UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970:  Photo of Elmer Bernstein  Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Movies - TV
The Magnificent Seven Wasn't Working Until It Added That Unforgettable Score
The road from Akira Kurosawa's “Seven Samurai” to John Sturges' “The Magnificent Seven” was a long one saddled with rights disputes and in-fighting, but the final result is now recognized as one of the greatest contributions to the western genre. However, the movie would not have been what it is today without the help of composer Elmer Bernstein.
For "Seven," Bernstein observed Sturges' strong sense of story and the spectrum of masculinity among his male cast and responded in kind with valiant symphonic melodies capturing both drama and characterization. His symphonic score is filled with rhythmic energy and notes of the resolute American spirit.
Glen Lovell, author of "Escape Artist, the Life and Films of John Sturges," talked about “Seven” and quoted Bernstein himself saying, "If you look at the movie without music ... you'd be surprised how slow-moving it is. I realized immediately that the function of the music would be to get on top of the film, drive it along. It had to have tremendous life and vigor.”