GREEN CINE Already a member? login
 Your cart
Advanced Search
- Genres
+ Action
+ Adult
+ Adventure
+ Animation
+ Anime
+ Classics
+ Comedies
+ Comic Books
+ Crime
  Criterion Collection
+ Cult
+ Documentary
+ Drama
+ Erotica
+ Espionage
+ Fantasy
+ Film Noir
+ Foreign
+ Gay & Lesbian
  HD (High Def)
+ Horror
+ Independent
+ Kids
+ Martial Arts
+ Music
+ Musicals
+ Quest
+ Science Fiction
+ Silent
+ Sports
+ Suspense/Thriller
  Sword & Sandal
+ Television
+ War
+ Westerns

Seven Samurai (Criterion Collection) (1954)

Cast: Yoshio Sugino, Takashi Shimura, Toshiro Mifune, more...
Director: Akira Kurosawa
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Criterion
Genre: Classics, Drama, Foreign, Costume Drama/Period Piece, Japan, Classic Drama, Classic Drama, Samurai, Criterion Collection
Running Time: 207 min.
Languages: Japanese
Subtitles: English
    see additional details...

Akira Kurosawa's epic tale concerns honor and duty during a time when the old traditional order is breaking down. The film opens with master samurai Kambei (Takashi Shimura) posing as a monk to save a kidnapped farmer's child. Impressed by his selflessness and bravery, a group of farmers begs him to defend their terrorized village from bandits. Kambei agrees, although there is no material gain or honor to be had in the endeavor. Soon he attracts a pair of followers: a young samurai named Katsushiro (Isao Kimura), who quickly becomes Kambei's disciple, and boisterous Kikuchiyo (Toshiro Mifune), who poses as a samurai but is later revealed to be the son of a farmer. Kambei assembles four other samurais, including Kyuzo (Seiji Miyaguchi), a master swordsman, to round out the group. Together they consolidate the village's defenses and shape the villagers into a militia, while the bandits loom menacingly nearby. Soon raids and counter-raids build to a final bloody heart-wrenching battle. ~ Jonathan Crow, All Movie Guide

Note: This verion of Seven Samurai is currently Out of Print. To rent or purchase the new version of this title please click here Seven Samurai (Criterion Collection)

You might also enjoy:

Classic Japanese samurai adventure

The Forty-Seven Ronin
Get the Sho(gun) on the road with Kenji Mizoguchi's masterpiece

Another Kurosawa wandering samurai tale is one of his most enjoyable; influenced Spaghetti Westerns

GreenCine Member Reviews

A master at work in one of the 10 greatest films ever made by Lastcrackerjack April 11, 2006 - 6:55 PM PDT
3 out of 4 members found this review helpful
Most assuredly one of the ten greatest films ever made.

The story deftly bounces from one plot point to another. Even at 3 hours, there is none of the fluff that many foreign films savor. The many beautiful shots, such as Ko Kimura's childlike character laying down on a bank of flowers and staring into sky through the trees, are there for dramatic effect.

The film's visual palette is awesome. Akira Kurosawa fills the frame with simultaneous action going on in the foreground, middle and background, much of it captured in beautifully composed deep focus shots. The film demands repeated viewings to absorb it all. Details can be easily missed, like a figure playing with hand puppets reflected onto the wall as the samurai discuss their battle plan. These lend the film an incredible depth of field.

The script is equally masterful, with much memorable dialogue ("The deepest friendship in ten comes about in a chance meeting") and clearly defined characters among the samurai. The bit players and extras are quite well cast, particularly the wild coolies who hector the farmers in town.

The action is brilliantly choreographed as set against the layout of the village, with mountains in the background, a mill on the edges and brooks and rich forests surrounding it. There is much violence, but stylistic, comic book mayhem is not the point of the movie.

It is impossible to overstate the legacy the most famous Japanese film ever made has had on global cinema.

Francis Coppola and Steven Spielberg were heavily influenced by Kurosawa's mastery of pictorial composition and pacing, while George Lucas borrowed many of his mythic themes and archetypes for "Star Wars". "Seven Samurai" has been remade as a classic western ("The Magnificent Seven") and parody ("Three Amigos!") while many of its plot devices have become staples of the modern action adventure film.

More can be said... by JLind November 27, 2005 - 2:43 AM PST
2 out of 4 members found this review helpful
I think a movie like this deserves a more well thought out and detailed review if it is indeed one of the greatest in film history. It's hard to give such high praise for a movie without it seeming too emotional or biased. One who happens to favor Samurai drama, for instance would disregard other genres and not really give this movie a fair assessment comparable to other movies. So why does this movie not just shine above other similar films, but above all films in general? The answer is because it is a movie about the human soul. It doesn't matter if the movie is a slapstick comedy, a sci-fi action film, a Western; if it accurately depicts the thing inside all of us that drives us, that moves us and defines who we are then it is a great movie. The Seven Samurai is a movie made over 50 years ago and represents a preindustrial period of history. That is quite far from a typical portrayal of human nature in our modern, technological society. Yet everything in Seven Samurai rings true: Sense of security, justice, relationsips and presence of wickedness that always seems to bekon us on our doorstep. When you watch it and think about it afterwards you realize nothing was missed; no major aspect of human nature was overlooked in the film's story. But the continuous, everlasting theme that is hit upon best is the spiritual force within all of us that drives us and allows even the weakest individuals to bond together and overcome the most earth-shattering odds.

The buck(et of popcorn) stops here. by tfrye99 May 23, 2005 - 8:04 PM PDT
2 out of 6 members found this review helpful
Yes, this really is the greatest movie ever made. And in 50 years, no one's been able to top it.

>> more reviews
This title is currently unavailable on disc or is no longer in-print.

why do we do this?

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 8.94)
1056 Votes
add to list New List

Moveline's 100 Best Foreign Films
This list was published in Moveline's July 1996 issue.
Village Voice's 100 Best Films of the 20th Century
When the Village Voice held its "First Annual Film Critics' Poll" they asked 50 or so film critics (like Molly Haskell, Jonathan Rosenbaum, and Andrew Sarris) to rank their top ten best films of the century. This is the result.

see all lists

about greencine · donations · refer a friend · support · help · genres
contact us · press room · privacy policy · terms · sitemap · affiliates · advertise

Copyright © 2005 GreenCine LLC. All rights reserved.
© 2006 All Media Guide, LLC. Portions of content provided by All Movie Guide®, a trademark of All Media Guide, LLC.