"Sheesh, I never would've signed up for this line dancing class if I'd known it'd be such a sausage fest."


"Sheesh, I never would've signed up for this line dancing class if I'd known it'd be such a sausage fest."

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (1960)

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

EXT. PEASANT VILLAGE

ELI WALLACH and his PALS drop by to pay a friendly visit to a VILLAGE of DIRT FARMERS.

ELI WALLACH

Hey guys, what’s up? Long time no see!

(steals their food)

We were just in the neighborhood and figured we might as well pop in and say hello.

(steals their money and horses and clothes)

So how’ve you guys been? Kids all right? Farms doing well?

(harvests their organs)

VLADIMIR SOKOLOFF

I have to admit, you are one cordial evil thieving scumbag.

ELI WALLACH

It’s my schtick! In fact, to show what a standup guy I am, I’ll only steal half your worldly possessions.

(pause)

Of course I’ll be back in a week to steal the other half. I sure hope giving you this advance warning and time to prepare doesn’t come back to bite me in the ass!

(steals their doors)

(steals the fillings out of their teeth)

(leaves)

JORGE MARTINEZ DE HOYOS

Damnit, what hope is there for us poor Mexican villagers? Can we call Speedy Gonzalez? Is he a thing?

VLADIMIR SOKOLOFF

Listen men, we may just be some schmuck farmers who don’t know one end of a gun from another, but I have an excellent plan for how to get Eli off our backs. First you get together all the money in the village...

JORGE MARTINEZ DE HOYOS

Yes?

VLADIMIR SOKOLOFF

Then you go into town with it...

JORGE MARTINEZ DE HOYOS

Uh huh?

VLADIMIR SOKOLOFF

And you buy some of those guns we don’t know how to use!

JORGE MARTINEZ DE HOYOS

PERFECT! THE BEST POSSIBLE USE OF OUR MONEY!!!

EXT. SIGNIFICANTLY LESS PEASANT-Y VILLAGE

JORGE and his fellow villagers PEPE HERN and JOHN ALONSO head into town, where they come across YUL BRYNNER and STEVE McQUEEN.

YUL BRYNNER AND STEVE MCQUEEN

We are fearless gunmen, possessed of great skill and quiet strength. Though we are detached drifters, hardened by years of violence, underneath our cynical exterior we are basically decent and yearn for redemption.

JORGE MARTINEZ DE HOYOS

I see. Is there in fact any difference between your characters at all?

YUL BRYNNER

Well I get more screen time and get to do more stuff and be the leader. Plus I look cooler. Steve’s basically my understudy.

STEVE MCQUEEN

Yeah, it’s weird to be the second main character of a movie and still feel like you’re only there to make up the numbers.

JORGE MARTINEZ DE HOYOS

Wait a minute, I just had a brilliant idea! We were coming here to buy guns that we could fight Eli with. But you two are clearly very skilled warriors, so...

YUL BRYNNER

Yeeees?

JORGE MARTINEZ DE HOYOS

So YOU can buy the guns for us!

YUL BRYNNER

(facepalms)

No. Look. You HIRE US, okay? Pay men who already HAVE guns and KNOW HOW TO USE THEM to come fight Eli for you. Right?

JORGE MARTINEZ DE HOYOS

Hired... guns? Huh! What a bizarre and intriguing notion! We would never have come up with that in a million years.

YUL BRYNNER

I can see that. All right, let’s get recruiting.

BRAD DEXTER

I’ll come with you, because I’m convinced that these peasants are secretly rich. Presumably I chalk up their filthy malnourished appearance and shapeless burlap clothing to deliberate bohemian chic.

CHARLES BRONSON

I won’t come with you, because it’s not enough money.

(pause)

I have changed my mind.

JAMES COBURN

I won’t come with you, because it’s not an appealing challenge.

(pause)

I have changed my mind.

HORST BUCHHOLZ

Ooh, ooh, pick me! I might not have a big reputation like these other guys, but give me a shot!

YUL BRYNNER

Okay, show us your quick draw.

HORST BUCHHOLZ

W-wait, you want me to demonstrate skill?! FUCK THIS!! THIS IS BULLSHIT!!!

(gets drunk)

YOU’RE AN ASSHOLE!! ALL OF YOU, ASSHOLES, I HATE YOU I’LL KILL YOU ALL NNNOOOOOOOO

(has nervous breakdown)

YUL BRYNNER

That, uh... was an interesting series of acting decisions. Never thought I’d find myself appreciating how quiet and low-key Toshiro Mifune was.

HORST BUCHHOLZ

Hey, I’m just trying to give this team a single member who doesn’t have the “stoic masculine guy” personality.

ROBERT VAUGHN

Make that two! My personality is “Mr. Fancypants”. And if that isn’t enough, later on it turns out I’m a useless burnt-out old guy, becoming increasingly terrified of my own mortality as my reflexes slowly desert me, finally cracking under the strain of many years of toying with death.

STEVE MCQUEEN

Huh? Why the hell have they given you a character who’s clearly meant to be like fifty-five years old? This movie came out the day after you turned twenty-eight!

ROBERT VAUGHN

Well in my defense, I do look kind of terrible for my age.

YUL, STEVE, BRAD, CHARLES, JAMES and ROBERT head for the PEASANT VILLAGE. HORST follows them like a THE WORLD’S LEAST SUBTLE STALKER.

STEVE MCQUEEN

Would you look at that guy, thinks he can join our team of seasoned fighters if he just pesters us enough like a sulky toddler.

YUL BRYNNER

What a loser. As if we’d ever let him join The Magnificent-

(does headcount)

SIX?! Aw FUCK. Fine, the mentally unstable brat can stay.

EXT. PEASANT VILLAGE

The HIRED GUNS arrive at the VILLAGE.

YUL BRYNNER

Yes folks, we’re here! Now to teach you how to shoot, and rig up some town defenses, in preparation for our first fight against the banditos!

(checks watch)

But since that’ll eat up about four minutes of screentime, we’ll have to find some other random stuff to pad out the time. Any ideas?

JAMES COBURN

Uhh - oh look, Eli’s sent some scouts! THEY’VE SEEN US, SHIT!

(kills scouts)

Phew, that was close! They might have warned Eli about us, and we would have lost the crucial element of surprise.

STEVE MCQUEEN

But when the scouts he sent simply never return, won’t that tip him off anyway?

JAMES COBURN

Nah, I’m sure he’ll just come to the conclusion that they all had crises of conscience and went off to get honest jobs as janitors and filing clerks. Happens all the time! Anyway, that’s all I had, anybody else got some filler?

HORST BUCHHOLZ

Oh, oh, I just found a whole bunch of women that were stashed in a second location by the townsfolk! Turns out this town with dozens of children in it DOES have women after all, who’d’ve guessed???

VLADIMIR SOKOLOFF

It’s true, we were so worried about the possibility that you mercenaries would all be rapists that we made sure to hide all our women before you got here. Even though we never even heard about the plan to hire mercenaries until you got here.

YUL BRYNNER

You fools, round those women up and bring them back into town! The last thing we want is for any of the women and children to be safely miles away when the bullets start flying!

Finally enough STUFF HAS HAPPENED that we can get to the BATTLE already.

STEVE MCQUEEN

Eli and his gang are coming! Quick, let’s all take up our previously-decided positions behind all these fortifications we’ve been building and-

YUL BRYNNER

Hey, I’m in charge here, and I say we stand out in the open and just stare at Eli for the full minute it takes him to ride into town.

STEVE MCQUEEN

...So that whole thing about the crucial element of surprise, that was, what?

ELI WALLACH

Ah, gunmen. I suppose we will have to fight you now.

(pulls out gun)

YUL BRYNNER

Hold it! This is a sixties western, you idiot. You know there’s a mandatory period of deadly banter, shrewd glances and general dick-measuring that has to happen before the actual gunfight part of any given gunfight.

ELI WALLACH

Fair enough.

(unfriendly smile)

So... crazy weather we’ve been having, huh?

STEVE MCQUEEN

(poker face)

YUL BRYNNER

(steady eye contact)

I agree. But at least it’s a dry heat.

CHARLES BRONSON

(squints)

HORST BUCHHOLZ

(slight cocky smile)

ELI WALLACH

(glances at Horst)

True that.

(glances at James)

I sweat so much when it’s humid.

(glances back at Yul)

You know, back when I lived in Tallahassee, there was this one summer where OH FUCK IT

(STARTS SHOOTIN’)

The FIGHT begins! ELI’S MEN flail around USELESSLY shooting WALLS and TREES and CLOUDS, while HIRED GUNS efficiently mow them down, except for ROBERT, who has become confused and thinks they’re playing STATUES. Finally ELI and his remaining BANDITOS run away!

HORST BUCHHOLZ

Hooray, we won! Really, really easily in fact!

YUL BRYNNER

True, but they’ll be back. And next time...

(grimly)

There’ll be fewer of them. And we’ll have more guns.

(checks watch)

In the meantime, you know how it goes.

JAMES COBURN

Right, more padding. Okay, how’s this: OH NO ELI’S SENT THREE SCOUTS, WE BETTER TAKE THEM DOWN!

YUL BRYNNER

What? That’s the exact same thing as before, don’t be stupid. Pick something else.

JAMES COBURN

Oh. Um, all right, how about: OH NO ELI’S SENT THREE SNIPERS, WE BETTER TAKE THEM DOWN!

YUL BRYNNER

Much better. HOLY FUCK, SNIPERS!

CHARLES BRONSON

STAY DOWN, CHILDREN, THERE’S SNIPERS AND IT’S REALLY DANGEROUS JESUS FUCKING CHRIST

STEVE MCQUEEN

THE SNIPER HAVE US PINNED DOWN OH GOD NO WHAT ARE WE GOING TO

INT. PEASANT HUT

YUL BRYNNER

Well we sure dealt with those snipers all right!

STEVE MCQUEEN

...We did?

YUL BRYNNER

Apparently so! All right, somebody make another thing happen now.

HORST BUCHHOLZ

I could go sneak up on the bandit camp, listen in on their plans.

YUL BRYNNER

Good idea! Just hide in the trees within listening distance, then come back with some intel.

HORST BUCHHOLZ

Actually I was thinking I’d wander right into the middle of the camp and hang out with them. Even though I’m some white guy they don’t know, except for the possibility that some of them might recognize me as one of the murderers who shot all their friends today, this infiltration will work flawlessly because this movie is a cartoon suddenly!

He goes and does this RIDICULOUS BIT OF RECON, and comes back with INFORMATION.

HORST BUCHHOLZ

All right, I found out their plans. Apparently tomorrow, they’re going to attack!

(pause)

That’s it. Attack. Tomorrow. That’s all the information I got. We pretty much could have presumed that anyway.

YUL BRYNNER

Well then we’d better go attack them first. Should be an easy victory. Unless something weird happens like, say, some panicky peasant runs on ahead without us noticing, gets into the bandit camp without being killed, surrenders on behalf of the village, convinces Eli to come back to the undefended village despite the fact that Eli ought to logically assume it’s a trap, and lead Eli and his whole gang back to the village without running into or being spotted by us as we head in the opposite direction.

(laughs)

But that’d be an utterly stupid sequence of events, so I think we’re safe!

But sure enough when they get to the BANDIT CAMP it is DESERTED, then when they return to the VILLAGE it’s filled with ELI’S MEN.

ELI WALLACH

SO! I have you at my mercy, the men who killed so many of my people. You know what I’m gonna do to you, huh? HERE’S what I’m gonna do!! I’m gonna GIVE YOU FOOD and WATER and HORSES, and then PEACEFULLY ESCORT YOU OUT OF TOWN, THAT’S WHAT!!!

(leads them out of town)

And take your stinking weapons and ammunition with you!

(arms them to the teeth)

(leaves)

YUL BRYNNER

...Oh. Okay. So...

(looks around others, raises eyebrows)

STEVE MCQUEEN

(shrugs)

Well - we’re just gonna go kill them all, right?

YUL BRYNNER

Yeah. I mean, duh. I honestly don’t know what he expected to happen.

They head back into TOWN and start KILLING ALL THE BANDITOS.

BRAD DEXTER

And look, I’ve overcome my greedy materialistic ways, and am now fighting selflessly, thus bringing my character arc to a satisfying conclusion!

(shot)

URK

(dies)

ROBERT VAUGHN

Meanwhile I’ve overcome my fear and begun fighting again, thus bringing my character arc to a satisfying-

(shot)

ACK

(dies)

CHARLES BRONSON

And I’ve - shit, I’ve put my own life on the line to protect the children who’ve come to idolize me, thus, damnit, bringing my character arc to-

(shot)

Yeah, saw that one coming.

(dies)

JAMES COBURN

Pfft, suckers, you should have been like me and not even had a character arc in the first-

(shot)

OH COME ON THAT’S NOT FAIR!

(dies)

Finally all the BAD GUYS are DEAD, and an adequate proportion of the VILLAGERS are NOT.

HORST BUCHHOLZ

All right, we won! And I’ve decided to stay in this peaceful little village and start leading a meaningful life! But Yul and Steve, you should probably continue your drifting lifestyles, just to recreate Kurosawa’s melancholy ending even though thematically it no longer makes sense.

YUL BRYNNER

All right, we’ll go. But if things ever go pear-shaped around here again, just remember, wherever there is justice, you will find us.

STEVE MCQUEEN

Wherever there is suffering, we’ll be there.

YUL BRYNNER

Wherever liberty is threatened, you will find...

YUL BRYNNER AND STEVE MCQUEEN

THE TWO AMIGOS!

(arms on hips)

(turn heads)

(cough and hip thrust)

(ride into sunset)

END

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