AFTER Akira Kurosawa saw director John Sturges' The Magnificent Seven (Pearl, 9.35pm) he presented him with a symbolic warrior sword. Kurosawa had directed The Seven Samurai in 1954, which Sturges Americanised and turned into The Magnificent Seven in 1960. Kurosawa's is a classic, but The Magnificent Seven comes very close indeed to doing it justice. Where it fails is in its portrayal of the Seven. In The Seven Samurai Kurosawa gave his samurai warriors more style, dignity and grace. In The Magnificent Seven, Sturges does not do the same, but nevertheless, manages to mirror the major themes and attitudes of the original in an occidental setting. For the record, the Seven are: Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Brad Dexter, Charles Bronson, Horst Buchholz, Robert Vaughn and James Coburn. Brynner was the only one who was a name at the time, having already starred in The King And I. Of the others, only Dexter did not rise in the acting ranks. He made a few more movies and then retired from the business. There is not a weak performance in the film, but that is probably to be expected with a cast like that. Coburn, for instance, has little dialogue, but his presence is felt. It would not be long before screenwriters and directors gave him a lot more to say. McQueen later starred in another Sturges classic, The Great Escape. The Magnificent Seven is a great film and deserves all the accolades it has received down the years. Surprisingly, it received only one Oscar nomination, for Elmer Bernstein's evocative and now famous score. A small Mexican village is pillaged regularly by a band of cutthroats led by Eli Wallach. The quaking townsfolk do not have the courage to take him on, so they club together to hire seven of the toughest hombres on that side of the Rio Grande. The rest is history, but it is history told with great panache and superb atmospherics. The film spawned a number of sequels, including Return Of The Magnificent Seven and Guns Of The Magnificent Seven. NEXT up in World's Sylvester Stallone series is Paradise Alley (9.35pm), a film Sly wrote, directed and starred in. He even croons the title song. In fact this was Sly's directorial debut, in 1978. He plays one of three not-too-smart brothers, another of whom plans to wrestle his way out of the slums of New York City. Watch out for a cameo from that other crooner, Tom Waits. WHEN the all-singing, all-dancing Jacksons got together last year for Jackson Family Honours (STAR Plus, 2.00am), there were cynics who said they might only be doing so to deflect attention from Wacko's sexual molestation controversies, which at the time were threatening to wreck his life. The show itself is a mish-mash of Jackson hits, tributes to other artists and performances by a handful of sad-looking guests. Wacko turned up, but refused to perform and was booed off stage by an audience that had paid an arm and a leg for tickets. There is no accounting for taste. IN Macau the entertainment is of a higher standard altogether. Farewell My Concubine (TDM Channel 2, 8.45pm) is the film that should have won an Oscar for Best Foreign Picture, but didn't. It was directed by Chen Kaige, stars Hong Kong's own Leslie Cheung as an opera star living through half a century of turbulence in China, and is very long - just under three hours. It might be pretentious in places, but performances are first rate, particularly from Gong Li as a fiery prostitute. FOOD, not money, makes Hong Kong tick. Chua Lam proves as much in Hong Kong Connection (Pearl, 6.50pm). He is a member of Hong Kong's film industry, but most importantly he is a gourmet, a person for whom spending money on food 'is 100 per cent enjoyment'. The point of all this, according to Hong Kong Connection, is that Chua is like many other Hong Kong people these days - the uncertain times ahead (1997 and all that) are stimulating the territory's appetite for wining and dining. Food is not a basic necessity, but an object of veneration. In an effort to put this grand theory to the test, the programme follows Chua from restaurant to restaurant and from market stall to market stall.