7 Women for the MacGregors
From The Spaghetti Western Database
The older members of the Scottish MacGregor family like to get up in the middle of the night to look at the family treasure. They are afraid that the younger ones will be corrupted by the sight of it, and therefore decide to bury the treasure on the farmyard. While celebrating the engagement of the oldest son, Gregor (Big Mac!), the ranch is attacked and the family treasure stolen. The thief, a certain Frank James, has left a note, but it soon turns out that he’s an innocent old man, living in the past, who was conned by the real thieves, Mexican bandit Maldonado and his gang of cutthroats. It’s up to the seven sons of the MacGregors to retrieve the family gold!
In spite of the title, this movie is not an adaptation of the ancient Roman legend of The Rape of the Sabine Women (*1), that served as an inspiration for Stanley Donen’s Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954). At one point, halfway the movie, the ‘brides’ (seven sisters from an Irish family) are in danger of being abducted, but not by the brothers (like in the legend and in Donen's movie), but by the Mexican bandits. Actually no abduction takes place: the brothers come to the rescue and the Mexicans are frightened away by a collective effort of the brothers and sisters. The whole thing is no more than a side-note, a comical (and sexy) intermezzo. The first MacGregor movie had already offered a mix of comedy and traditional spaghetti western violence, and this sequel is even more brutally violent than the first movie. We get, among other things, a couple of execution and torture scenes, and the massacre of an entire western town. There’s a scene with a little girl, wandering through the massacred town, that is pure horror.
The first half of this sequel is basically a chase movie, with the MacGregors in hot pursuit of the Mexicans, repeatedly arriving too late on the spot to prevent the bandits from wreaking havoc on the local population. The comedy picks up in the second half. The MacGregors aren’t able to trace Maldonado’s hideout until they meet a dentist who has been summoned by the bandit. The dentist is accompanied by his daughter Dolly, a voluptuous blonde, and when Rosita – Gregor’s fiancée - overhears a conversation in which her name is mentioned, she jumps on her horse and sets out for Mexico …
Rosita is played by Agata Flori, who was also in the first movie and turns in a very lively performance here. Woods is replaced by the relatively unknown David Bailey, who (for obvious reasons) was never asked to appear in a spaghetti western again. Leo Anchoriz is again the main villain, called Maldonado this time around (Santillana was killed in the first movie). Fernando Sancho is sorely missed as his clumsy assistant (he is replaced by Tito Garcia), but Victor Israel and Roberto Camardiel make up for the loss as, respectively, the dentist and the father of the brides. Morricone's score sounds fine, but he re-used some tracks, or parts of it, from his scores for the first MacGregor movie and A Fistful of Dollars.
The mix of brutal violence and comedy might be a little (or more than just a little) desorienting in the case of this sequel. And to know that one of the screenwriters, Enzo dell’Aquila, wanted to turn the movie into a musical (his plans were denied by the producer, Dario Sabatello)! (*2). But it's not a bad movie. If you can accept its capriciousness, it's quite entertaining. Giraldi’s movies about the MacGregors are uneven, often feel a bit pieced together, but they were lavishly shot by Alejandro Ulloa (one of the few spaghetti western cinematographers who had an eye for the beautiful Spanish landscape) and offer a rumbustious kind of entertainment that is definitely catching.
- 1) This is the common English title of the legend. 'Rape' in this context, is a literal (all too literal) translation of the Latin raptio, which means "abduction" rather than 'sexual violation' (which is of course today the prevalent meaning).
- 2) Marco Giusti, Dizionario del western all'italiano
Dir: Franco Giraldi - Cast: David Bailey, Agata Flori, Alberto Dell'Acqua, Leo Anchoriz, Victor Israel, Roberto Camardiel, Georges Rigaud, Nazzareno Zamperla, Tito Garcia - Music: Ennio Morricone
Like the first movie about the McGregor family, this sequel is a combination of violence and comedy. The family gold is stolen by a gang of Mexican bandits and it's up to the sons to retrieve it. They also save seven sisters in danger of being abducted (hence the title). Robert Woods is replaced by the relatively unknown David Bailey. Agatha Flori turns in a lively performance as Rosita, in hot pursuit (very hot) of her fiancée after she has heard rumors about him and a voluptuous blonde.