A small Mexican village plagued by bandit raiders hires a gun-slinging drifter to help defend their lives and livelihoods from their relentless attacks.
Based on a story by Akira Kurosawa, starring Yul Brinner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn and Eli Wallach, directed by John (The Gunfight At The OK Corral/The Great Escape) Sturges and accompanied by one of the best musical scores ever written, and you have the ingredients for possibly the perfect old school western. Poor old Horst Buchholz didn’t stand much of a chance in comparison to an ensemble cast of this quality, but he makes a decent fist of a character who is essentially an amalgam of two characters from Seven Samurai which makes way for Vaughn’s gunslinger who has lost his nerve and slots seamlessly into the action. It does take a more popular culture slant on the original’s more art house sensibilities, but it works perfectly. Brinner and McQueen make a brilliant double act and it even adds a more upbeat ending without failing to retain the spirit of the source material.
One of the very few examples of a remake that is almost as worthwhile as the original.