A sixteenth century farming village requests protection from the seven samurai against a horde of bandits who have warned they will return when the crops are ripe. A gripping three hour ride that inspired the Hollywood remake, The Magnificent Seven.
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I don't watch enough old films to really put this one in context, but my first impression of this classic was: amazing story-telling, great characters, and brutally realistic mob action. The dramatic intermission cut scene was cool too.
The concept has been ripped of more time than I count, but the original is still the best. After all, how do you compete with all these actors, Kurosawa's naturalistic way to film action, the dream like scene with the waterfall, the comedy that brings us closer to their turmoil, the attention to period detail, the whole battle with the rain (that brilliantly foreshadows the coming of the crops and thus the end), etc
I don't know if it was just me, but I found the first half of the film much more compelling than the second half. I'd give the 1st half 4 stars, especially for the epic music . . . then the second half with the bandit was more like 3 stars : /
I always found the charm of Kurosawa films lies in its almost universalistic qualities. Much of his filmography has served almost as a template to what makes a successful film both commercially and critically. Seven Samurai is an obvious key example of this.
Kurosawa’s epic is an inspiration, a spectacle, a roller coaster ride of good vs evil where powerful themes like social responsibility and survival of the fittest are bubbling under the facade of heroism, chivalry and action. First of its kind, second to none.