THEN THERE WERE SEVEN – GARRY ARMSTRONG

Deep in our mid-November funk, last night we watched a very dark “Longmire” episode. I told Marilyn I was depressed. Looking out at the bleak night sky, Marilyn also said she was depressed too. What to do? As the furry kids played their late night version of “Spartacus.” I grew desperate. No booze. No opiates. No sniffing glue.

How to deal with the blahs?

Marilyn: “Let’s watch ‘Tombstone‘ again.” By Jove, that was the ticket!

We watched, like kids from the “I like Ike” generation. We enjoyed the violence. We smiled as Kurt Russell yelled, “And hell’s comin’ with me, You cur!! Tell ’em! Hell’s comin’ with me.” I thought that would make a nice clip to send to the White House squatter.

But we weren’t satisfied. As narrator Robert Mitchum said, ” … and Tom Mix wept” while the film segued into its end credits, we needed another Rx for the blues. Quicker than bandits raiding a small Mexican village, I put another DVD in the slot. Within seconds, the familiar theme began and we settled back. More smiles.

I decided to keep tabs on how many of Calvera’s original gang of forty thieves were killed by the seven (magnificent) gun temps.

I counted fourteen dead, including those knifed or axed by the villagers in the first fight after Calvera laments, plus the two who were shot while scouting the village.

“Generosity, that was my first mistake.” Calvera had a point.

Tough!  That left him with 24 banditos — without green cards.

Fast forward to the last scene where the magnificent seven gun temps return for the final battle. Four of the good guns go down. Harry, Lee (sorely chaffing his lips as he fatally falls against a brick wall), Brit, with knife neatly left as a souvenir. Bernardo O’Reilly, shot as the nagging village brats divert his attention.  I counted another twenty hombres sans bodges — MUERTE!!

That left six — siete — by my tally. Calvera’s original forty were now six.

Six bad hombres versus three good guys!!

Got it? Get it?? Good!

After Chris fatally shoots Calvera  –“You came BACK! A man like YOU!  To a place like THIS! … WHY??” — Calvera expires and another eight Mexican banditos are wiped out, the garlic breath nearly choking Chris who seemingly wanted to kiss the bandito Jefe goodbye. Professional courtesy?

Calvera’s gang is now minus two as the villagers and the old man say adios to Chico, Chris, and Vin.

Chico, realizing the hot village girl is better company than Chris and Vin, rides back to the village to resume life as a grungy farmer. Chris, realizing how lonely life will be with just Vin to share the campfire, says “The old man was right.  Only the farmers won. We lost. We’ll always lose.”

A poignant moment with Vin upstaging Chris while twirling his saddle reins. Truly poignant.  Calvera and his minus two gang are buried. Chris and Vin drift off, searching for a sequel.

(Music up full.)

A Mirisch Brothers Production — from United Artists.

11 thoughts on “THEN THERE WERE SEVEN – GARRY ARMSTRONG

  1. I am embroiled in Longmire as well, got Season Six hot on the TV…and I too found it sort of depressing and well, CHEWY (a term I coined for ‘entertainment’ that doesn’t entertain, but sits in one’s maw like that bit of gristle that is inedible). The remake of The Magnificent Seven was surprising good too btw, even if I didn’t know 3/4 of the actors in it. Now I’ll have to dust off the original and give it a look. Sounds like a great cure for the pre-snow blahs..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Embeecee, you totally get my point about “Longmire”. We love the show, its characters and story lines. But the lack of fluff also is a downside. Here’s where you insert — “Garry, you can’t have it both ways. You complain about standard Hollywood fluff and you bitch about a show that’s too dark”. Yes. My complaints are contradictory and beg a mea culpa. I like your “Chewy” term. It fits.

      Em, I tried to watch the newest “Magnificent Seven”. Really tried. Denzel looked boffo riding over the hill and into town. It’s what every child of color hoped for over the years while watching Duke, Clint, McQueen, etc do their cowboy thing. I stayed with it through half of the saloon scene before saying “Enough!”. I couldn’t take anymore. Maybe I’ll try again.

      I believe there’s only one genuine “Magnificent Seven”. John Sturges had them in the ’60 original. The old man was right.

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