The story behind The Magnificent Seven could have been a movie in itself. It had everything - an actors' strike, a writers' strike, interference by the Mexican government and a row between the screenwriters that resulted in one removing his name from the credits, all under the lingering gloom of post-McCarthy era Hollywood. A flop on release, the film later became a box office hit.
This book tells the behind-the-scenes story: how Yul Brynner became the biggest independent producer in Hollywood; why John Sturges was not the first choice after Brynner surrendered the director's chair; why Sturges quit; the truth about the Mirisch Company (producers); the details of the film's botched release and unlikely redemption; the creation of Elmer Bernstein's classic score; and how internecine fighting prevented the making of the television series in 1963. Myths about Steve McQueen, his feud with Brynner and the scene-stealing antics of the cast are debunked. A close examination of the various screenplay drafts and the writers' source material - Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai - shows who wrote what. Extensive analysis of Sturges' directorial work is provided.