Steve McQueen - The Magnificent Seven

Akira Kurosawa's rousing Seven Samurai was a natural for an American remake--after all, the codes and conventions of ancient Japan and the Wild West (at least the mythical movie West) are not so very far apart. Thus The Magnificent Seven effortlessly turns samurai into cowboys (the same trick worked more than once: Kurosawa's Yojimbo became Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars). The beleaguered denizens of a Mexican village, weary of attacks by banditos, hire seven gunslingers to repel the invaders once and for all. The gunmen are cool and capable, with most of the actors playing them just on the cusp of '60s stardom: Steve McQueen as Vin, James Coburn, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn. 

The man who brings these warriors together is Yul Brynner, the baddest bald man in the West. There's nothing especially stylish about the approach of veteran director John Sturges (The Great Escape), but the storytelling is clear and strong, and the charisma of the young guns fairly flies off the screen. If that isn't enough to awaken the 12-year-old kid inside anyone, the unforgettable Elmer Bernstein music will do it: bum-bum-ba-bum, bum-ba-bum-ba-bum....

Steve McQueen was the greatest movie star to ever appear onscreen. He defined what being "cool" was (and is) and is imitated by today's major movie actors, but none comes close. There was only one Steve McQueen.

Some facts about Steve McQueen:

  • (1974) Recieved a percentage of profits from 'The Towering Inferno' and took home $14 million, unheard of dollars for an actor at that time.
  • (1976) McQueen proposed the idea for a film 'The Bodyguard', but this was forgotten for 16 long years, until 1992 when Kevin Costner revived it.