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Film Details

Directed by: Akira Kurosawa

Produced: 1954

Countries & Regions: Japan

Blu-ray Details

Certificate: PG

Studio: British Film Institute

Length: 207 mins

Format: Blu-ray

Region: Region B

Released: 25 August 2014

Cat No: BFIB1199

Extras:
Languages(s): Japanese
Subtitles: English
Interactive Menu

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Seven Samurai

Cast: Toshiro Mifune , Takashi Shimura , Toshio Inaba , Seiji Miyaguchi , Koichiro Kimura , Minoru Chiaki , Yoshio Inaba , Daisuke Kato , Isao Kimura , Keiko Tsushima , Kuniniri Kodo

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Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece tells the story of a group of 17th Century warriors recently detached from the powerful masters who once... Read More

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Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece tells the story of a group of 17th Century warriors recently detached from the powerful masters who once paid them. Veteran Samurai Kambei (Takashi Shimura) is the leader of the group who are hired by the residents of a village suffering at the hands of a marauding band of thieves. Five of his cohorts are trained warriors, but the sixth, Kikuchiyo (Toshiro Mifune), is actually the son of a farmer, desperate to earn his spurs on the battlefield. The basics of the story served as the blueprint for the western re-make ’The Magnificent Seven’.

For many, Seven Samurai represents one of the first stepping-stones on the way to a deeper appreciation of cinema. Seven Samurai is not for everybody – if you want inane stylized violence seek out the Baby Cart or Zatoichi series. But, if you find yourself reaching for something more beautiful, more real, and ultimately more human - then Seven Samurai is for you. Someone once said that, “Seven Samurai is the yardstick against which all action films should be measured” and few truer words have been spoken about a film. It has the greatest depth of all action films simply because it uses everyone of those 190, or so, minutes to truly develop it’s characters. Seven Samurai will take you by surprise; at first the film appears to be moving too slowly, but by the end there is the realization that it was you yourself who was moving too fast. Nothing is forced - the story simply grows around the viewer; one minute you are in your living room, the next you are trying to save the village from bandits. Objectively, this film is a cinematic masterpiece that will continue to rank among the best. Subjectively, I haven’t yet found a greater film – for me it ranks number one!

This was another fantastic offering from a master director, I relished the epic scale of the film and the fact that Kurosawa was just as concerned with the plights of the ordinary characters as well as the big battle sequences.

I was particularly enthralled by the performance of one of the lead characters played by Toshiro Mifune who had me in stitches all the way through, and the rest of the cast were also on top form.

With this film, the director also demonstrated a skill for experimental editing-techniques and in one particular scene he excels, depicting a chase sequence with some extremely snappy editing.

I was also impressed with the climax of the movie as it draws everything that has transpired over the last two hours to a dramatic end and it leaves you on the edge of your seat asking for more.

The score also works wonders in this film and always manages to perfectly capture its mood and enhance the overall experience.

I have been a fan of Kurosawa's films for a long time and this is definitely one of his best, right up there with the likes of Rashomon and Yojimbo.

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