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Western films, from silent to today

The Magnificent Seven Ride! (1972)

Magnificent Seven Ride (1972) poster Lee Van Cleef is Chris Adams, a sheriff newly married when an old friend (Ralph Waite as Jim Mackay) arrives seeking his help to protect a border town against Mexican bandits.

Adams declines, but soon finds himself headed toward Magdelena anyway. A young outlaw — a man he’s given a second chance at his wife’s urging — joins up with two buddies to rob a bank.

They kidnap Adams’ wife (Mariette Hartley) on the way out of town, rape her, kill her and leave her for the buzzards.

Adams catches up with two of the youngsters (including Gary Busy in an early role) and kills them. The third escapes to join De Toro’s gang of cutthroats.

When Adams arrives in Magdelena with dime novel writer Noah Forbe in tow, he finds a town full of women who’ve been forced to satisfy De Toro’s’s men and who are dreading their return.

So Adams heads to prison, recruits five inmates with an offer of parole and returns to Magdelena to defend the town against overwhelming odds.

Rating 4 out of 6Review:

The fourth and final Magnificent Seven came 12 years after the original. Some scenes border on silly. For instance, Adams heads out on the trail of his kidnapped wife nursing what was supposed to be a bad shoulder wound. After discovering his wife ravished and dead, he flings his sling to the ground in a nod to the wonderful rejuvenating power of revenge.

But the presence of Van Cleef in the lead role gives this a leg up on the other sequels to the original. And Capt. Andy Hayes, one of his recruits, comes up with some imaginative ways to slow down De Toro’s bandit horde when they attack the town.

In addition to Chris, Noah and the captain, this seven includes Mark Skinner, Pepe Carral, Walt Drummond and Scott Elliott. We don’t get to know they as well as we knew the seven in the original or in “Guns of the Magnificent Seven.” The focus is very much on Van Cleef, who decides stealing De Toro’s woman is a sure way to lure the bandit leader into a trap.

Stefanie Powers is Laurie Gunn, the recent widow who becomes the new love in Adams’ life in Magdelena.

Lee Van Cleef as Chris Adams with James Sikking as Capt. Andy Hayes in The Magnificent Seven Ride! (1972)Directed by:
George McCowan

Lee Van Cleef … Chris Adams
Stefanie Powers … Laurie Gunn
Michael Callan … Noah Forbe
Luke Askew … Mark Skinner
Pedro Armendariz Jr. … Pepe Carral
William Lucking … Walt Drummond
James Sikking … Capt. Andy Hayes
Ed Lauter … Scott Elliott
Allyn Ann McLerie … Mrs. Donovan
Melissa Murphy … Madge Buchanan
Ron Stein … De Toro
Rita Rogers … De Toro’s woman
Mariette Hartley … Arilla Adams
Ralph Waite … Jim Mackay
Darrell Larson … Shelly
Gary Busey … Hank Allen
Robert Jaffe … Bob Allan

Runtime: 100 min.

Memorable lines:

Noah Forbes: “The name’s Noah Forbes, Marshal. I’ve decided to do for you what Ned Buntline did for Bill Cody.”
Chris Adams: “Make a damn fool of me?”
Noah Forbes: “Make you famous.”

Noah Forbes: “You name a big city newapaper and I’ve worked on it.”
Chris Adams: “That means you’re pretty good. Or you can’t hold a job.”

Arilla, pleading for leniency for a young man named Shelly: “I’m not asking you to help gunfighters.”
Chris Adams: “Judge Parker said, ‘The men I’ve hanged never killed again. Plenty I didn’t hang did. Now you tell me he’s wrong.”
Arilla: “He wasn’t talking about a boy who robbed a store.”
Chris: “I buried friends who thought fuzzy-faced kids weren’t dangerous.”

Padre: “God works in strange ways.”
Chris: “I know. He’s got me confused most of the time too.”

Noah, referring to the ambushed men under Mackay: “Are we going to bury them?”
Chris: “The living need us more.”

Chris, about De Toro: “Tell me everything you know about him. What he likes. How he acts. Everything.”
Laurie Gunn: “Well, the first thing you notice about him are — his eyes. They tell you that he is mad. Crazy mad.”

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