After having watched Akira Kurosawa’s brilliant Shichi-nin No Samurai last week, I figured it was time to rewatch this film, which goes so far as to mention that it’s based on Shichi-nin No Samurai. For me, The Magnificent Seven has much to recommend it. Firstly, it’s a Western, a genre I’m usually fond of (as long as it steers clear of the run-of-the-mill formulas that John Wayne acted in during the early 30’s—and which, sadly, continued in a lot of films well past the 30’s). Secondly, The Magnificent Seven stars one of my favourite actors, Yul Brynner. Thirdly, it was directed by John Sturges, the very capable man behind classic adventure films like Escape from Fort Bravo, The Great Escape, and Ice Station Zebra.
A friend was talking about Douglas Sirk and Rock Hudson the other day. Rummaging through my pile of films at home, I couldn’t find any Douglas Sirk, but Ice Station Zebra, directed by John Sturges and with Rock Hudson heading an all-male cast, was around. I’d heard of this Cold War film (though I still haven’t read the Alistair Maclean novel on which it was based), and Rock Hudson was adequate—and looked good. So Ice Station Zebra it was.