October 28, 1960 [The Magnificent Seven]

Stan loves The Magnificent Seven with more passion than I can muster. Sure, there's plenty to watch--Eli Wallach's bandido, chipper and smug as Eddie G.'s Little Caesar; Steve McQueen's compact Quiet Man; the splendid shootups; the script's jaundiced eye--with a closing line that puts the Western in some kind of perspective; a focus sharp and sad, belying the rousing music that gallops us along--while the story takes its time, shifts like the Mexican wind, the farmers' hearts, and the resolve of the hired guns.

Well, how about that: The more I write about it, the more I admire the darn thing. Maybe it is a magnificent picture after all, despite some stiff gestures and awkward silences. I'll have to thank Stan for nudging me forward into the line of fire.


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