Seven Men From Now

Screening on Film
Recently Restored
Directed by Budd Boetticher.
With Randolph Scott, Gail Russell, Lee Marvin.
US, 1956, 35mm, color, 78 min.
Print source: UCLA

Seven Men from Now, noted André Bazin when he saw it for the first time, turned a “B” film into a crystal gem.  Few westerns share the same simplicity or economy; fewer meld the rocky and arid landscape with the obdurate character of the players among whom count horses that resemble the choir of a Sophoclean tragedy.  A study of revenge, it tests the mettle of the inherited genre through clichés that become evidence of their own force: a treacherous villain wearing a green scarf, a henchman who wears suspenders and speaks with a stare, a woman whose desires are divided, a strongbox isolated on the rocky outcropping of a desert, and the hero taking shelter during a downpour in a cranny on a desert plain, drinking a cup of coffee and saying (as he does everywhere), “much obliged” before killing his frightened hosts.

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