As if this week weren't bad enough, now comes news that Robert Vaughn has died. I primarily know Mr Vaughn from The Magnificent Seven, John Sturges'... uhhhh... magnificent remake of Akira Kurosawa's even better Seven Samurai. Robert Vaughn's character, Lee, is nerve-wracked, obsessed with his leather-gloved hands, afraid that he's lost their speed and sureness. His is the most vulnerable of the characters in the movie, a movie which, despite the size of its ensemble cast, managed to give each character a distinct personality. Vaughn's performance is, to a large extent, conveyed non-verbally, though he does muster up a bit of false bravado at the end of this scene (one of the all-too-few uploads from this movie):
Vaughn's character WARNING: SPOILER has a final heroic scene, a tour-de-force exit after a long period of jitters, nightmares, and second-guessing.
In real life, he was a lifelong liberal, and an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War. I guess that's to be expected of a man who could so convincingly play a shell-shocked gunfighter risking his life to free a bunch of peasants from their oppressors.
With Mr Vaughn's passing, the last of the Seven has left us. Is there any better way to 'play Mr Vaughn out' than to post Elmer Bernstein's... uh... magnificent overture to the film?
This year has really been a terrible one.