Seven Samurai Magnificent Seven Themes

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Rand’s rise to the prominence coincided with a broad cultural, political and social change in America that took place in the context of the Cold War. Fighting against the common enemy in the war had briefly improved the relations between United States and Great Britain on one side and Soviet Union on the other, but once the war ended any hopes of more permanent cooperation faded quickly. If 1945 Yalta conference had closed on an optimistic note, then Potsdam meeting a few months later already ended in disappointment, as it became clear that former allies had very different views of what would constitute a fair post-war settlement and balance of powers. Less than a year later, on March 5, 1946 Churchill gave his famous “Sinews of Peace” address…show more content…
The Magnificent Seven, the 1960 remake of Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai – a movie itself indebted to the American western – by John Sturges is a prime example of this trend. A group of American outlaws (in Kurosawa’s original version the men were rōnin, masterless samurai who were likewise treading their lives outside of the respectable social order) come to help a Mexican village that is being periodically raided by a group of bandits. The men agree to defend the village despite the poor pay and being hopelessly outnumbered, and in the end most of them will get killed when doing so. However, at least initially it is not a question of honour or “doing the right thing” for the seven gunfighters. They all have divergent, mostly selfish reasons for taking up the job, but eventually come to appreciate each other, if not the villagers they are defending. The Magnificent Seven is thus also a representative of another subtle shift in Hollywood westerns that was related to the broadening of American military involvement in the Third World in 1950s{\cf. \Slotkin 1992@485} – in addition to the traditional western fare that relied on…show more content…
The society has become too weak and corrupted to sustain itself – it is a “world without balls” as Leone himself put it (Cumbow 2008: 12). Although Leone is often credited for reinventing the western,*7* it would be more precise and pertinent to say that he reformed it, much the same way as Luther reformed the Church by taking it back to its supposed origins. Spaghetti westerns were not a “new” kind of western, they were western taken back to its roots – a clear-cut story of a frontier hero establishing order in a lawless society, based on nothing else than his own private judgement and virtue. However, The Man with No Name is strikingly different from the traditional western hero. He is a dishevelled and solitary outsider, a morally ambiguous antihero. He employs much the same methods as those he is standing up against and does not hesitate to resort to violence. The violence of Leone’s westerns is at the same time extremely graphic and highly stylised and symbolic. This underscores the simple, brutal and unmediated nature of justice. The Man with No Name does not need to listen to arguments or opinions, he does not need to determine what is right or reasonable, he simply delivers the justice – as he is himself the law. This was the ethos that became a virtual trademark of Clint Eastwood, carrying on to his own
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