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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Kurosawa’s dense, muscular compositions in Seven Samurai can hardly contain the volatile performance of this Toshiro Typhoon, whose swaggering exaggeration in the early sequences imperils the surrounding rice paddies more than it does the marauders. Mifune’s modulation from manic to tragic in Samurai is one of the great achievements of his career, and signals the depth and range of his acting.
It’s fiercely entertaining in a way that might remind viewers just how hard it is to achieve that nebulous goal—to amuse as well as to awe. It may be for this reason that it’s referred to as being Kurosawa’s most “Americanized” film, though it could likewise be considered his gift to the West.
10/10. In brief, a masterpiece.
I had the opportunity to see this in 35mm when in screened at the Metrograph, and I was enthralled from the moment the drums started beating over the opening credits.
Very glad I saw this again--it's a much more profound anti-war statement than I remembered.
Kurosawa always moves the camera exactly where it needs to be to perfectly capture emotional moments that never feel forced.
This is the greatest film ever made and my favorite film of all time. I've seen it 30+ times but should really be seen on the big screen. I wish I saw this at the theater first instead of 1AM on Saturday night on Channel 13.
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.
A beautiful protrayal of what it is to be a samurai, that means, a man of honor, heroism, and loyalty. At the same time, the film portrays these dead qualities (in a time when people tend to believe they still existed) as something that is no longer needed in the world, until anti-values appear, killing everything in their path. Not only is this a great adventure, but also a wonderful life lesson.
An extraordinary film about modern emancipation dressed up as jidai-geki. I still cannot think of a director whose bravura in commanding air, water, fire, soil resembles truly divine inspiration. With exemplary moral but flawed characters, it is replete with astonishing set-pieces and shots of paradigmatic syntagma (Metz), previously unseen and still unsurpassed. Mifune's towering performance epitomizes raw cinema!
re-watch. 16mm. Sure didn't feel like 3.5 hours. Such enticing character development and interludes of humor. The last twenty five minutes of the film- the last battle, and ensuing song and paddy dance- were gut wrenching.