Rudyard Kipling wrote: “Smells are surer than sounds or sights
The Magnificent Seven has been remade many times, and is currently in the process of being in Hollywood once more. On top of that, the original 1960 film itself, starring Steve McQueen, James Coburn and Yul Brynner, among others, is an American adaptation of Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai. And from the looks of it, the filming was a tumultuous scene.
Here are 12 things to know about The Magnificent Seven…
1. Yul Brynner’s ego was on full display throughout the casting and filming. He specifically requested that McQueen be cast as Vin Tanner. Brynner later regretted the move since he and McQueen developed a disastrous relationship on set.
2. Yul Brynner had a major problem with what he perceived as Steve McQueen trying to upstage him. Brynner was also concerned about looking taller than McQueen, even though they were virtually the same height. Brynner would make a small mound of dirt to stand on in their scenes together, and McQueen would routinely kick them over casually.
3. Eli Wallach’s autobiography goes into detail regarding the feuds between Brynner and McQueen. According to Wallach, McQueen would regularly do things to draw attention to his character, like shaking of the shotgun shells and taking off his hat to check the sun during the hearse scene and leaning off his horse to dip his hat in the river when the “Seven” cross into Mexico. Brynner was supposedly so worried about McQueen stealing his limelight in scenes that he hired an assistant to count the number of times McQueen touched his own hat when he and Brynner was speaking.
4. Mexican censors required the peasants to always be wearing clean clothes.
5. Pay close attention to Eli Wallach whenever he handles his gun. Whenever he puts the gun back into his holster, he always looks down at it. That was because Wallach wasn’t used to drawing the weapon and didn’t want to look foolish by missing the holster while putting his gun back.
6. Screenwriter Walter Newman objected to how John Sturges filmed several of his scenes and became furious when Sturges gave some of Yul Brynner’s carefully crafted, character-driven lines to Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson. Livid about it, Newman asked that his name be removed from the credits. However, just a few years later Newman and Sturges reteamed for The Great Escape.
7. The horse that Yul Brynner was riding was Pie, the horse that James Stewart rode in all or most of his westerns. It was found while researching Stewart’s horse.