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Published:December 31st, 2010 11:13 EST
50th Anniversary of The Magnificent Seven

50th Anniversary of The Magnificent Seven

By Garrett Godwin

They were seven - And they fought like seven hundred!

The Magnificent Seven is both a remake and an adaptation of 1954`s The Seven Samurai with Yul Brynner as the "Man of Black" known as Chris, Steve McQueen as Vin, along with Charles Bronson, James Coburn, and Robert Vaughn as gunfighters hired to defend Mexican villagers and free from oppression and tyranny.

The movie launched the careers of Brynner, McQueen, Bronson, Coburn, and Vaughn, and spawned the sequels Return of the Seven (1966), Guns of the Magnificent Seven (1969), and The Magnificent Seven Ride (1972); only Brynner reprise the role of the "Man in Black" for the second film, as his character was succeeded by George Kennedy and Lee Van Cleef.  The film also paved the way for a television series on CBS that lasted two seasons (1998-99) with Michael Biehn, Eric Close, Ron Perlman, Dale Midkiff, and Anthony Starke.

None of the sequels had the same impact as the original, however the series has remained a cult favorite among fans thanks to the show`s DVD release and cable reruns in recent years. 

The Magnificent Seven became the inspiration for NBC`s The A-Team (1983-87) from the late Stephen J. Cannell about four Vietnam veterans helping society`s underdogs while being hunted by the military as fugitives.  It also influenced the summer blockbuster The Expendables from Sly Stallone about a team of covert mercenaries hired to overthrow a ruthless dictator in South America.

The Magnificent Seven were latter-day Robin Hoods in the West because the plot remains the same: they ride to the rescue to bring liberty by law, freedom, and justice for people victimized by power, greed, and corruption.