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Noon Edition

Bernstein: Magnificent Seven

While heroic stories of courage, loyalty, and adventure are pretty universal, similarities between the mythic figures of the cowboy and the Japanese samurai have inspired several cross-cultural borrowings. Among these was the American Western "The Magnificent Seven" which was adapted from Akira Kurasawa's earlier film "Seven Samurai." Bernstein would later reflect upon how an exchange with director Cecile B. DeMille had affected his way of thinking about scoring this film. Like "The Magnificent Seven," DeMille's "The Ten Commandments" had been lengthy and rather slow-paced. After suggesting sweeping, "epic" music to match this style, Bernstein was criticized by DeMille, who argued that if a film got slow, the music should get more upbeat! We can hear this advice being followed in "The Magnificent Seven," with its famous syncopated brass fanfare theme.

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