Seven Samurai

Released 1954


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Movie Summary

Akira Kurosawa
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Seven Samurai is the classic 1954 action drama from Japanese director Akira Kurosawa that has been widely considered to be one of the most influential films of all time. The film takes place during the Japanese civil wars of the 16th century. A small village decides to fight back against bandits and hostile political factions by hiring their own crew of samurai warriors. Although most of the proud samurai refuse the villagers offer of exchanging food for defense of their land, an older ronin, Kambei Shimada (Takashi Shimura), agrees to their deal, more out of compassion than need. Through Shimada, a young aspiring warrior Katsushiro (Isao Kamura) and brash Kikuchiyo (Toshiro Mifune) also agree to join the effort. Eventually, they recruit Gorobei (Yoshio Inaba), Shichiroji (Daisuke Kato), Heihachi (Minoru Chiaki) and Kyuzo (Seiji Miyaguchi). Each warrior represents the samurai code of Bushido in a very different way. The samurai train the farmers and villagers in combat before the onslaught of warfare. The film became the blueprint for John Sturges' "The Magnificent Seven."moreless


Metacritic Score

  • 100

    Boston Globe Ty Burr

    Moves like hot mercury, and it draws a viewer so thoroughly into its world that real life can seem thick and dull when the lights come up.

  • 100

    New York Daily News Jami Bernard

    It's impossible to imagine how the action genre would have developed without Akira Kurosawa's watershed 1954 movie Seven Samurai.

  • 100

    Christian Science Monitor David Sterritt

    The legendary Mifune leads a superb cast, and Kurosawa's kinetic camera keeps the adventure sizzling with energy and wit from start to finish.

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Foreign Language, Classics