August 26th, 2014: Seven Samurai (1954)

Cast and Crew:   Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura

What It’s About:  Villagers threatened with starvation at the hands of bandits who demand their crop decide to hire samurai to protect them, but the wages they can offer attract only seven.  Can this rag-tag group train and lead the villagers to victory against the equally desperate raiders?

Why Watch it Today?: Seven Samurai was released in Japan as Shichinin no samurai today in 1954, influencing countless films and inspiring many variations on the basic theme of a small group the helps defend a village, town, or even planet against invaders.  Seven Samurai sets itself apart from almost all the films it has influenced by featuring well-developed characters, commentary on life in a highly structured society (there is no happy ending to its love story, for example) and the nature of each group, great performances, and in the beautiful direction from Akira Kurosowa.  You may have seen the plot before, but you’ve never seen it done this well.

Other Choices:  The Magnificent Seven, Battle Beyond the Stars, A Bug’s Life, The 13th Warrior, and Three Amigos are just some of the movies that remade or were inspired by today’s film.

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2 comments on “August 26th, 2014: Seven Samurai (1954)

  1. geelw says:

    I still know a few people who have yet to see this classic. I’m going to rope them up and make them watch it if I need to and provide free food to make up for trying all those knots…

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