Seven Samurai (1954)
IMDB Rating 8.8/10 207 min - Rated 18 Action | Drama
Stars: Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura Director: Akira Kurosawa
A veteran samurai (Shimura) answers a village’s request for protection from marauding bandits. He assembles a team of six other samurai and they teach the townspeople how to defend themselves. When forty bandits attack the village a fight to the death ensues. Although set in 16th century Japan The Seven Samurai, as Kurosawa readily acknowledged, was heavily indebted to Hollywood westerns and particularly to John Ford. From its opening shot of galloping horseman silhouetted against the horizon to its story of an elite team of warriors being assembled to protect a threatened village, the film was innovative with its influences – it would eventually be re-made by John Sturges as the The Magnificent Seven. The film takes time, a leisurely 207 minutes, establishing the individual characters of the team of samurai and detailing their ambiguous relations with the villagers they are hired to protect. It builds steadily to the magnificent climatic rain-drenched battle scene, which rendered as an orgy of chaotic, kinetic action, all slashing limbs and splashing mud. Kurosawa’s genius for pictorial composition and choreographed movement made The Seven Samurai a perfect example of epic, bravura filmmaking.