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Year:
1954
Country:
Japan
Genre:
Drama, Action, Adventure
IMDB rating:
8.7
Director:
Akira Kurosawa

 

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Takashi Shimura as Kambei Shimada
Toshirô Mifune as Kikuchiyo
Yoshio Inaba as Gorobei Katayama
Minoru Chiaki as Heihachi Hayashida
Daisuke Katô as Shichiroji
Isao Kimura as Katsushiro Okamoto
Yukiko Shimazaki as Rikichi's Wife
Kamatari Fujiwara as Manzo, father of Shino
Yoshio Kosugi as Mosuke
Yoshio Tsuchiya as Rikichi
Kokuten Kodo as Gisaku, the Old Man
Seven Samurai Storyline: A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.
Type Resolution File Size Codec Bitrate Format
720p 960x704 px 7680 Mb h264 4829 Kbps mkv Download
Reviews
An epic masterpiece.
Seven Samurai is about a poor village under attack by bandits who recruit seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves. Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai is a masterpiece, it would be accurate to describe it has the best Japanese movie ever. The story revolves around a village cannot take the thieving by bandits any more. The villagers cannot take any more of this so they decide to hire a group of warriors to defend their village overseen by a warrior. Seven Samurai is just a terrific epic masterpiece that everyone must see. The film is long at 3 1/2 hours, and it is just captivating film making. Kurosawa's Seven Samurai is one of the most intelligent films ever made. The first hour is mainly concerned with developing the characters that inhibit the movie. When watching the film, the viewer is gripped by the dialogue and by the development of the characters as well. Seven Samurai is the cornerstone to which many directors have followed in developing their own movie and that is truly the sign of a marvellous movie. The battle scenes are epic and ground-breaking. Seven Samurai is a movie that everyone should see at least once in their live. Kurosawa is a master film-maker and one of a few cinema legends.
2014-09-18
A Solid Defense of Art
Spoilers herein.

We are all villagers through whose small world great artists pass.

This is so clean, so effortless -- the originality is hard to appreciate because so much has been absorbed into the vernacular, but it still amazes.

My idea of genius is when someone can show you something you have never seen, but show it to you in such a way that you believe you knew it all along.

This is a work of genius.
2001-11-27
A fantastic movie, that has not aged that well in all regards
I love the acting in this movie. Mostly it's really good. Even minor characters feel very much like a part of the universe they're in, almost as if Kurosawa just found a village and started shooting. At the same time, and this might be due to difference in cultures, all of the characters feel super real, because everyone is shouting all the time, they're always running, and they usually react as a group, moving together like it was all choreographed.

It's also quite extraordinary how thorough this movie is leading you through the events in what is essentially a battlefield. It goes as far as having the characters literally ticking check boxes for each death. It shows you the plans before the action starts, and then have the characters actions show you how the plans are progressing. It's an impressive feat, considering it all feels natural. But still, had it been made today, I am sure the filmmaker would not have dared to risk boring the audience with the same attention being given to details. And while it is interesting to many to have the battle shown this way, I am sure a modern audience would prefer to just have it all happen, perhaps opting for montages instead. It's hard to say one is the better option over the other, but the way Kurosawa did it is not bad. It might just not be what modern audiences would prefer.

Another odd bit, that have not aged that well, is that pretty much every comedic moment (in which the characters are laughing), it's almost always at the expense of someone. They're laughing at people in a way that today would probably not be that accepted.
2016-10-08
Brilliant composition plus brilliant acting = brilliant flawless movie!
It is hard to know exactly where to begin when talking about a film of such utter quality. What must be said at the start is that "The Seven Samurai" is flawless. It's characters are brought to life by some of the finest and most committed acting I have ever seen. It is a compelling story of courage, duty, honor, respect and change.

I could echo Roger Ebert's commentary, in which he noted that Kurosawa's film set the standard for the modern action film. It was he notes the first film to assemble a team of hardened men to undertake a mission. But I say read Eberts review if you want to get his take.

I have watched the film several times and what is truly amazing about "The Seven Samurai" is the way in which Kurosawa choses to tell his tale, which is, I think, truly innovative and subtle.

Growing up on action fare as we have "Seven Samurai" should really hold no magic for us. We have the formula (in many forms) before. Countless times. However it is not old to us and magic it carries. I make the case (now anyway) that this comes largely from Kurosawa's knack, his amazing gift, for photographic composition. Most filmmakers today in the action genre have some flare for flashy cinematography. We get sharp angles, dramatic poses (most favorably lighted), and fast cuts. I guess this is to involve us in the high emotion of the situation. But Kurosawa has patience and while I think he gave the blocking of his shots, and their composition a great deal of thought, it comes across as if he did not. His camera moves as though it were simply following the characters through the story. The camera work in "Seven" is so much more subtle and so much more compelling than almost any action fare today. His camera allows, we the viewer, to be, at various times, all of the major characters in the film.

Toshiro Mifune's emotional explosion at his "fellow" Samurai is probably the most obvious example of this. He gets up and at first appears to agree with the Samurai sentiment that killing all of the villagers is a good idea, but when he turns and his anger is directed at them the scene and our place in it change. We are no longer passive viewers watching heated exchange between two factions. The angry Toshiro is yelling at us, looking down at us. For we are looking up at him as his fellow samurai would see him. By the end of his out burst he angrily leaves the room but before he goes he turns slightly to look at us, but we don't see his face, for now we are looking (in one of the great shots of the film) at his feet. The Samurai are ashamed and so are we because we identified with them at first and Kurosawa had the guts to show us that we are wrong to do so.

I could go on, and on about his film, but I leave you with this, watch it.
2001-08-31
With Seven, You Get a Masterpiece
Growing up, I thought of Japan as the home of anime and giant monster films. Then, while attending college, I saw "The Seven Samurai". I was proved wrong by this film, which is considered to be the magnum opus of celebrated filmmaker, Akira Kurosawa, by movie historians. They're right.

1587 is the year in Japan and the story's setting. Previously, the nation was ruled by a shogunate (the shogun being the Imperial Army's commander) with the emperor reduced to powerless figurehead. However, unavoidable civil wars came, caused by ambitious daimyo (local warlords), who wanted power, no matter what.

In this epic tale (co-written by Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto and Hideo Oguni, all who worked Kurosawa's "Ikiru"), a poor, humble farming village and its' residents are constant victims of a bandit clan. Rice and sex are the group's goals, and they break carelessly the villagers' spirits. What to do? The local authorities are inept, and suicide, for a farmer, is giving up.

"We hire samurai," the village elder strongly suggests. A quartet of farmers, with a pillar of rice as payment, does that, employing seven individualistic but noble ronin (samurai without masters). There's Kambei (Takashi Shimura of the original "Godzilla" and other Kurosawa works), the valiant leader; Gorobei (Yoshio Inaba), a good second-in-command; Shichiroji (Daisuke Kato), a battlefield acquaintance of Kambei; Heihachi (Minoru Chiaki), an optimist; Kyuzo (Seiji Miyaguchi), a perfect killing machine; Katsushiro (Isao Kimura), a green, wet-eared boy and the unforgettable Kikuchiyo (famed Kurosawa player Toshiro Mifune), a wild dog yet perfectly human goofball. Together, they're a force of nature, bounded by courage, honor and self-sacrifice.

If you don't like a foreign, subtitled, black and white, three hours and twenty seven minute film, which "Samurai" is (and more), you need to be committed at once, post haste (I also adored "Grindhouse", which is sixteen minutes less). Under Kurosawa's direction, the film has a jackrabbit's pulse, a wolf's ferocity and a lamb's serenity. It's fascinating that both camps (samurai and farmer) learn from each other while fighting the enemy. Even two reps, despite their social standing (born in a role, die in a role) fall in love; the passion between Katsushiro and Shino (Keiro Tsushima), a young woman whose fool father has cut part of her hair to "protect her from the samurai", is subtlety passionate.

As the resident clown, Mifune's so idiosyncratically human, he's almost American, being no surprise that he influenced Clint Eastwood (The Man With No Name trilogy) and the late John Belushi (the samurai skits on "Saturday Night Live"; the Bluto role on "Animal House"). The battle scenes are fierce and kinetic; it's hard to distinguish whether this work is real or fiction, and that's what makes "Samurai" brilliant. The actors, besides Mifune, are great too, honest in their emotions.

What more praise can I deemed upon "Samurai", other than its' director has influenced the likes of Leone, Peckinpah, Scorcese, Lucas, Rodriguez, Miller, Tarantino, Cannell and others? It's just damn cool. The American western remake, "The Magnificent Seven", is reliable but comes short, if compared to "Samurai", being star-studded and Hollywood polished. Peckinpah's "The Wild Bunch" is a better, if unofficial, remake.

If you buy the three-disc DVD from Criterion (expensive but worth it), you'll be forever enchanted. Give some honor to "The Seven Samurai", and enjoy.
2008-03-12
One of Kurosawa's best
While this movie is probably the most widely recognized film of the director Kurosawa, it isn't my personal favorite--though it's close. But considering how many wonderful films he made and how this movie sparked the Magnificent Seven films, its impact and importance can't be ignored. And I would have to say that it deserves all the attention--it's just too bad that other films like YOJIMBO, SANJURO and THE BAD SLEEP WELL just haven't gotten all the attention this film has. Actually, it['s strange that I am getting around to reviewing this film now--as I have seen it several times and thought I'd already reviewed it.

The film begins in the feudal period in Japan in a small town that is being terrorized by a gang. These thugs periodically come to strip the people of what little they have as well as their dignity--much like locusts. Eventually, the gang's demands are so extreme that it appears they have no choice but to fight back when they next return--otherwise they face starvation. The problem is that these are simple peasants and they haven't got a prayer against Ronin (i.e., samurai who have no master). Eventually, townspeople get the idea to bring in some of their own Ronin to fight against the evil gang. At this point, the film concentrates on the seven men--who they are, their motivations, etc. It is here that the film really excels. In fact, probably the least exciting portion of the film is the eventual battle between the forces.

An excellent character study and a film with so much to love--great acting, direction and a dandy and exciting script.
2007-08-02
Why SAMURAI is 25% better than THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN
Having recently rented both THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (the American remake of SEVEN SAMURAI) and RAN (7S director Akira Kurosawa's later take on Shakespeare's KING LEAR), it is somewhat tempting to compare 7S to both. However, I will restrain myself and restrict my comment to perhaps the more apt comparison: SEVEN SAMURAI vs. THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN.

ACTION: The Japanese original wins here hands down. In 7S, the villagers attack and destroy the bandits' hideout BETWEEN bandit attacks on their village, motivating the surviving 33 bad guys to PLAUSIBLY fight to the last man, which they end up doing. Since 7S relies more on hand-to-hand combat than M7 (which is dominated by gun play), the earlier film is much more gritty and believable in its more extensive battle scenes.

MUSICAL SCORING: This one is a tie. Both movies feature exceptional scores. While M7 has one of the most hummable themes ever, 7S has a strong samurai motif in its own right, plus great use of portentous percussive rhythms from the opening credits onward.

COMIC RELIEF: Another tie, though this one is likely to find many viewers choosing the movie from the cultural tradition in which they are most comfortable.

ROMANTIC INTEREST: Here, a cursory glance would perhaps award a nod to M7, since the youngest samurai seems to be (figuratively) miles away from the village lass he'd earlier compromised by the time the closing scene rolls around, while M7 ends with the comparable gunfighter not only in his lover's arms, but preparing for a life in agriculture. However, I would give the edge to 7S, which would have lost much credibility for an M7-type close, given its historical setting in feudal Japan. A bigger factor in S7's superiority here is the pathos evoked by the story of farmer Rikishi and his wife, which begins in mystery (to the viewer, as well as the samurai) and ends in tragedy. Not every love story can have a happy ending, particularly in believable action movies.

SUMMARY: These are just a few of the reasons why I rated SEVEN SAMURAI (at 10 out of 10) 25% higher than director John Sturges' 1960 remake, THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN.
2009-07-22
A simple, brilliant classic
Seven Samurai is a movie about a small Japanese village having problems with bandit attacks. Therefore they decide to secure their safety by finding seven samurai who would defend them.

First, I would like to say that I have broken a few stereotypes after I have watched this movie. The facts that it is a long movie from the 50's, a Japanese one, and a black-and-white one, rejected me from watching it earlier. I got used to all of these facts pretty fast and just enjoyed this masterpiece.

The simplicity of the plot easily bought my full attention, as well as occasional comedy parts which successfully broke the monotony and came as a refreshment. It is interesting finding out how Japanese people were living in those times and it is shown really well. You actually manage to pretend for a moment you have left our advanced world and became a part of their primitive village.

I respected Kurosawa before I even watched any of his movies. I respect him even more now when I have watched this great classic and I will surely be looking for something else he directed. The reason why I did not give this movie a 10 is occasional bizarre cryings, runs, deaths, but that surely did not destroy the whole experience.
2017-04-23
Seven Samurai
Kurosawa was considered the most Western of great Japanese directors (too Western, some of his Japanese critics sniffed). "Seven Samurai" represents a great divide in his work; most of his earlier films, Jeck observes, subscribe to the Japanese virtues of teamwork, fitting in, going along, conforming. All his later films are about misfits, nonconformists and rebels. The turning point can be seen in his greatest film, "Ikiru" (1952), in which a bureaucrat spends his days in the rote performance of meaningless duties but decides when he is dying to break loose and achieve at least one meaningful thing.There is also an instinctive feeling for composition. Kurosawa constantly uses deep focus to follow simultaneous actions in the foreground, middle and background. Often he delineates the distance with barriers. Consider a shot where the samurai, in the foreground, peer out through the slats of a building and across an empty ground to the sight of the bandits, peering in through the slats of a barrier erected against them. Kurosawa's moving camera often avoids cuts in order to make comparisons, as when he will begin on dialogue in a closeup, sweep through a room or a clearing, and end on a closeup of another character who is the point of the dialogue.
2015-11-09
"Has everything."
The film with its huge length shows each and every aspect beautifully. The story is about a village which is living under the fear of the bandits. They hire a group of samurai's to protect them from further raids. One might think a lot before starting the film considering its length but I assure you that it is worth the time. The way that they portrayed each character is extremely commendable.

PROS:

The film is a blend of everything. It has comedy, courage, difficult times in life, war strategy and many more. The cinematography is good and without flaw. The film gives a view that whole of the village was engaged in the war. Everyone seemed to be working all the times. The story is not as engaging since we know the end, but slowly as the film progresses, we just tend to be with the rhythm that the director has created for the viewer.

MESSAGE: "Fight for what is JUST."

VERDICT: "Most recommended."
2012-10-13
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