Its generally the first film that comes to mind when the question of “what is the greatest film of all time” is asked. A film that combines the elements of drama, action, love, humor and tragedy; what more could film goer ask for? Its pure Kurosawa. the film will forever be known not only for being regarded as the greatest samurai film of all time, but for creating character and plot archetypes which would be later reused and recycled in countless films decades after its release. But of course none have come close to topping the cinematic wonder that is Seven Samurai. Even with the help of million dollar special effects and shaky camera shots could reinvent the epic final battle sequence. The story is so simple, yet genius: “a sixteenth-century village whose desperate inhabitants hire the eponymous warriors to protect them from invading bandits” (The Criterion Collection). It also doesn’t hurt that it features two of the greatest performances from Japan’s greatest screen actors (and Kurosawa regulars) Toshiro Mifune and Takashi Shimura, plus a good list of supporting performances from the rest of the cast. But when it comes down to it, it works because Kurosawa is behind the camera. No other director could have crafted such a masterpiece and have it hold up as well as it does today. This remains Kurosawa’s seminal work, and since this is the same man who gave us works of art like Rashomon, Drunk Angel, Ran, Ikiru, and Yojimbo, its saying something.