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Note: This is about the film. For the ensemble/plot, see The Magnificent Seven Samurai.
Vin: I guess right about now you kinda wish you'd given your crops to Calvera, huh?
Hilario: Yes. And no. Both at the same time. Yes, when I think of what he might do. No, when I remember the feeling in my chest this morning as I saw him running away -- from us. That's a feeling worth dying for. Have you ever... felt something like that?
Vin: Not for a long, long time. I, uh, I envy you.
Mexican villagers, plagued by a band of bandits, send a few of their number north to the border, to buy guns so they can defend themselves. They end up hiring seven gunmen to help them instead.
The Magnificent Seven is a western retelling (in both senses of the term) of The Seven Samurai (with a brilliant and memorable score, to boot). This film has so much testosterone that a girl risks getting pregnant just by watching it. It is widely considered one of the last great westerns.
- Accidental Aiming Skills -- Britt kills a bandit fleeing on horseback with a single rifle shot from a long distance. When Chico praises it as the best shot he's ever seen, Britt replies that it was the worst - he was aiming for the horse.
- Also subverted, because the reason that he was aiming at the horse is that they wanted to take one of the bandits alive so they could question him about how strong the bandit force really was.
- Action Film Quiet Drama Scene -- Vin and Hilario having the page quote conversation in the middle of a firefight. Also Lee's scene in which he wakes from a nightmare and talks about losing his nerve.
- Adaptation Distillation -- Akira Kurosawa was so pleased with the result, he gave the director, John Sturges, a samurai sword.
- Adaptation Expansion -- Regarding Calvera, given that the bandits' leader is given zero characterization in Seven Samurai, and only gets about five minutes of total screen time.
- Affably Evil -- Calvera. Although maybe Faux Affably Evil, its hard to tell.
- All-Star Cast -- Quite possibly the coolest in the history of cinema: Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, James Coburn, Brad Dexter, and Horst Buchholz are the Seven, and at least five of them went on to become A-list stars, in part thanks to this movie. (Eli Wallach is no-one to sneeze at, either.)
- Horst Bucholz didn't become an A-list star in America, but he did become exceptionally popular in European cinema, meaning poor Brad Dexter was the only member of the main cast who didn't become a big star in some way.
- Anyone Can Die -- It's a western based on a movie by Akira Kurosawa. What'd you expect?
- Avengers Assemble -- Chris delivering The Call.
- Beard of Evil -- Calvera.
- Bavarian Fire Drill -- Chico, yet again. You have to wonder: Did Chris write a song about him, as promised?
- Badass -- All the seven, really. Also Badass Crew.
- Badass Boast -- We deal in lead, friend.
Chris: No enemies?
- Bald of Awesome -- This could be said of almost any role Yul Brynner has played, but this one stands out the most.
- Bandito -- Calvera and his gang.
- Batman Cold Open -- A Western variation (escorting a dead Indian to a cemetery whilst under fire) of the Batman Cold Open Kambei undergoes in Kurosawa's original. It establishes not only Chris and Vin's creds as awesome gunslingers, but also solidifies their respect for each other.
- It's also their Establishing Character Moment.
- Bittersweet Ending -- The bandits are all dead, but so are four of the seven. One of the survivors gives up on adventure, while the other two ride off to a future without prospects. "The old man was right. Only the farmers won. We lost. We'll always lose."
- Boomerang Bigot -- Chico really hates farmers.
- This is directly taken from The Seven Samurai film from which The Magnificent Seven was based. There it explains why the seventh member tries so hard to be a Samurai, constantly boasting and showing off before tearfully admitting he came from a family of selfish farmers.
- Call to Agriculture -- Chico, in spite of explicitly stating in an earlier scene that he had no intention of settling down.
- Catapult Nightmare -- Lee scrambles across the room in a panic when he awakens from a nightmare.
- Changed My Mind, Kid -- A couple of times during the Avengers Assemble section, but the best example of the trope is Harry returning for the Final Battle.
- Chekhov's Gun -- Subverted with Britt's knife-throwing. In the final gunfight he draws the blade -- and is killed before he can throw it.
- Composite Character -- Chico, whose character combines those of Katsushiro and Kikuchiyo from the original film.
- Crowning Music Of Awesome -- The main theme. Elmer Bernstein's Masterpiece.
- Actor Eli Wallach, who delivers a great performance as the bandit leader, Calvera, remarked that if he'd have heard Elmer's music while they were filming the movie, he'd have ridden his horse better!
- Deadpan Snarker -- Vin.
- O' Reilly as well:
Chris: Morning. I'm a friend of Harry Luck's. He tells me you're broke.
O'Reilly: [chopping wood] Nah. I'm doing this because I'm an eccentric millionaire.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good -- The seven came back for a village like this. Why?
- Five-Man Band:
- Foreign Remake -- Of Seven Samurai, naturally.
- Friend to All Children -- Bernardo O'Reilly.
- I Choose to Stay -- Chico
- I Gave My Word
Harry: Well, there comes a time to turn Mother's picture to the wall and get out. The village will be no worse off than it was before we came.
Chris: You forget one thing. We took a contract.
Vin: Not the kind any court would enforce.
Chris: That's just the kind you've got to keep.
- Improbable Aiming Skills
- Played straight: Actually not terrible compared to some westerns, but several characters make shots on the run, shoot guns out of hands, etc.
- Averted: Britt, acknowledged to be the best with a gun, takes several seconds to line up a shot that, while not point blank, isn't terribly long range either, and he still claims to have missed his target (whether or not he actually did is debatable).
- Instant Fanclub -- Bernardo, though it doesn't do him much good; see Stop Helping Me!.
- Knife Nut -- Britt uses a throwing knife in a gunfight. And wins.
- Naive Newcomer -- Chico again.
- The Gunslinger -- Did we mention this is a western movie?
- The Gunfighter Wannabe -- Chico.
- The Magnificent Seven Samurai -- Trope Namer. Or rather, co-trope namer.
- Meaningful Name -- Chico means "Kid" in Spanish.
- My Friends and Zoidberg -- The titular Seven are six actors who became major stars... and Brad Dexter. (Horst Bucholz had a huge career in Germany.)
- Noodle Incident -- Vin answers the question in Evil Cannot Comprehend Good above with a story about this man he witnessed jumping buck naked into a patch of cactus. "He said it seemed like a good idea at the time."
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent -- Yul Brynner (a Russian) and Horst Buchholz (a German) both sport their natural accents. Hilariously, the film tries to Hand Wave this by making Brynner's character a Cajun and Buchholz's a Mexican.
- The Notable Numeral -- Guess which?
- Pyrrhic Victory -- Lampshaded, as with the original film, with the whole "only the farmers won" speech.
- The Quiet One -- Two of them. James Coburn's character 'Britt' (the knife-thrower), with 11 lines total during the 128 minute-long film; and Robert Vaughn's 'Lee' (the gambler), who has a whopping 16 lines.
- Britt's lines also tend to be short. In his introductory scene, he only speaks five words.
- Rated "M" for Manly -- It's a very macho movie, in a good sense.
- Redemption Equals Death -- Played straight with both Lee and Harry. Lee, who has been struggling with his cowardice throughout the whole movie, is shot to death five seconds after saving a group of villagers. Harry dies saving a cornered Chris from being killed.
- Say My Name -- Invoked by Bernardo as he's dying.
- Setting Update -- From feudal Japan to the American West.
- The Siege -- Of the village, although pretty short.
- Smug Snake -- Calvera.
- South of the Border
- Spared by the Adaptation -- The Village Elder, who died in Kurosawa's film. Chico is half an example, as a Composite Character of Kikuchiyo (who died) and Katsushiro (who survived).
- The Stoic -- Britt. Also Chris to some extent.
- You could make an argument for everyone (except Chico). The point being that everyone else on the crew has seen so much in their day it takes a lot to make them shocked, surprised, hurt, etc.
- Stop Helping Me! -- Bernardo's Instant Fanclub follow him everywhere trying to be useful; in the end they get him killed when they distract him during a gunfight.
- The Team Wannabe
- Token Romance -- Chico and Petra
- Training the Peaceful Villagers
- Wall Slump -- Lee's death
- The Western -- The Western, yes.
- What You Are in the Dark
Harry: "Come on, Lee. If they want to get killed, let 'em."
Chris: "Go ahead, Lee. You don't owe anything to anybody."
Lee: "Except to myself."
- Young Gun -- Chico.