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The Magnificent Seven Ride! (1972)  

Review: written June 2007

Nasty Western sequel

This was the fourth and final in the series of Magnificent Seven movies from the 60’s and 70’s. This surely must have been a TV movie - the acting, the sets, everything about it is downscaled from its predecessors. Even the music is done by a diminished orchestra - while still recognisable from its classic origins, it is a pale shadow of its past - the same for which can be said about the rest of the movie.

In fact, there is almost a nasty side to this movie. All the women they rescue have had their husbands killed and been raped multiple times - and yet when Chris's thugs (this time taken from prison) come into town to reluctantly rescue them, they respond by flirting and at the end we see one of the Seven stay to form a life with not one, but three of them! Even the character of Chris as played by Lee van Cleef is a nasty piece of work - embittered, refusing to help a friend and completely lacking the moral code from the previous movies. Perhaps this was truly a sign of the times as the disillusionment of the 70's broke the optimism that was the trademark of the American Western, and the revenge cycle of Italian Westerns became the norm.

One hopes the ‘Ride!’ Of the title was an instruction to head off into the sunset, as this franchise has lost both direction and energy.

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