The Seven Samurai
by Waitsel Smith
5-Star Masterpiece - Best Action-Adventure (Japanese "Western") 1954 - starring Toshiro Mifune; direction, Akira Kurosawa - Toho Company
This film by Japanese director Akira Kurosawa is not only a masterpiece in its own right, but inspired one of the great American westerns, The Magnificent Seven (1960). Like Magnificent, it's the story of a village being oppressed by outlaws. So the townspeople decide to hire some samurai warriors to defend them. Each warrior has his own story to tell, and his own reason for joining in the crusade. In spite of some conflicts in personality, they are unstoppable once they get going. How they stop the outlaws is really a hoot.
Kurosawa is one of the great directors in the history of cinema, and this is his masterpiece. Toshiro Mifune, who plays Kikuchiyo, and offers a lot of the comedy in the film, was Japan's most famous film actor of the twentieth century. He's terrific.
Most memorable quote: "This is the nature of war. By protecting others, you save yourselves." - Kambei Shimada
B&W. Not rated.
Waitsel Smith, August 20, 2013
Text © 2013 Waitsel Smith. Photos © 1954 Toho Company. All Rights Reserved.