Return of the Seven (1966)

95 mins | Western | 19 October 1966

Director:

Burt Kennedy

Writer:

Larry Cohen

Producer:

Ted Richmond

Cinematographer:

Paul C. Vogel

Editor:

Bert Bates

Production Designer:

José Algueró

Production Companies:

Mirisch Productions, Inc., C. B. Films
Full page view
HISTORY

The 13 Jan 1965 Var announced plans to film a sequel to The Magnificent Seven (1960, see entry) in Mexico. The 14 Jan 1965 DV noted that Yul Brynner was the only actor to reprise his role from the original film. Tony Franciosa was being considered for the new cast, as was Roger Smith, according to the 28 Jan 1965 DV. As of 21 Jan 1965 LAT, Walter Grauman and David Dortort joined the project as director and producer, respectively, as noted in that day’s LAT . Principal photography was scheduled for 8 Mar 1965. However, a news brief in the 24 Feb 1965 Var revealed that the production would be postponed until Oct 1965 at the earliest, due to a heavy rainy season in Mexico.
       On 28 Jul 1965, LAT announced that Burt Kennedy would write and direct the picture. One month later, Kennedy and producer Ted Richmond were scouting the southern coast of Spain for locations, as reported in the 30 Aug 1965 DV. Richmond returned to Spain in early autumn, according to the 19 Oct 1965 DV, where he interviewed actresses Monica Vitti and Claudine Auger, and continued his search for suitable locations. The 24 Nov 1965 Var reported that Spanish operations would be headquarted in Madrid, with exterior filming in Alicante and Chinchon. Interior scenes would be shot in Los Angeles, CA, as stated in the 26 Oct 1965 DV.
       The 11 Jan 1966 DV reported Kennedy’s arrival in Spain ... More Less

The 13 Jan 1965 Var announced plans to film a sequel to The Magnificent Seven (1960, see entry) in Mexico. The 14 Jan 1965 DV noted that Yul Brynner was the only actor to reprise his role from the original film. Tony Franciosa was being considered for the new cast, as was Roger Smith, according to the 28 Jan 1965 DV. As of 21 Jan 1965 LAT, Walter Grauman and David Dortort joined the project as director and producer, respectively, as noted in that day’s LAT . Principal photography was scheduled for 8 Mar 1965. However, a news brief in the 24 Feb 1965 Var revealed that the production would be postponed until Oct 1965 at the earliest, due to a heavy rainy season in Mexico.
       On 28 Jul 1965, LAT announced that Burt Kennedy would write and direct the picture. One month later, Kennedy and producer Ted Richmond were scouting the southern coast of Spain for locations, as reported in the 30 Aug 1965 DV. Richmond returned to Spain in early autumn, according to the 19 Oct 1965 DV, where he interviewed actresses Monica Vitti and Claudine Auger, and continued his search for suitable locations. The 24 Nov 1965 Var reported that Spanish operations would be headquarted in Madrid, with exterior filming in Alicante and Chinchon. Interior scenes would be shot in Los Angeles, CA, as stated in the 26 Oct 1965 DV.
       The 11 Jan 1966 DV reported Kennedy’s arrival in Spain three days earlier to begin pre-production. On 19 Jan 1966, LAT announced that singer-musician Jordan Christopher was assuming the role of “Chico,” originated by Horst Buchholz. However, Julian Mateos later took over the part, while Christopher was re-cast as “Manuel.” The 19 Jan 1966 Var revealed that Christopher had recently signed a “non-exlcusive multiple-picture contract” with the Mirisch Company in association with United Artists (UA). The 27 Dec 1965 LAT reported that actor James Caan would assume the role of “Vin,” originated by Steve McQueen. However, the 28 Jan 1966 LAT stated that Caan was unable to participate due to his commitment to El Dorado (1966, see entry), and was replaced by Robert Fuller. Meanwhile in Spain, the 2 Feb 1966 Var reported that Elisa Montés replaced cast member Maria Cuadra, who was pregnant at the time. Principal photography was scheduled to begin 2 Feb 1966. The 23 Feb 1966 Var announced that the picture was the first of three to be produced jointly by the Mirisch Company and Spanish distributor C. B. Films. Production charts in the 4 Feb 1966 DV confirmed that shooting began on schedule.
       On 14 Mar 1966, DV stated that “an unscheduled Alicante coastal sandstorm” threatened to interrupt production. Burt Kennedy responded by writing the incident into the screenplay. According to the 10 Apr 1966 LAT, 300 gypsies were hired to play Mexican farmers, and their salary was collected by the heads of the seventy-five extended families involved. Among them was Emilio Guatero Martinez, who represented 102 of the background actors. The 16 Mar 1966 Var noted that the production was leaving Alicante for its Madrid headquarters. On 24 May 1966, DV announced that photography had recently been completed.
       More than a month later, the 28 Jun 1966 DV reported that composer Elmer Bernstein finished recording the score with the London Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The score was adapted from that of the 1960 film, also written by Bernstein, earning him an Academy Awards nomination. Bernstein told the 18 Jan 1967 Var that, while he believed his recycled score was not deserving of a second nomination, he would not insult his colleagues on the board of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) by refusing. He added that “the concept of adaptation must be clarified” by AMPAS within the year.
       Return of the Seven opened 19 Oct 1966 in New York City, and 2 Nov 1966 in Los Angeles. Critics were unenthusiastic, with the 12 Oct 1966 Var describing Kennedy’s direction as “limp.” The 9 Aug 1967 Var noted that the picture was expected to earn a modest $1.6 million in domestic rentals, while foreign rentals already totalled $3.5 million. Two sequels followed: Guns of the Magnificent Seven and The Magnificent Seven Ride! (1969 and 1972, see entries).
       The 17 Nov 1965 Var included Jim Philbrook and Alberto de Mendoza among the cast. Ricardo Montalban (24 Jan 1965 DV) and Alex Cord (9 Sep 1965 DV) were considered for roles. Eli Wallach told the 31 Jan 1967 LAT that he was invited to appear in the sequel, until the producers remembered that his character was killed in the original film.
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
14 Jan 1965
p. 2.
Daily Variety
28 Jan 1965
p. 2.
Daily Variety
4 Feb 1965
p. 2.
Daily Variety
24 Jun 1965
p. 2.
Daily Variety
30 Aug 1965
p. 3.
Daily Variety
9 Sep 1965
p. 2.
Daily Variety
19 Oct 1965
p. 2.
Daily Variety
11 Jan 1966
p. 10.
Daily Variety
28 Jan 1966
p. 11.
Daily Variety
4 Feb 1966
p. 14.
Daily Variety
14 Mar 1966
p. 3.
Daily Variety
24 May 1966
p. 11.
Daily Variety
18 Aug 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
30 Sep 1966
p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
21 Jan 1965
Section C, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
28 Jul 1965
Section C, p. 8.
Los Angeles Times
27 Dec 1965
Section D, p. 18.
Los Angeles Times
28 Jan 1966
Section C, p. 10.
Los Angeles Times
10 Apr 1966
Section B, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
28 Oct 1966
Section D, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
3 Nov 1966
Section D, p. 14.
Los Angeles Times
31 Jan 1967
Section D, p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
4 Aug 1967
Section D, p. 10.
New York Times
19 Jan 1966
p. 32.
New York Times
19 Oct 1966
p. 54.
New York Times
20 Oct 1966
p. 52.
Variety
13 Jan 1965
p. 4.
Variety
24 Feb 1965
p. 3.
Variety
17 Nov 1965
p. 22.
Variety
24 Nov 1965
p. 3.
Variety
19 Jan 1966
p. 3.
Variety
2 Feb 1966
p. 38.
Variety
16 Mar 1966
p. 28.
Variety
4 May 1966
p. 128.
Variety
12 Oct 1966
p. 6.
Variety
18 Jan 1967
p. 57.
Variety
9 Aug 1967
p. 20.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
El regreso de los siete magníficos
Release Date:
19 October 1966
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 19 October 1966
Los Angeles opening: 2 November 1966
Production Date:
2 February--late May 1966
Copyright Claimant:
Mirisch Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
12 October 1966
Copyright Number:
LP33186
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
De Luxe
Widescreen/ratio
Panavision
Duration(in mins):
95
Countries:
Spain, United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Fifty gunmen force all of the men in a small Mexican village to ride off with them into the desert. Among the captured farmers is Chico, who years before was one of seven men responsible for ridding the village of a tyrannical bandit. Chico's wife, Petra, seeks out the other members of the band of whom only two, Chris and Vin, survive; and she begs them to save the village once more. To replace the deceased members of the group, Chris buys the release of Frank and Luis, held in the local jail, and also recruits Colbee, a ladies' man, and Manuel, a young bullfighter. The six men discover that the missing villagers are being used as slave labor to rebuild a desert village and church as a memorial to the dead sons of wealthy rancher Lorca. In a surprise attack, the six force Lorca's men to leave, and, with Chico, prepare for a counterattack. The cowed farmers offer no assistance, but the seven defenders successfully repulse Lorca's initial attack. The rancher then gathers all of the gunmen on his land to rout the seven. The situation seems bleak until Manuel discovers a supply of dynamite which the seven use in a counteroffensive. They are eventually overrun, but Chris emerges victorious from a shootout with Lorca. The rancher's gang flee, leaving Frank, Luis, and Manuel dead in the fighting. Chico plans to resettle the village on Lorca's fertile land, and Colbee remains to help teach the villagers how to defend themselves against future attacks. Chris and Vin once more ride off as the church bell rings seven ... +


Fifty gunmen force all of the men in a small Mexican village to ride off with them into the desert. Among the captured farmers is Chico, who years before was one of seven men responsible for ridding the village of a tyrannical bandit. Chico's wife, Petra, seeks out the other members of the band of whom only two, Chris and Vin, survive; and she begs them to save the village once more. To replace the deceased members of the group, Chris buys the release of Frank and Luis, held in the local jail, and also recruits Colbee, a ladies' man, and Manuel, a young bullfighter. The six men discover that the missing villagers are being used as slave labor to rebuild a desert village and church as a memorial to the dead sons of wealthy rancher Lorca. In a surprise attack, the six force Lorca's men to leave, and, with Chico, prepare for a counterattack. The cowed farmers offer no assistance, but the seven defenders successfully repulse Lorca's initial attack. The rancher then gathers all of the gunmen on his land to rout the seven. The situation seems bleak until Manuel discovers a supply of dynamite which the seven use in a counteroffensive. They are eventually overrun, but Chris emerges victorious from a shootout with Lorca. The rancher's gang flee, leaving Frank, Luis, and Manuel dead in the fighting. Chico plans to resettle the village on Lorca's fertile land, and Colbee remains to help teach the villagers how to defend themselves against future attacks. Chris and Vin once more ride off as the church bell rings seven times. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.