The Magnificent Seven

The CBS This Morning show featured Michael Kornick.  His signature recipes include Braised short ribs, allspice and red wine, Butternut squash, apples & mint, Roasted carrots, maple syrup, Roast Cauliflower, greek yogurt & zatar, Bittersweet chocolate panini, virgin olive oil, grey sea, and MK Boulevardier.  I looked up the American Top 40 playlist for the weekend.  The Top 10 songs on October 10, 1970 were “(I Know) I’m Losing You,” “We’ve Only Just Begun,” “Green-Eyed Lady,” “Lookin’ Out My Back Door,” “Julie, Do You Love Me,” “All Right Now,” “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Candida,” “I’ll Be There,” and “Cracklin’ Rosie.”  I went grocery shopping and stopped at Endless Summer Sweets for the funnel cake before the rains came.  I listened to the game between the Cubs and Dodgers.  Someone should have talked to Joe Blanton about his sequence of pitches.  “The Magnificent Seven” was on KQED, and I took a break to watch it again.  I did like the way it looked in high definition and the bright color photography.  It didn’t have the grand look of a John Ford film, and it felt thin compared with the Kurosawa original.  Yul Brynner was the greatest cast member, very strong and not too talkative.  Steve McQueen was a pretty good movie star, although he wasn’t brilliant in this film.  Reportedly, he was miffed at the small number of lines of his dialogue, and he annoyingly did things to draw attention away from Brynner to himself in their scenes.  Charles Bronson before “Death Wish” could be a likable guy.  He should have told those kids to shut up and stay away from him, though.  James Coburn had personality, although I told it was unbelievable how he could kill someone with a knife the way he did.  He was so thin and young and healthy that it made me feel sad to think of his death.  Robert Vaughn is the only one of the famous Magnificent Seven who is still alive, and he is past eighty now.  His scene with his bad dream and discussion of fear was not convincing to me.  Eli Wallach was a good bad guy.  I could see how he could end up in “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.”  There are connections between this movie and “The Great Escape.”  I wouldn’t expect Yul Brynner to be in a World War II movie, however.  I kept noticing how he smoked too much.  It would be the death of him in the end, which was really too bad.  He could have gone on with life for a bit longer.  It seemed that the men didn’t sweat much in the heat out there in Mexico, except for their heads, because the sweat stains were all on their hats.  Brynner was crazy to be wearing black the whole time.  Their faces stayed clean.  I thought they were all going to get sexually transmitted diseases.  I could just imagine Brynner complaining about a burning sensation whenever he urinates.  If you saw “Seven Samurai,” you could guess who survives in the end.  I thought the Asian setting worked better in the original because I could believe in the concept of sacrifice for the sake of the group.  Some of the people who died on October 16 include Gene Krupa (1973), Dan Dailey (1978), Art Blakey (1990), Shirley Booth (1992), James A. Michener (1997), Jean Shepherd (1999), Deborah Kerr (2007), and Barbara Billingsley (2010).  Today is a birthday for Tim Robbins (58), Suzanne Somers (70), and Angela Lansbury (91).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for October 16, Leonard Chess died of a heart attack in 1969.  In 1972, the members of Creedence Clearwater Revival announced their breakup.  In 1976, Stevie Wonder’s “Songs in the Key of Life” reached Number One on the album chart.  In 2003, Simon and Garfunkel opened their Old Friends concert tour in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.  In 2010, Barbara Billingsley, who played June Cleaver in the Leave It to Beaver television series, died at age 84 in Los Angeles.

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