Since we had always meant to see "The Magnificent Seven," but have failed to catch it for fifty years, when the recent chance to see it in downtown Berkeley popped up on our amusement radar screen a little while back, it only took a New York minute for us to jump at the chance to fill that gap in our cultural accomplishments list.
It tells the story of how a bunch of loners band together to respond to an appeal by a group of Mexican peasants whose village is being periodically pillaged and robbed by some nasty bandits who act as if they have a divine right to the fruit of the poor people's labors.
The story is based on an earlier Japanese film about how some freelance samurai worriers helped out some poor farmers in their country.
"The Magnificent Seven" featured a young Steve McQueen and some ideals that have disappeared from the contemporary American culture.
We tried to imagine how a realistic new remake of that old film would look.
A collection of beleaguered American home owners reach the breaking point of budget that is stretched to the limits, by employers who exploit the workers by refusing to increase wages for years and years yet add unreasonable increases in production goal figures, and local merchants who have to boost prices just because they can. The victims see a bunch of banksters ride into town and offer to protect the worn out workers and their little remaining cash . . . by taking it all and keeping it for themselves.
In the new version, the Seven Cardinal Virtues would be lying, cheating, stealing, etc., etc. Hypocrisy would be something a Boy Scout honors and practices so that he can become a successful politician or bankster himself.
Honesty and Diligence would be a sucker's idea of attractive qualities.
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