Seven Samurai

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Seven Samurai (Shichinin no samurai) --- The 1954 Japanese Classic

Mar 28, 2007
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:deep story and characters, impressive presentation and format, ground-breaking, action-packed and emotional

Cons:none

The Bottom Line: This is an extremely well constructed film that combines a highly developed story with superior directing and impressive acting. Highly Recommended.


Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.

Seven Samurai is an epic tale of seven heroes that stand up to fight for a town of farmers under threat of attack from 40 bandits. These bandits come through on a yearly basis, taking the crops (rice) and killing those who would resist them. With the harvest season coming soon, some of the elder members of the village have decided that enough is enough, and wander to a far off city in a quest to find samurai. The rumor has been that a group of samurai helped a village survive some years ago, and that if the village could find a way to pay these men, they too could be saved by the swordsmen. The thing working against them though, is that they do not have much to offer, and without the upcoming crops, they are going to starve. So they give up eating healthy in order to use their current rice as an enticement to possible defenders.

It’s not a successful quest at first, but as luck would have it, the journeying party comes across a man who takes pity on the farmers. He is of high moral standards, and carries himself in a very distinguished way. With early scenes that he has, you can see immediately that this is someone of strong character, who could really do a huge service for this village. Though the going is very difficult, he takes on the task of putting a team of samurai together in order to go back and defend the village from the impending attack of the bandits. Among them is a friend from the past, a kid just learning how to use his sword, and several other highly developed characters that each has their own unique attributes within the story. They put together quite a good group of seven samurai, and head back to defend a village for no other reason than to do what is right.

This film came out way back in 1954, and as a result, the black and white style as well as the action sequences seem a little dated. That being said, it is obvious that this film helped to spawn a lot of techniques used in film as well as a new breed of fighting film that didn't have to rely on explosions or car crashes. The seven men are not only heroic, but at times saintly, as they go back to risk their own lives just because they feel that defending this village is the right thing to do. There are no second thoughts as an audience member, and the support of these main characters occurs immediately. Not only that, but each one of these seven men is given a back-story to go along with their unique characteristics, which helps set each one of them apart as their own character. When the fighting gets under way later on, the importance of this character development becomes very obvious.

The version of the film that I got on DVD is a total of 208 minutes long, so this is no quick walk through the park in the realm of movie viewing. This is the restored version of the film, and it is interesting to note that mid-way through the film there is an intermission built into the film that showcases some fine Japanese theme music as the movie takes a break. Speaking of music, I found the score for the film to be outstanding, and it surprised me that I had not heard the music re-used in more recent films. This set the mood for just about all of the important scenes, and really helped to draw emotion out of the story. Director Akira Kurosawa was simply a genius with his creation of this film, and as the drama builds through the film, the settings and the cinematography continues to improve as well. With a very well constructed cast, a strong story that holds your interest through the 3 hours of screen time, and a battle that is well worth the wait, this film is nothing short of a masterpiece in my personal opinion. I highly recommend this as a story that would interest any fans of film noir, the black and white era, or impressive artful direction.









Recommend this product? Yes


Viewing Format: DVD

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