The Magnificent Seven

Posted on December 2, 2012

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Roger Moore’s James Bond rides a horse, wearing a poncho and a hat, in Brazil arriving to the Monastary of her Majesty’s Secret Service. The film is “Moonraker” but the music played is “The Magnificent Seven” (1960, dir. John Sturges, although a remake from the even more brilliant “The Seven Samurais” by Akira Korusawa).The Magnificent Se7enThe legendary theme from this Western masterpiece was written by Elmer Bernstein has become iconic in its own right.
How does “Moonraker” benefit from its inclusion? Well, the Wild West reference is a bit far-fetched and I am not sure what kind of audience reaction director Lewis Gilbert was looking for. Are we meant to laugh? Are we meant to get in the mood for a bit of Wild West adventure? Well, no such thing awaits us. Is it a tribute to Mr Bernstein? The music is highly enjoyable, don’t get me wrong but the whole thing seems a bit odd and redundant. And what did John Barry think about this?

To be fair, this far into “Moonraker” nothing surprises me. Well, maybe the monk with the lazer gun… In a way “The Magnificent Seven” theme is a reference to “The Spy who loved me” relaeased two years earlier, also directed by Lewis Gilbert. These two Bond flicks are very similar in style, plot and production. Perhaps the two most similar films inte series? “The Spy who loved me” has Bond riding a camel in the Egyptian desert to the theme of “Lawrence of Arabia” by Maurice Jarre (more on that in a later post).

John Barry has actually recorde an Electric Guitar version of “The Magnificent Seven” theme which made the charts in the 1960’s.

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Posted in: Moonraker