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Premiere:  1966

Producer: Robert Goodstein/Ted Richmond
Director: Burt Kennedy
Screenplay: Larry Cohen
Original Music: Elmer Bernstein
Cast:

       Yul Brynner (Chris Adams)

       Robert Fuller (Vin)

       Julián Mateos (Chico)

       Virgilio Texeira (Luis)

       Warren Oates (Colbee)

       Claude Akins (Frank)

       Jordan Christopher (Manuel)

       Emilio Fernandez (Lorca)

       Fernando Rey (Priest)

       Elisa Montez (Petra)


Riding on the box-office success of The Magnificent Seven, two mercenaries, Chris (Yul Brynner) and Vin (Robert Fuller) reunite to liberate Chico (Julián Mateos), one of the original seven.  Lorca (Emilio Fernandez) and his personal army have captured Chico and all the men in his village to be used as slave labor.  A grieving father, Lorca plans to build a large church:  a grandiose shrine to his two dead sons.


Chris recruits four new members to his band of soldiers – Colbee (Warren Oates); Frank (Claude Akins); Luis (Virgilio Texeira); and Manuel (Jordan Christopher).  With Vin and the captive Chico, they are seven once more and, although outnumbered, their first strike is bold and daring – a surprise assault that forces Lorca and his men to retreat.  Chris and Vin then go into defensive mode, building barriers and traps for what they know will be an overwhelming retaliatory attack.  


When Lorca returns, he brings with him all the gunmen on his payroll, and the fight is on.  Just as the rancher’s forces appear triumphant, Chris and Lorca shoot it out.  Slumped in pain and defeat, Lorca dies, and his army withdraws.  


Manuel, Luis, and Frank have died in the melee; Chico and his wife, Petra (Elisa Montez), decide to build their new home on Lorca’s battleground; and Colbee, a hapless womanizer, plans to help all the females in the village plant their crops.  


The partners, Chris and Vin, ride off to their next adventure as the church bell tolls seven times.


Filmed in the majestic Spanish countryside, Return of the Seven features music interwoven with composer Elmer Bernstein’s famous original score.  Yul Brynner reprises the role of Chris Adams while Robert Fuller brings his own brand of grit and grimace to the character of Vin.  Played with his trademark eyebrow hitch and just the right hint of vulnerability, Fuller’s Vin is loyal and candid, a perfect complement to Brynner’s stoic Chris.


The second in a series of four motion pictures, Return of the Seven premiered in motion picture theaters on October 19, 1966.



RETURN OF THE SEVEN

(aka Return of the Magnificent Seven)


Review by Theresa Karle

1st Jan 2015