Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Magnificent Seven

Great movie! Steve McQueen! James Coburn, Charles Bronson and the others in one of the best Westerns ever! Adventure at its best.

By now, those who read my musings kmow I'm quite the moviephile. I love them for many reasons. Sheer fun, entertainment are important. But I don't mind a message in the ravioli.

A small village in Mexico is being exploited by bandits. They come and steal food and whatever spoils they can find. The people live in terror, fear. Some of the ones who want to fight go to the town elder. He advises they go north of the border and find guns. If they want to be rid of the bandits, they must fight. Common sense, huh?

They meet Chris, played by Yul Brynner. He advises them to hire gunfighters. They agree and Chris goes about recruiting as many as he can find. He meets Vin played by Steve McQueen. They transport the body of a murdered Indian to the town graveyard. Everyone else in town was too scared because they were intimidated by a bunch of bigots who don't want a 'redskin' buried with whites. Chris and Vin make short work of getting the body to Boot Hill and discourage the bigots by facing them down. They are willing to fight to allow the burial. Once they succeed, of course everyone else is willing to help!

From that point they assemble the other men. Each is a gunfighter. They don't hesitate to kill when necessary. Yet they seem to have heart as well. I'll save a deeper insight into each for a movie review sometime. For now, suffice it to say they have their own reasons for going to this village. It's not the pay. There is little money involved. Needing to lie low, possible treasure and a 'busman's holiday' are foremost purpose. It turns to something more later.

When they arrive they immediately start training the villagers how to fight. There was some thought that they would do the fighting, solve the problem. The people quickly learn that they themselves must do their part if they want to be free. They are taught to shoot and to build defense works. They organize. Can anyone say militia? The Seven lead the way of course.

When the bandits led by Calveras arrive, it is the Seven who directly engage them at first. The villagers learn and gain courage by their example. They join in the fight to free themselves. They become self confident. Though there are ups and downs and seeming defeat, the Seven persevere, as do the villagers. Can we do less?

The Seven test themselves and their befriended villagers. Once Vin quips that their progress is like the man who jumped off a ten story building. He was heard to say as he descended, 'So far so good.....' Another time, he says there was a guy who took off his clothes and jumped in a bed of cactus. He was asked why. He replied that it seemed like a good idea at the time...... The Seven had been surrounded some of the villagers suborned and it looked like it was over for them. Not hardly! They fought and four of the Seven died, along with several villagers. That is the ultimate 'something more'.

So let it be with us. May we inspire others to fight on all levels. May we meet the test, though we may not be saints. We may have many reasons, like our ancestors, let alone the Seven. As long as we do. As long as we are a part of it.

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