‘The Magnificent Seven’ to be shown Sept. 25 and feature commentary from alumnus

Posted on 17 September 2013 by eestes@tusculum.edu

The iconic western, “The Magnificent Seven” will be shown at Tusculum College on Wednesday, Sept. 25.

Accompanying the film will be commentary about the history of the film and the great quest at the heart of the western by Joe Romano, a 1963 graduate of Tusculum College. The program will begin at 6 p.m. in the lecture hall of Tredway Hall on campus and is sponsored by the Department of History and Museum Studies. There is no charge for the event and the public is welcome.

A talented cast, precise directing and striking musical score are among the elements that took what could have been a fairly routine western into the realm of a classic and a landmark in the development of the western movie. The 1960 film is set in a Mexican village, whose residents hire a mix of gunslingers to protect the citizens from pillaging by a bandit and his small army of farmers. Its cast includes actors who would go onto become superstars over the next decade, such as Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, James Coburn and Charles Bronson. The film has grown in popularity since its release and is the second most film shown on television, behind only “The Wizard of Oz.”

“The Magnificent Seven” is an American retelling of the 1954 Japanese film, “Seven Samurai,” which in turn was greatly influenced by John Ford’s westerns. The tale in both movies, which involves a gathering of heroes who set out on a great guest, is a form that extends back to the ancient Greeks and Romans and can be found in the works of such great writers as Shakespeare. Artists from cultures around the world have reworked these timeless and universal themes from the beginning of recorded history. Romano will explore this history and present film clips from “Seven Samurai” before “The Magnificent Seven” is screened in its entirety. Any questions or comments will be discussed following the movie.

Romano graduated from Tusculum with a degree in history and also earned a Master of Arts degree in history from the University of Tennessee. He has written local history, including the story of Free Acres, the transcendental community where he and his wife Sue, a Tusculum alumna, lived for 45 years. He also authored a section of “From the Passaiack to the Wach Unks,” the official history of Berkeley Heights, N.J. and an article about a man who rode with General George Patton through France and Germany in World War II.

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