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The Magnificent Seven (Collector’s Edition) (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

REVIEW OVERVIEW

The Film
The Video (Overall)
HDR Effect
The Audio
The Supplements
Overall

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

The Magnificent Seven Collector's Edition (Shout! Factory)

1960s The Magnificent Seven takes Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai (1954) and reworks it for audiences in the West. Setting the story in the Old West of the United States, screenwriter William Roberts and director John Sturges give us a story about seven guns-for-hire, led by mercenary Chris (Yul Brynner), hired to protect a Mexican farming village from bandits led by Calvera (Eli Wallach in terrible brownface) that raid them every year and force them to turn over most of their food and resources. Chris rounds up six more hired guns, played by Charles Bronson, Steve McQueen, Horst Buchholz, Robert Vaughn, James Coburn, and Brad Dexter respectively, and they protect the village and help the villagers learn to protect themselves.

Filled with excellent performances from actors who would go on to become legends in the 1960s and 1970s, shot beautifully, and stuffed with action, The Magnificent Seven looked back on traditional westerns and anticipated the deconstructions yet to come. Helping to bolster the film is the score from Elmer Bernstein (no relation to Leonard Bernstein), who trained under Aaron Copland, and the Copland-esque Americana is present throughout the score.

This particular western has worked its way into the popular culture, with many parodies and a 2016 remake directed by Antoine Fuqua starring, among others, Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, and Ethan Hawke.

  • Steve McQueen and Yul Brynner in The Magnificent Seven (1960)
  • Rosenda Monteros in The Magnificent Seven (1960)
  • Steve McQueen, Yul Brynner, Horst Buchholz, Brad Dexter, and Eli Wallach in The Magnificent Seven (1960)
  • Steve McQueen, Yul Brynner, Horst Buchholz, and Vladimir Sokoloff in The Magnificent Seven (1960)
  • Eli Wallach in The Magnificent Seven (1960)
  • The Magnificent Seven Collector's Edition (Shout! Factory)
  • The Magnificent Seven Collector's Edition (Shout! Factory)
  • The Magnificent Seven Collector's Edition (Shout! Factory)
  • The Magnificent Seven Collector's Edition (Shout! Factory)

The Video

Shout! Factory lists The Magnificent Seven as a “new 2022 restoration and color grade using an existing 4K scan of the original camera negative.” The film is presented on 4K Ultra HD in a 2.35:1 HEVC 2160p (4K UHD) Dolby Vision encodement. It is from the opening scenes a gorgeous, organic, filmic looking transfer. The wide color gamut presents an array of rich colors for the Western setting from patches of verdant green to the earth tones in the towns. The granularity is a bit coarse, but it remains natural throughout. There are some frames that look a bit soft and lacking in detail. These look to be either dupes for in-camera effects or spliced in from separate sources where the original source was unusable. These are very rare and do not take away from the overall naturalness and crispness of detail in the presentation.

The Audio

Shout! Factory includes the original mono mix in lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 as well as lossless 5.1 and 2.0 stereo DTS-HD Master Audio mixes. The original mono will obviously present the film with the most authentic sound and it is a satisfying track with very little noise or clipping and intelligible dialogue. The 5.1 mix is subtle and adds just some ambience in the surround channels and a subtle stereo field across the front. The 2.0 is remarkably similar to the 5.1 mix with less distinct dialogue in the center, but the same stereo effect.

The Supplements

The two audio commentaries included are must for film and western fans. The various ported-over making-ofs and featurettes also offer lots of info on the film, the score, and more.

  • Blu-ray with Feature Film and Special Features
  • Commentary by James Coburn, Eli Wallach, Walter Mirisch (Producer) & Robert Relyea (Assistant Director)
  • Commentary by Film Historian Sir Christopher Frayling
  • Guns for Hire: Making of The Magnificent Seven (1080p; 00:46:55)
  • Elmer Bernstein and The Magnificent Seven (SD; 00:14:49)
  • Sir Christopher Frayling on The Magnificent Seven (1080p; 00:20:22)
  • The Linen Book: Lost Images from The Magnificent Seven (SD; 00:14:49)
  • Original Theatrical Trailers (1080p; 00:05:52)
  • Still Gallery (1080p)

The Final Assessment

The Magnificent Seven is one of the classics of the western genre, is stuffed with an A-list cast, and is enjoyable to rewatch many times. This new 4K restoration out from Shout! Factory should now be considered the definitive home video release.


The Magnificent Seven (Collector’s Edition) is out on 4K Ultra HD Combo February 21, 2023 from Shout! Factory


  • Rating Certificate: Approved
  • Studios & Distributors: The Mirisch Company | Alpha Productions | MGM | Shout! Factory
  • Director: John Sturges
  • Written By: William Roberts (screenplay) | Akira Kurosawa (screenplay “Shichinin no samurai”) | Walter Bernstein (uncredited)
  • Run Time: 128 Mins.
  • Street Date: 21 February 2023
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Video Format: HEVC 2160p (4K UHD)
  • HDR Format: Dolby Vision (HDR10 Compatible)
  • Primary Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono
  • Secondary Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1 | English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Stereo
  • Subtitles: English SDH
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Estimated reading time: 6 minutes 1960s The Magnificent Seven takes Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai (1954) and reworks it for audiences in the West. Setting the story in the Old West of the United States, screenwriter William Roberts and director John Sturges give us a...The Magnificent Seven (Collector's Edition) (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)