Seven Samurai – 1954 – English
Film directed in 1954 by Akira Kurosawa, and starring Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Yoshio Inaba, Seiji Miyaguchi, Minoru Chiaki, Daisuke Kato, Isao Kimura, Kamatari Fujiwara, Keiko Tsushima, Yoshio Tsuchiya, Kokuten Kôdô…
Synopsis: A veteran samurai, who has fallen on hard times, answers a village’s request for protection from bandits. He gathers 6 other samurai to help him, and they teach the townspeople how to defend themselves, and they supply the samurai with three small meals a day. The film culminates in a giant battle when 40 bandits attack the village.
Review: Akira Kurosawa‘s masterpiece… The Japanese equivalent to Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane.. I say it’s just as good, if not even better. Not only Kurosawa’s most well known film, but the most widely recognized Japanese film ever made. This movie will forever be known as a milestone in motion picture history.
The story revolves around a village that has become a group of bandits’ common looting and pillaging ground. The villagers cannot take this any longer and go to town to hire warriors to defend the village from the bandits. A wandering ronin, Kambei (Takashi Shimura) agrees to help them and with his help, they recruit six others that agree to take the job. The seven samurai teach the villagers how to stand up to the bandits and defend themselves. Finally, when the time comes, they engage in a fierce battle with the attacking bandits.
About once in every 20 years or so we are gifted with a film that has the meaning, power, richness, and technique that The Seven Samurai has. I cannot urge anyone enough to see this film, the images are true cinematic poetry rich with so much emotion that I cannot even describe them in words. If you have never seen any of Kurosawa’s works, then please see Seven Samurai… you will witness the true beauty, excellence and magic that the art form known as film is capable of.