207 Min. | Action – Adventure – Drama | April 1954
IMDB Rating: 8.7
Director: Akira Kurosawa
Staring: Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Tsushima
Seven Samurai Review: The great Akira Kurosawa’s epic action masterpiece “Seven Samurai” is an entertaining and thoughtful war epic set in 19th century Japan. Replete with colorful well-realized characters, and sensitively portrayed social and class analysis, Kurosawa’s film entertains on all levels. Although not as visually engaging as many of Kurosawa’s later efforts, Seven Samurai’s cinematography is still masterful, and well above most contemporary films.
A farmer overhears some bandits talking about raiding his village as soon as the next harvest is ready and approaches an older Samurai master who is on the verge of retirement for help. The elder Samurai, recognizing the humility of the request and the dignity of the proposed work, takes up the cause and begins recruiting others for the defense of the village. He recruits five Samurai and takes on a young apprentice and a drunken, angry would-be Samurai avenger as the sixth and seventh members of his newly established militia. The Samurai live among the villagers for most of a growing season, teaching them defense and discipline. In turn, the villagers – as fearful of the Samurai as they are in awe of them, hide away their daughters and some of their stores.
As the inevitable crisis ensues, these two widely disparate classes of people learn to live and fight together to defend their homes and their crops. Kurosawa’s film is as much social realism as it is martial historic fantasy. Their is also a steady supply of humor and an entertaining romance – both of which are relatively rare in this genre. In summary, Seven Samurai is one of those rare works of art which takes on a vast scope and sustains it with apparent facility. Overall, Seven Samurai is an excellent film.