Return of the Seven (1966): Sequel to The Magnificent Seven is Disappointing and Cliché Ridden

The film is aka Return of the Magnificent Seven.

The first sequel to the 1960 cult western, The Magnificent Seven, featured only one member of the original cast, Yul Brynner as Chris Adams.  It was dismissed by most critics as unsatisfactory, repetitive, and cliché-ridden, compared to the first picture

Robert Fuller assumes Steve McQueen’s role of Vin and Julian Mateos replaces Horst Buchholz as Chico.

The film was written by Larry Cohen and directed by a second-tier helmer, Burt Kennedy, who made some Western with John Wayne (all mediocre).

The cast includes Warren Oates, Claude Akins, Jordan Christopher, Virgilio Teixeira. Emilio Fernánde is the villain, and famous Spanish actor Fernando Rey portrays a priest.

Fernando Rey was also in the next film, Guns of the Magnificent Seven, but playing a different character.

Gunmen force the men in a small Mexican village to ride off with them into the desert. Among the captured farmers is Chico, who was one of seven hired gunslingers responsible for ridding the village of the tyrannical bandit, Calvera.

Chico’s wife, Petra, seeks out the other members of the band–only two, Chris and Vin, survived—begging them to save the village again. To replace the group’s deceased members, Chris buys the release of Frank and Luis (a famous bandit) from jail, and recruits Colbee, a ladies’ man, and the young Manuel.

The missing villagers are used as slave labor to rebuild a desert village and church as a memorial to the dead sons of wealthy rancher Lorca. In a surprise attack, they force Lorca’s men to leave, and prepare for a counterattack. The farmers offer no assistance, but the defenders successfully repulse Lorca’s initial attack. The rancher then gathers his men to rout the seven men.

Manuel discovers a supply of dynamite which the seven use in a counteroffensive. While they are overrun, Chris emerges victorious from a shootout with Lorca. The rancher’s gang flee, leaving Frank, Luis, and Manuel dead. Chico plans to resettle the village on Lorca’s land, and Colbee remains to help teach the villagers how to defend themselves. In the end, Chris and Vin ride off together.

Composer Elmer Bernstein received Oscar nomination for his score.

The film earned $1.6 million in rentals during its initial release, and then re-released in 1969, earning rentals of $1.3 million.


Yul Brynner as Chris Adams

Robert Fuller as Vin Tanner

Warren Oates as Colbee

Claude Akins as Frank

Julián Mateos as Chico

Virgilio Teixeira as Luis Emilio Delgado

Jordan Christopher as Manuel De Norte

Elisa Montés as Petr

Fernando Rey as Priest

Emilio Fernandez as Francisco Lorca

Rodolfo Acosta as Lopez