OK, we all know what we're getting here. This is the most classic of classic Westerns, brim full of top acting talent, superbly directed and with an iconic score.
Based on the Japanese film the 7 Samurai, this follows the fortunes of a group of seven mercenaries, who, for a variety of reasons ride off to defend a small Mexican village against the evil Calvera (Eli Wallach) and his gang of bandits, seemingly insurmountable odds. Led by the enigmatic and dangerously cool Chris (Yul Brynner in top form) the gang is a motley crew, with wrecked gamblers, fortune hunters, idealistic young kids and grizzly mercenaries. The seven leads and villain give it their all, and a wonderfully entertaining film is the result.
I always enjoyed this film as it works on two levels. Firstly it is a great wild west romp, with a hint of a moral tale. Secondly, due to the strength of the acting talent on screen it is a wonderful character study, as the motives of the seven as they ride to apparent suicide are studied. Even Calvera's character is explored with great effect. But the film never gets lost in this aspect, it always keeps the aim of being an entertaining adventure firmly in view.
This DVD is an excellent presentation. The print has been nicely cleaned up, presented in the original widescreen and has a 5.1 soundtrack. There are a host of extras, including a documentary, stills, original trailers, and trailers for some of the (inferior!) sequels.
An excellent presentation of a wonderfully entertaining film.