Yul Brynner at His Vilest & More ‘Westworld’ Facts for the 50th Anniversary

Westworld Promo Art

Boy have we got a vacation for you! The 1973 film Westworld celebrates its 50th anniversary today.

Starring Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin and James Brolin it was set in the future at an amusement park where the rich could live out any fantasy they desired.

It was made up of three themed settings where the guest had a choice of Medieval World, Roman World, or as the film is titled, Westworld — a land of lawless violence of the Wild West complete with gunslingers, brothels and saloons. Guests could choose any role they wanted in these worlds.

As far as the other inhabitants they would interact with? Well they were all androids that were so real you couldn’t distinguish them from other guests. All were programmed to comply with any fantasy of the guests’ choosing. With the promise nothing would go wrong, the wealthy vacationers were at ease until one day one of the androids started acting on his own and chaos ensued as all the robots started attacking the guests. While park programmers scrambled to turn the bots off, they ran amuck with their own free will and sent the guests fleeing to get out alive. As the freaky, murderous Gunslinger in Westworld, Brynner gave an iconic performance as an emotionless and relentless killing machine who seems to enjoy murdering people.

Despite the film being pretty futuristic for the time (it was supposed to be set in 1983) the budget was pretty tight, so costumers and special effects artists had to come up with intuitive ways to portray the robot aesthetics.

Check out some of these fun Westworld facts:

Fun Fact #1:

The Gunslinger’s thermal vision includes the first use of computer digitized images as part of a feature film. It took eight hours to produce every 10 seconds of footage for the Gunslinger’s pixelated POV shots.

Fun Fact #2:

WESTWORLD, 1973, Yul Brynner & Magnificent Seven

Everett Collection

Brynner spoofs himself from a previous gunslinging villain he played in The Magnificent Seven (1960) and even wears the same costume. Many of the sets and costumes used were from previous film to help reduce costs.

Fun Fact #3:

Westworld (1973) BTS Michael Crichton


This was the first theatrical film directed by Michael Crichton, who also also wrote Jurassic Park, about another theme park that went horribly wrong.

Fun Fact #4:

Halloween (1978) Michael Myers

John Carpenter based the character Michael Myers in Halloween on the indestructible nature of Brynner’s gunslinging role.

Fun Fact #5:

Westworld Backlot


The movie was filmed on multiple Western backlots to create the illusion of the size of the park. It was one the last movies to be filmed on the MGM backlots before they were sold to developers.

Fun Fact #6:

Westworld Yul Brynner


In a scene where Brynner’s character is splashed in the face with acid, an oil-based makeup mixed with ground Alka-Seltzer and a splash of water was used to create this effect.

Fun Fact #7:

Westworld 1973 James Brolin and Richard Benjamin


James Caan, Lee Majors, Elliott Gould, Jon Voight, James Franciscus and William Shatner were all considered as leads for the film. All were busy or too expensive, so it was decided to hire two relatively unknown actors so Brynner could stand out as the blockbuster name. Richard Benjamin and James Brolin both were hired less than 48 hours before filming began.

Fun Fact #8:

WESTWORLD, l-r: Anthony Hopkins, Jeffrey Wright, 'Les Ecorches' (Season 2, Episode 7, aired June 3, 2018).

John P. Johnson/HBO/Courtesy Everett Collection

HBO made a Westworld series in 2016 that lasted four seasons and starred Sir Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris and Jeffrey Wright. It has a few Easter eggs in it alluding to the original movie.

Overall, a Delos Company vacation sounds cool, but we think we will skip the visit.

Wild West- Heroes & Villains
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Wild West- Heroes & Villains

November 2022

Celebrates the unique sense of justice, compassion and adventure in the Old West as seen on TV and in the movies

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