Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

Last of the Magnificent Seven Bites the Dust!!

Filed under: Children,Jewish Themes,Katzman Biography,Katzman's Cinema Komments,Life & Death,Uncategorized — Bob at 11:36 am on Sunday, January 13, 2019

by Robert M. Katzman © January 13, 2019

Painful News Flash for South Siders and Undying lovers of the Original (and best!) Magnificent 7: That stunning deathless film which came out in 1960 when I was living near 87th and Jeffrey, and the three movie theaters were the Avalon on Stoney Island, or north of the RR tracks on 71st St, The Hamilton and the Jeffrey, has lost the last and most seductive member of its original cast:

Mexican actress Rosenda Monteros, the young woman, Petra, hiding in the forest wearing the all white pants and top costume, because her father warned her the seven American gunslingers “were brutes” and she should hide with the rest of the villages older girls, has died at the age of 86 in Mexico.


Turned out, she was the sexy wildcat who progressively seduced the proud and dangerous Mexican peasant turned gunfighter and was determined to become part of the other six macho gunfighters hired to protect the village. I was ten at that time, but she was gorgeous to me even then when she was perhaps 27. 

The actor playing Mexican peasant Chico, was Horst Buchholz, a German actor who was terrific being Mexican, but otherwise faded into the Bavarian sunset. As older guys, we watched as one by one those mythic gunfighters, including Eli Wallach, who played the wily leader Calvera, of the 50 bandits, and who was actually Jewish from Brooklyn (which is why he was so wily), died over the decades. 

Vladimir Sokoloff, who portrayed the wizened and philosophical Mexican old man, Sotero, in his mid-eighties who financed the hiring of the seven American gunslingers by donating his gold watch to the cause of the three villergers who crossed the border to find men like them, was the first major actor in the film to die afterwards, at 72 in 1962. He was born in Russia and was Jewish. His wryly delivered observations about life, liberty, courage elder sex, happiness and why the two surviving American saviors, Chris and Vin, should leave the village after the bandits are defeated are actually the heart of the film.

Maybe all of the Mexicans portrayed in the Magnificent Seven were Jewish. Yul Brenner, or Chris, the leader of the seven, was also rumoured to be born in Eastern Russia. This is fascinating. Maybe the Mexican village was actually a shtetl?

Brad Dexter, the cynical gold-digging Harry Luck and friend of Chris who heroically dies saving Chris’s life when Chris is trapped against a locked door by bandit gunfire from all sides, was born Boris Michel Soso to Marko and Ljubica Å oÅ¡o, ethnic Serbian immigrants from Bosnia- Herzegovinas. Serbian was Dexter’s first language.

The scene between the two men, as Chris cradles the dying man in his arms, and gently lying to him about all the gold that Brad believed was the real reason Chris was fighting bandidts in that poor village, is the most tender moment in the entire film.

The last one of the seven to die was Robert Vaughn, as Lee, the grim older gunman turned coward who “lost his nerve” but goes out in a blaze of gunfire. 

The movie made Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson into international stars. Bronson played a dead-eyed killer, Bernardo O’ Riley, who was “half Irish, half Mexican and me in the middle” who was adopted by some of the village’s children who told him they’d put flowers on his grave after he was killed.  Bronson’s original name was Charles Dennis Buchinski and was the son of a Lithuanian coal miner.

James Coburn or Red (or Britt), so razor thin he barely had a silhouette, and the guy with the lightning fast knife, personified tight-lipped cool even exceeding McQueen in the film. 

Beautiful Rosenda was the only prominent woman in the film, a remake of the 1954 Akira Kurosaw’s sublime “Seven Samurai,” with her unstoppable delicate hands and lips, was definitely faster on the draw, or the kiss, than poor confused and distracted Chico, who had almost no dialogue but she communicated volumes to a ten-year-old about what might possibly be ahead for him if he was really, really lucky.

Rest in peace, Rosenda. You were a magnificent secret weapon all by yourself. 

Love, (using my universal name in 1960) Bobby. 

Publishing News! 

Bob Katzman’s two new true Chicago books are now for sale, from him!
Vol. One: A Savage Heart  and Vol. Two: Fighting Words

Gritty, violent, friendship, classic American entrepreneurship love, death, heartbreak and the real dirt about surviving in a completely corrupt major city under the Chicago Machine. More history and about one man’s life than a person may imagine.

Please visit my new website: https://www.dontgoquietlypress.com
If a person doesn’t want to use PayPaI, I also have a PO Box & I ship anywhere in America.

Send me a money order with your return and contact info.
I will get your books to you within ten days.
Here’s complete information on how to buy my books:

Vol 1: A Savage Heart and Vol. 2: Fighting Words
My books weigh almost 2 pounds each, with about 525 pages each and there are a total together of 79 stories and story/poems.

Robert M. Katzman
Don’t Go Quietly Press
PO Box 44287
Racine, Wis. 53404-9998                                                                                                                    (262)752-3333, 8AM–7PM

Books cost $29.95 each, plus shipping

For: (1)$3.95; (2)$5.95; (3)$7.95; (4)$8.95 (5)$9.95;(6) $10.95

(7) $11.95; (8) $12.95; (9)$13.95 (10)$15.95 (15)$19.95

Shipping by air to most of Europe, due to the weight of my books is $99.00

I am also for hire if anyone wants me to read my work and answer questions in the Chicago/Milwaukee area. Schools should call me for quantity discounts for 30 or more books. Also: businesses, bookstores, private organizations or churches and so on.

My Fighting Words Publishing Co. four original books, published between 2004 and 2007 are now out-of-print. I still have some left and will periodically offer them for sale on my new website.  My hour-long story reading at WGTD 91.1 NPR Kenosha, Wis is now a podcast. The interview and story can be heard here:

Speaking of Our Words – June 30th, 2017 With special guest star and featured writer Bob Katzman. Bob reads his memoir, “Audrey, Pink Bunny Slippers, Her Cat and the God’s Eye” and talks about his w…   Your comments are welcome, below, and please tell others I can be found here as a writer. I can also be hired as a speaker for organizations, etc, both here and in Europe. Seeking an agent. robertmkatzman@gmail.com Poet & Storyteller for hire for organizations, schools or private events   www.DifferentSlants.com to view recent and older examples of my work  

Preview YouTube video Speaking of Our Words – June 30th, 2017

Speaking of Our Words – June 30th, 2017  


Comment by Charlie Newman

January 13, 2019 @ 3:48 pm


Comment by Gail D Garza

January 13, 2019 @ 5:43 pm

Oh how I enjoy your stories, Bob.

Please post them on Facebook. I will buy your book, too. Please keep sharing your stories. They are so powerful.

Love you!

Gail Garza

Lee Klawans’ friend.

Comment by brad dechter

January 14, 2019 @ 7:40 am


To see her picture I put a link above. What a cutie!

Comment by Will Parkhurst

January 31, 2019 @ 11:47 am

Thanks for sharing your memories!

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>