No, not the 7 & 7 you are probably thinking about.
Remakes of movies are a tradition of sorts. Some work. Some don’t.
For example, a while back I watched the 1959 Ben Hur with Charlton Heston, in preparation for going to see the 2016 remake. Save yourselves some frustration and stick to the 1959 version.
Today I will watch Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 Seven Samurai and the 1960 The Magnificent Seven in preparation for the 2016 remake which (Deo volente) I’ll see on Tuesday, my movie day ($5 all films all day and free popcorn – about the right amount to spend).
Those of you who know these things, know that The Magnificent Seven is essentially a remake of Seven Samurai. They are the same and entirely different. At least in the opening credits homage is given to Kurosawa’s film. The Spaghetti Western Fist Full Of Dollars (first of the “No Name Trilogy”) with Clint Eastwood was a wanton ripoff of Kurosawa’s Yojimbo with Toshiro Mifune, scene by scene. Kurosawa sued and won. Watch them back to back sometime. It’s shameless.
Meanwhile, here is probably the best theme ever written for a Western. At least I can’t think of a better one.
Fr. Z kudos to Elmer Bernstein.
How about The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly theme, by Enio Morricone with that groovy electric guitar and the weird backup singers (inspiration, perhaps, for riffs in The Lord Of The Rings)? Then there’s Blazing Saddles, which is completely fun. It’s the whip that does it. I watched that recently after Gene Wilder died. It would be impossible to make today.
The music from Seven Samurai is not as immediately satisfying as the Western version. Rather, it sets you on edge and builds suspense before the looming conflict.
Meanwhile… in the “Which Is Cooler” contest, here’s Charles Bronson from Magnificent Seven and Toshiro Mifune from Seven Samurai.
Speaking of movies with “7” in the title, there is the ultimate creepy movie Seven which I might not be able to watch again. Brrrrr. There’s also Seven Brides For Seven Brothers which gets 7 in twice. That has has a song by the immortal Johnny Mercer about the Sobbin’ Women which is one of the best puns in any movie – eh-vur. Once upon a time most of the better educated members of Western Civilization would have gotten it.. but today… dunno. Then there’s Snow White And The Seven Dwarves, which also has it’s creepy overtone. Speaking of creepy, and it seems that we are, there’s The Seventh Seal which features a chess match with the Grim Reaper himself. Marilyn Monroe and her uncreepy subway-blown skirt did The Seven Year Itch in 1954, the same year as Seven Samurai, which has no subways. A forgettable movie which I barely remember would be Seven Years In Tibet with … nope… don’t recall. A Sherlock Holmes offering manifested itself in The Seven Percent Solution, a reference to the cocaine with which the sleuth injected himself, which is seriously creepy. Anyway, there are probably foreign films with Sette or Sieben or good ol’ 七, but that’s what I can think of now without either more coffee or cocaine. That’s more coffee, not more cocaine.