Movie Reviews

Shichi-nin no samurai (The Seven Samurai)

Dir: Akira Kurosawa
1954 Black and White Japanese 206 Min (US Criterion Restored Version)
Unrated because they didn’t do that back then silly.

What can you say about The Seven Samurai that has not already been written? Not much really.

This is the story of some poor farmers who are in a bind. Seems there are some bandits that keep raiding their village come harvest time. The farmers are poor, traditional folk. What to do? The elder in the community has an idea – hire some Samurai and feed them to defend us. After getting the Samurai together, it all leads up to a climactic battle over several days to defend the village.

Many people say this is one of the greatest films ever made – Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece. I have never been one to over-analyze films or to look too deeply into symbolism and the such (though this movie is loaded with it).

What I can say is that this movie is revolutionary. It did in 1954 what people are still imitating and repeating today. You know the shot of the bandits coming down the hill to attack the city? It is in at least 100 other films. Let’s get down to the point. This is a 206-minute black and white Japanese language film with mono sound. I enjoyed every minute and with the exception of a scene here and there was completely involved in this movie.

Did I get up and use the restroom a few times – oh yeah, but I paused it.
If you have 3 plus hours to kill and you have never seen this – you should it is a piece of cinematic history, and a really good film to boot!