MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, THE: GHOSTS OF THE CONFEDERACY {SERIES PREMIERE} (TV)

Summary

The first in this action-adventure Western series, based on the 1960 film of the same name, which was a remake of the 1954 film "Seven Samurai." In this episode, a group of Confederate soldiers raids a Seminole village in search of food and supplies, but when Colonel Anderson finds an alchemist's mask, he becomes convinced that there is gold in the nearby mines. Despite Captain Riley's uncertainty, Anderson orders the chief to produce the gold within seven days or face the wrath of their cannon. In a nearby town, a rowdy group of men decide to hang Nathan Jackson, a former slave-turned-unofficial doctor, for "killing" their friend, though Mary Travis desperately tries to save his life. Two strangers, Chris Larabee and Vin Tanner, intervene and save Nathan's life, somewhat aided by the eager young J.D. Mary follows the men to the saloon, where Chris is recognized for his notorious gun-slinging past, and the Seminole chief arrives in their midst and offers to pay Chris – and whomever else he can recruit – to protect their town for a small fee. Chris tracks down his reckless friend Buck Wilmington, who agrees to the dangerous job on the spot, though ex-priest Josiah Sanchez turns them down, too busy with his own "penance." Ezra Standish, caught hustling a local at the saloon, is similarly skeptical of joining the team, though he changes his mind when he reads a scandalous newspaper story about Chris, penned by Mary. Chris confronts her for "bending the facts," though she argues that she exaggerated the story in order to protect the town from future attacks.

Josiah too changes his mind after seeing a grim augury, and the six men ride off to the Seminole village. The chief makes it clear that the tribe does not entirely trust the white men, and the men are annoyed to find that young J.D. has tagged along, desperate to join the group and help the natives. The men begin teaching the tribe members, including an elderly ex-slave, how to protect their village, and Ezra entertains the children with card tricks as Nathan encounters the local women, including the beautiful and headstrong Rain. Buck is attacked by Imala, the chief's hotheaded warrior son, who angrily reveals that he was recently imprisoned by racist white men, but Imala is delighted when his wife introduces him to his infant son, born in his absence. The other men decide to allow J.D. to stay, and Vin confides to Chris that he was framed for murder in another town and urges him to collect the price on his head if he does not survive the encounter with the Confederates. Josiah tells Ezra about the death omen he witnessed, and Anderson soon returns with his men, amused to see the small group of "humanitarians" guarding the village. Chris orders him to leave, firmly stating that there is no gold to be found, and a shootout commences when Anderson refuses to believe him. The Confederates make a hasty retreat, and Nathan tends to the injured, included a badly wounded Josiah.

J.D. finds himself unnerved by the violent experience, and Buck reveals to him that Chris' wife and son were killed in a mysterious fire, seemingly hardening his heart for good. Josiah improves under Nathan's care, and Ezra hints that he is not as courageous as he seems as he reads the children's fortune in his cards. As he explores the now-defunct mine shaft, Anderson and his men return and open fire on the village with the cannon, killing several tribe members, including Imala. Ezra flees in shame, and Riley urges a laudanum-swilling Anderson to give them a chance to surrender with dignity, but the colonel orders his men to keep firing. The Seven are soon captured, and when Riley refuses to execute the prisoners, Anderson furiously strips him of his rank and promotes Darcy to captain in his place. Ezra then returns, however, and distracts the Confederates long enough for his friends to escape and use the cannon against their enemies. A heavily drugged Anderson declares that he is a "ghost of the Confederacy" who cannot be killed, and Riley gives him a final chance to surrender peacefully. Anderson, however, furious at his honorary son's apparent betrayal, refuses to lay down his gun, and Chris finally kills him. Chris offers his condolences to the chief for Imala's death and decides not to accept payment for the assistance, telling the chief to keep his money. The tribe decides to hold onto the cannon in case of future attacks, and J.D. is relieved when an injured Buck recovers from his wounds. Nathan considers staying behind with Rain, but she urges him to head off with his new comrades and promises to wait for him. The Seven ride out of the village, ready for their next adventure. Commercials deleted.

Details

  • NETWORK:
  • DATE: 8:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 1:29:57
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: 125032
  • GENRE: Drama, western
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Drama, action/adventure
  • SERIES RUN: CBS - TV series, 1998-1999; TNN - 2000
  • COMMERCIALS:

CREDITS

    • Walter Mirisch … Executive Producer
    • Richard Barton Lewis … Executive Producer
    • Mark Stern … Executive Producer
    • John Watson … Executive Producer, Developed by, Writer
    • Pen Densham … Executive Producer, Developed by, Writer
    • Dennis Stuart Murphy … Co-Producer
    • Lynne Symons … Producer
    • Geoff Murphy … Director
    • Chris Black … Writer
    • Frank Q. Dobbs … Writer
    • William Roberts … Based on a screenplay by
    • Don Harper … Music by
    • Elmer Bernstein … Theme Music by
    • Michael Biehn … Cast, Chris Larabee
    • Eric Close … Cast, Vin Tanner
    • Andrew Kavovit … Cast, John "J.D." Dunne
    • Dale Midkiff … Cast, Buck Wilmington
    • Ron Perlman … Cast, Josiah Sanchez
    • Anthony Starke … Cast, Ezra Standish
    • Rick Worthy … Cast, Nathan Jackson
    • Laurie Holden … Cast, Mary Travis
    • Tony Burton … Cast, Tennessee Eban
    • Michael Greyeyes … Cast, Imala
    • Daragh O'Malley … Cast, Captain Francis Riley
    • Ned Romero … Cast, Seminole Chief
    • Kurtwood Smith … Cast, Col. Emmett Anderson
    • Siena Goines … Cast, Rain
    • Lisa Noelle … Cast, Toakhulga
    • Lisa Montour … Cast, Opa Locka
    • Eric Lawson … Cast, Sergeant Darcy
    • Dick Bellerue … Cast, Drinking Man
    • Jeff O'Haco … Cast, Cowboy
    • Boots Southerland … Cast, Scruffy Cowhand
    • Frank Sprague … Cast, Store Owner
    • Thomas Stephen Hall … Cast, Bartender
    • Jack Lilley … Cast, Stage Coach Driver
    • Alicia Chambers … Cast, Redhead