqua and Academy Award winning actor Denzel Washington, first forged their partnership on the film Training Day, where Washington won his second Oscar. After their second pairing in this month’s upcoming thriller, The Equalizer, they are more energized than ever to keep their professional partnership going. After confirming that the duo are indeed remaking The Magnificent Seven ….

…. It will be interesting to see how the remake is handled. With Washington assumably taking over the role previously held by Yul Brynner, it will be fascinating to see how race is handled in the film. It would be hard to not acknowledge how the additional hardship of being black in the wild west America would affect the character(s).

Even of more interest is whom Fuqua and Washington (who seems to be in a producing capacity as well judging by Fuqua’s comments) choose as the other six members of the legendary posse. The search for backup is a huge part of the original film and finding six other actors that won’t be overshadowed by Washington may not be a simple task. Not to mention Westerns certainly are not the dominant film genre any longer. It will take a quite a dynamic cast to drum up a buzz, since the original came out over fifty years ago. It should be a delight watching this project come together.

Top 10 Movie Ensemble Casts: The Magnificent Seven

MFW comment:

Am I against a remake of M7? No.
Would I say M7 fans wouldn’t like to see one? Of course they would.
I would also say that it’s a daunting task – especially the casting – as is mentioned.
Over the years we have already seen several attempts to remake M7 – even a TV show.
None of them fared too well – compared to the original.
The problem is simple: On any such remake of a Classic Film there are going to be inevitable comparisons – as what happened with Johnny Depp’s The Lone Ranger.
So it’s a tough deal.
And the only thing that saves some remakes (to any degree) is that there is a whole new audience that holds no allegiance or knowledge of the Original. They don’t care – and don’t know – about the incredible Star Power and charisma of Yul Brynner – not to mention the other members of the cast – most of whom went on to long an illustrious success in filmdom.
Yes ..we all hope that somehow Washington and Director Antoine Fuqua can come up with something that rekindles the inspired work of John Sturges original movie …
But we are ready to be disappointed as well.

M7 boothill

[Chris (Yul Brynner) is driving the hearse up to Boot Hill; Vin (Steve McQueen) is riding shotgun]

Chris: We’ll get there.

Vin: It’s not getting up there that bothers me. It’s staying up there that I mind.

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

charles bronson 3

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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

________________________

Brad Dexter / Harry Luck

Brad Dexter as Harry Luck
The Magnificent Seven

Brad Dexter 5

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.”

 

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 Horst Buchholz

2 Oct

Casting Chico … Horst Buchholz

Horst Buchholz

Another tough Casting role … very tough.

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

The Young Bucks

There are a ton of new young male actors on the scene. A ton. There always is, but with the explosion of mass media and mass media entertainment over the last 40 years … there’s more … and more.

So it’s impossible to see everything – and everybody. So I really cant know ALL the people out there. That makes casting Chico difficult. Very difficult.

But there’s no doubt – amongst all these actors – that must be who somebody who is PERFECT for this role.
But who ? where?

I don’t know.

Yet … I have to pick somebody.

???????????????????????????????????????????

The Olden Days

In the 50’s – and more obviously the 60’s – there seemed to be a fad to cast some young buck in a lot of Westerns – whether he was needed or not.

In North to Alaska we had Fabian.

Fabian

In Rio Bravo we had Ricky Nelson,

Ricky Nelson

In El Dorado we had James Caan.

James Caan

In Red River we had Montgomery Clift (but he was needed there).

Mongomery Clift

The list is long. Very long. And certainly was done in more than just Westerns.

Maybe this was a partial spin-off from the Elvis movies ??? I don’t know. But the idea was to attract young people – and the female audience. Particularly in Western Movies which were otherwise perceived to be a Male Domain.

So … we often ended up with a bunch annoying singing and unnecessary smooching … and stuff. Bletch !!

But It musta worked. Cuz they did it a lot. And I think they still are.

Amazingly … some of these young actors went on to have fine careers in the entertainment business. But many just faded into oblivion. (Oblivion is a large black hole somewhere near Hollywood – full of actors).

Anywaaaayyyyy … here we come to The Magnificent Seven … and Horst Buchholz.

What to do?

Casting Chico

Horst Bucholz on watch

Theoretically … Theatrically …

What we are looking for:

Somebody who can play young and reckless. Energy. Ready to prove his manhood.

I’m I not certain that we need to exactly reprise Horst Buchholz’ very fine work – or his role – from the original The Magnificent Seven. Something else – something a bit different – can certainly work.

So …. I looked everywhere. Everywhere.

Latino … Bollywood … Emerging young actors … etc, etc, etc …

It was exhausting.

Eventually …

I went with my gut instincts …… and good taste.

And what I know.

Aaron Paul

Aaron Paul 1

This is going a bit outside of the box too. But Aaron Paul is another actor who is really HOT right now. Or should be, after his brilliant and stunning work as Jesse Pinkman in the equally brilliant Breaking Bad TV series.

Aaron Paul has earned the right to a ‘break out’ role on the Big Screen.
This will provide it.

His work in Breaking Bad leaves us no doubt as to his awesome acting talent.

No, he’s not young (age 34), but appears and appeals as being much younger.

Aaron Paul will do the job – a hell of a job. Whatever you need.

His Awards:

2008–2013 / Breaking Bad / as Jesse Pinkman

Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2010, 2012)
Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor on Television (2010, 2012)
Nominated—Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2012)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2009, 2013)
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries, or Television Film (2010)
Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor on Television (2011)
Nominated—TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Drama (2010)

Go Aaron !

Aaron Paul

Aaron Paul 2Aaron Paul Saturn

__________________________________________________________________________

Horst Bucholz 5

How duz a guy get a drink around here ?

seven … 11

30 Sep

the M7________________________________________________seven 11________________________________________________

seven 13seven 12

The Magnificent Seven … ??? Casting Brad Dexter …

25 Sep

The Magnificent Seven …
Casting Brad Dexter / Harry Luck

Brad Dexter as Harry Luck
The Magnificent Seven

Brad Dexter 5 CASTING Brad DexterThe 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 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.

____________________________________________________________________

Casting Brendan Fraser as Harry Luck

Let’s see …

…. a guy who can play a cynical scoundrel with some charm and a smile … ?
Possibly unsophisticated … affable, obvious, open … ??

Who is natural for such a role … ???

BANG !!!

Brendan Fraser

Dead on.

Brendan Fraser

“I would act whether or not I was paid.
I would be involved in ensemble groups.

I would have the desire to tell stories.”
~ Brendan Fraser

brendan fraser inkheart 3

brendan fraser the mummy

brendan fraser journey to the center of the earth

Brendan Fraser bedazzled

Brendan Fraser 3

brendan fraser 4

Brendan Fraser 5

The Magnificent Seven …… Let’s ride !

23 Sep

TM7 Lets ride 2

TM7 Lets ride 3

MFW:
All images are exactly as found. 

Seven …

23 Sep

seven 1

seven 2

seven 3

seven 5

The Magnificent Seven … Posters …

23 Sep

magnificent seven posters

magnificent seven posters 2

magnificent seven posters 3

magnificent seven posters 4

magnificent seven posters 5

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

antonio banderas

antonio banderas 8

antonio banderas 2

antonio banderas 5

antonio banderas 4

antonio banderas 7

The Magnificent Seven … ??? Casting Robert Vaughn …

20 Sep

The Magnificent Seven …
Casting Robert Vaughn / Lee

Yaughn as Lee

Robert Vaughn as Lee

For some reason i thought Robert Vaughn would be easy.
Kevin Fraser casts Casey Affleck here. Possibly the best choice.
Myself, I perceive Casey as being a bit … well … creepy.
(As per, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007 starring Brad Pitt))
Sorry Kevin/Casey – let’s just call it good acting. Though that would put an interesting twist on the character.

Which raises the point: we really don’t know how the new writers – and the new Director – whoever he is going to be ?? (another huge decision that is even more important than the casting) are going to portray these Characters –
any of them!!
I/we assume they will be somewhat similar to the original movie.
It’s likely.

ROBERT VAUGHN 2

Vaughn as Lee

“Till you lose your nerve. You can feel it. Then you wait… for the bullet in the gun that is faster than you are … ”
~ Robert Vaughn / Lee / The Magnificent Seven

Lee is probably the most complicated Character of the Seven.

Vaughn’s and (Director) John Stuges portray Lee as 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.

The part may also call for someone who is not youngish (though make-up artists can do anything these days) , and perhaps somewhat of a cynic … certainly depressed.

So if the remake stays true to form … we may be looking for somewhat of a similar character.
Vin Diesel will not make the list.

ROBERT VAUGHN 3 _________________________________________________________________

No, I’m not casting Di Caprio here either. Leo has already played a bit of an Dandy in two Westerns already:
the horrific The Quick and the Dead (1995) and the equally disgusting Django (yeah, yeah I’m not a Tarantino fan).

Incredibly, I find a rather long list of actors that COULD do this part – and do it well.
I looked over dozens of actors here, Including Gary Oldman. Jeremy Renner, Kevin Costner, Colin Farrell,
Gerard Butler … even Keanu Reeves … ??

Many actors are capable. BUT …
who would be right?
Who is perfect for the role?
That is the question.
Most of them didn’t ring my bell.

Finally …

I always say that when your boxed in … go outside the box.

So it was time to go where no cowboy had gone before …

Casting Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch is one of the new group of emerging film Stars … who can actually Act.
And a man who is heading to the top of the BIll.
In fact, he’s there right now. He’s hot … RED HOT.
But he also fits the role of Lee very nicely.
He has a manner and sophistication mirroring Vaughn’s own sensibilities.
Articulate and intelligent.
But also perhaps lends some depth and qualities to the role that may elevate it – and which Vaughn may have lacked – an intensity to be certain.
I also believe he has a likeability that will draw our sympathy to his plight.
He’s done some Action. Maybe he’d ready to be a cowboy.

He’s great … the gunhand that fits Lee’s glove.

Perfectly.

benedict cumberbatch 8

benedict cumberbatch 2

benedict cumberbatch 1

benedict cumberbatch 7

benedict cumberbatch 3

benedict cumberbatch

benedict cumberbatch 5

benedict cumberbatch 6

Next …

    The Magnificent Seven ??? …
Casting Eli Wallach / Calvera

 

The Magnificent Seven … ??? Casting Charles Bronson …

18 Sep

There’s only a couple of the cast members of The Magnificent Seven that are easy to cast …
and Charles Bronson ISN”T one of them.

CASTING charles bronson

Bronson poses a casting problem in that he always 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 ?

So let’s say we’re looking for a laid back, hard working, down-to-earth, character who’s paid some dues and knows a thing or two …

Hmmmm … ??
___________________________________________________________

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

Lets face it, I’m not going to find any actor around who
can swing an axe – or a pick  – with the likes of Bronson.
Gonna have to compromise a bit …

Maybe.

Maybe not.
_____________________________________________________

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

charles bronson 1charles bronson 3

OK …

… mumble … mumble …

Time for a decision.

I’m going with Willem Dafoe !!!

Yes.

I think Willem Dafoe will do one hell of job.

Often brilliant … he’s done a hell of job on everything else he’s done.
Has the grizzled, chiselled, rugged looks of a Bronson.
And he’s done quite a bit of Action filming.

Willem Dafoe 1

Willem Dafoe 4

Willem Dafoe 5

Willem Dafoe

Willem Dafoe 3

Willem Dafoe 6_______________________________________________________________

Who ....

Next …

The Magnificent Seven … Casting Robert Vaughn – Lee

Recast this: The Magnificent Seven … by Kevin Fraser

18 Sep

I just came across this article by accident today … looking for pics of Charles Bronson on net.

I DID NOT know about it before. (This kind of thing has happened to be a time or two in the past – and people think I’m copying other people’s stuff. I DON”T DO THAT)

Coincidentally, (INCREDIBLY), the writer, Kevin Fraser, casts 2 actors that I had also cast in The Magnificent Seven remake: Viggo Mortensen and Guy Pearce. (great Western minds think alike? ‘cough’)

Fraser casts Guy Pearce in Charles Bronson‘s part (Bernardo O’Reilly). I had cast Guy Pearce in James Coburn‘s role (Britt).

Fraser casts Viggo Mortensen in James Coburn’s part (Britt). I had cast Viggo in Steve Mcqueen’s part as Vin

Confused yet? (I am).

Amazing stuff.

I am still working on Bronson‘s role and haven’t quite decided who I’m going to suggest …

For your interest:

Article by Kevin Fraser

http://www.cityoffilms.com/reel-news/recast-this-the-magnificent-seven/

Recast This: THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN

July 22nd, 2013 by Kevin Fraser

Recast This The Magnificent Seven

When Graham and I wrote about our twelve favourite Westerns (check it out if you haven’t already) I starting thinking about The Magnificent Seven.  Not only is it one of the best Westerns ever in my opinion…it also had a pretty amazing all-star cast.  You’ve got Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen headlining which is already amazing, but you also have Charles BronsonRobert VaughnJames Coburn, and Eli Wallach.  I began pondering on who they would cast if there was ever a remake of The Magnificent Seven.  Given the star studded cast of the original, I think it would be neat to put together a band of equally big names.

So here we go, these are my picks for the completely hypothetical remake of…The Magnificent Seven.

Chris Adams played by Daniel Day Lewis

Chris Adams Yul Brynner Danile Day Lewis
Originally played by Yul Brynner, I feel that Daniel Day Lewis can portray the same sort of easy going quality that Yul put into the character.  Plus it would be fascinating to see  what he’d do with this fairly straight forward role.

Vin played by Michael Fassbender

Vin Steve McQueen Michael Fassbender
Michael Fassbender is still a relatively new actor in the grand scheme of things but he’s proven himself as a extremely talented and capable actor whose mere presence on screen demands attention.  Just as Steve McQueen was great partner for Yul Brynner, I feel like Michael would be that for Daniel Day Lewis.

Chico played by Casey Affleck

Chico Casey Affleck
The underrated Affleck brother isn’t quite so underrated anymore, with a string of powerful roles in some great films I think he’d be perfect for the youngest member of the seven originally played by Horst Buchholz.  He seems to have that charming yet somewhat annoying thing down pat.

Bernardo O’Reilly played by Guy Pearce

Bernardo O'Reilly Charles Bronson Guy Pearce
Charles Bronson is a tough act to follow but I think Guy Pearce is up to the challenge.  The man has a lot of chameleon qualities and I can imagine him bringing something different to the role, something a little grittier and darker.

Lee played by Tom Hardy

Lee Robert Vaughn Tom Hardy
Robert Vaughn (who coincidentally is the only member of the seven still alive) portrayed what was easily the suavest character of the bunch and Tom Hardy can totally give off that sort of smarmy yet amiable quality that I think this character needs.

Britt played by Viggo Mortensen

Britt Viggo Mortensen
Originally played by James Coburn, Britt is a character of few words, he doesn’t need to brag or prove himself, he just happens to be the best there is at what he does.  This may be typecasting I suppose, but Viggo Mortensen plays a great strong silent type and I’m almost certain he’d be as good with a knife as he is with deflecting them.

Harry Luck played by Sam Rockwell

Harry Luck Sam Rockwell
Harry Luck is the fast talking slightly sleazy member of the group, but you just can’t help but love him anyway.  Brad Dexter always seems to come up last when the seven actors are mentioned but I think his is a great role plus he gets that wonderful hero moment at the end.  Sam Rockwell is one of the best and most compelling actors of the last few years, he’s been in several of my all time favourite films and I think he’d be a great choice for the final member of the seven.

Calvera played by Javier Bardem

Calvera Eli Wallach Javier Bardem
Now we come to the villain.  A hero is only as good as the villain they say, and Eli Wallach was a doozy.  He was hilarious yet dangerous, a guy you could see yourself hanging out with…just so long as you didn’t get on his bad side.  Javier Bardem has played some wonderful bad guys over the years, but I think this role would give him something a bit different to play around with.

The Old Man played by Eli Wallach

The Old Man Eli Wallach
You know how every remake tries to shove in some of the original actors as a half assed tribute to the original movie?  Yea, we hate it but here I am…doing it.  However, I feel as though this would be a tribute people would be okay with.  Not only is Eli Wallach still alive (he’s 97!) but he’s still acting!  The role of The Old Man is a small but important one, and Eli would be a perfect fit.

There we go folks, this has been fun and I’m sure I’ll see you in a future edition of…Recast This.

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