Guns of the Magnificent Seven

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Guns of the Magnificent Seven
Original film poster
Directed by Paul Wendkos
Produced by Vincent M. Fennelly
Written by Herman Hoffman
Starring George Kennedy
James Whitmore
Monte Markham
Music by Elmer Bernstein
Cinematography Antonio Macasoli
Edited by Walter Hannemann
Distributed by United Artists
Release dates
  • July 30, 1969 (1969-07-30) (United States)
Running time
105 min.
Country United States
Language English

Guns of the Magnificent Seven (1969) (also known as The Magnificent Seven 3) is a Zapata Western and the second sequel to the 1960 western film, The Magnificent Seven (itself based on Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai).

The picture was directed by Paul Wendkos and stars George Kennedy as Chris Adams, the character Yul Brynner portrayed in the first two films. The additions to the cast to make up the "new" seven are Monte Markham, Bernie Casey (in his film debut), James Whitmore, Reni Santoni, Joe Don Baker and Scott Thomas. Each have their quirks and baggage. They band together to help free a Mexican revolutionary (Fernando Rey) and help fight the oppression of sadistic militarist Diego played by Michael Ansara. Elmer Bernstein once again provides the music. It was filmed in Spain as was the previous Return of the Seven.

Plot synopsis[edit]

In late 19th-century Mexico, Federales capture Quintero, a revolutionary who attempts to rally those opposing the dictatorship of President Díaz. Before going to prison, Quintero gives his lieutenant, Maximiliano O'Leary, $600 with which to continue the cause. Bandit chief Carlos Lobero demands that the money be used for guns and ammunition, but Max instead crosses the border in search of Chris Adams: a legendary, laconic, American gunman whom his cousin had told him about. Max finally finds Chris, witnessing him free a man from a rigged trial, first by using his wits, then with the famed hair-trigger artistry of his weapons.

Chris agrees to mount a rescue of Quintero and uses $500 of Max's money to recruit five highly trained combatants: Keno, a horse thief and hand-to-hand combat expert (whom Chris saved from hanging); Cassie, a brawny but intelligent former slave, who can handle dynamite; Slater, a one-armed, sideshow sharp-shootist; a tubercular wrangler called "P.J.", and Levi Morgan, an aging family man who is doubtful of his worth, despite his incredible knife-throwing skills.

En route to Mexico, the motley band of Americans becomes less mercenary when observing the brutal treatment of the peasants. Their journey is marked by encounters with a political prisoner's little boy – Emiliano Zapata – and a pretty peasant girl, Tina, who falls in love with P.J. When Lobero learns that Max did not buy guns with the $600, he refuses to allow his men to take part in Quintero's rescue. Realizing that he needs support, Chris frees a prison gang that includes Zapata's father, then trains them in military tactics.

Despite their superior fighting skills and strategy, Chris' men are outnumbered and their valiant effort to free Quintero appears doomed. At the last moment, 50 of Lobero's bandits, having slain their leader for his lack of patriotism, thunder onto the prison grounds and turn the tide of battle. Of the original seven, only Chris, Max and Levi survive. Before riding home, Chris and Levi elect to donate the $600 to the peasants' cause.



This film was preceded by Return of the Seven in 1966, and followed by The Magnificent Seven Ride in 1972. Producer Walter Mirisch felt that in the unpredictable market of filmgoers, there was safety in familiar material. Yul Brynner did not want to return to the role of Chris; the role was taken by George Kennedy, then at a height of popularity after winning his Academy Award for Cool Hand Luke. Mirisch surrounded Kennedy with a strong cast, Elmer Bernstein's original score and had his contract director Paul Wendkos direct. The producer of the film, Vincent M. Fennelly, had worked with Mirisch at Monogram and had produced the Clint Eastwood Western TV series Rawhide. The film did very well at the international box office.[1]


  1. ^ pp. 282-283 Mirisch, Walter I Thought We Were Making Movies, Not History University of Wisconsin Press

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