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Seven Samurai
Year:
1954
Country:
Japan
Genre:
Drama, Action, Adventure
IMDB rating:
8.7
Director:
Akira Kurosawa
Takashi Shimura as Kambei Shimada
Toshirô Mifune as Kikuchiyo
Yoshio Inaba as Gorobei Katayama
Minoru Chiaki as Heihachi Hayashida
Daisuke Katô as Shichiroji
Isao Kimura as Katsushiro Okamoto
Yukiko Shimazaki as Rikichi's Wife
Kamatari Fujiwara as Manzo, father of Shino
Yoshio Kosugi as Mosuke
Yoshio Tsuchiya as Rikichi
Kokuten Kodo as Gisaku, the Old Man
Storyline: A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.
Type Resolution File Size Codec Bitrate Format
720p 960x704 px 7680 Mb h264 4829 Kbps mkv Download
Reviews
my favorite.
I admit I am one of the younger generation that needs an I.V. of caffeine to avoid falling asleep when watching a black and white "classic" like Citizen Kane or Gone With the Wind.

I find the acting and general direction of those films boring and uninteresting.

Seven Samurai was a different story.

It has nothing to do with it being about samurai, this movie doesn't even have much violence till the very end of its 3½+ hours. Even the subtitles, which I am sure lost much in the translation, didn't bother me at all.

This movie lacks absolutely nothing. To sum up everything I love about it would take many paragraphs.

Next time someone tells you Pulp Fiction or Star Wars is the "Best Movie Ever", sit them down in front of Seven Samurai.

I only wish I was fluent in Japanese so I could experience this the way it was intended.
2000-02-01
Don't let the age of this film fool you...
This movie sat at home for nearly two weeks after I had received it. The age of the film, coupled with the fact that it's a daunting 3 1/2 hours made me hesitant to even watch it. But once I set my mind to it, whoa-ho I was in for a treat. I could not believe how good this movie is! At first I was watching it in the background while I did other work. However, after only 20 minutes, I was struck with the intense character development in the film. All other distractions aside, I focused on the film for the remainder of the time and sat mesmerized at the sheer quality and emotion that was captured by the director. I've watched many, many movies over the years, and I quickly lose interest in a film as I suffer through formula and predictability. Not so here. A rare treat. I'm actually going to keep this a while longer so that I can watch it again with the commentary! There truly is a reason why this is considered a gold standard. Bravo. (03.24.08 nf)
2013-05-01
The Death of 4 Samurai in Iranian folklore Myths
The file is story of seven samurai that help weak farmers against bandits attacks for a intangible reason. No one knows why does some of those samurais come to the group.

There is a myth in Iranian's folklore myths has named "Chor_oghli". "Chor_oghli" is a hero in "Azerbayjan" (a Province of Iran), for first time when he familiarized with gun as a new killer weapon that could hurt from a distance, he said: "This is beginning of cowardice age." In this nice story all of 4 samurai were killed by GUN and in my opinion it is The most important point in "Seven Samurai" story. they were very skilled swordsmen, but they hadn't any idea about gun.

For these samurais morality and power are important Together.
2012-03-22
Greatest film of all time
Akira Kurosawa made "Seven Samurai" because he wanted to make a real "jidai-geki," a real period-film that would present the past as meaningful, while also being an entertaining film. Kurosawa considered "Rashomon," the film rightfully credited with making the West aware of the Japanese cinema, with being neither. But in his attempt to make a truly "realistic" film, Kurosawa redefined the conflict at the heart of Japanese films. Before "Seven Samurai" this conflict was that of love versus duty, where the central character is compelled by fate to sacrifice what he loves in the name of duty. In "Seven Samurai" the focus remains on duty, yet the conflict is now between the real and the pretended. Calling yourself a samurai does not make you one, something proved time and time again in the film, from the test of skill turned deadly between Kyuzo (Seiji Miyaguchi) and the tall samurai to the first appearance of Kikuchiyo (Toshirô Mifune), with his stolen pedigree. Like Katshushiro (Ko Kimura), the youngster who wants to learn from the master, Kambei (Takashi Shimura), the audience is educated as to the true nature of the samurai.

For me this film deals with the heroic, albeit in realistic terms. I have shown the film in World Literature classes, after students have read Homer's "Iliad" and as they begin reading Cervantes' "Don Quixote." Within that context, compared to the brutal arrogance of Achilles and the gentle insanity of Quixote, the heroic qualities of the seven samurai become clear. Their inspiration extends to some of the villagers. Manzo (Kamatari Fujiwara) is crazed with fear over the virtue of his daughter, Shino (Keiko Tsushima), and Rikichi (Yoshio Tsuchiya) fights to avenge the disgrace of his wife and his precipitating the death of Heihachi (Minoru Chiaki), but it is the comic Yohei (Bokuzen Hidari), who finds within himself the ability to fight, a die a tragic death, who is the true barometer for what the samurai mean to the village. But the greatest tragedy is that despite this most noble effort and the bodies buried in honor at the top of the village cemetery, this has been but a temporary union between the villagers and the samurai. When Kambei declares, "We have lost again," he redefines the battles: it was not to kill all the bandits, it was to find a true place in the world. Yet we should have already known this, for the painful truth was driven home when Kyuzo, the master swordsman, is gunned down from behind. No better proof is needed in this film of the bitter truth that the world is not fair.

Mifune is the maniacal spirit of this film, as the faux-samurai Kikuchiyo, the dancing whirlwind whose emotions overwhelm everything including himself. But it is Shimura as Kambei, who embodies the mentor mentality with a minimum of effort, evoking more by rubbing his hand over his shaved head or giving a single piercing look than by any spoken dialogue. Even in a strong ensemble these performances stand out, for clearly different reasons. To fully appreciate Kurosawa's mastery in "Seven Samurai" you need to watch the film several times to better appreciate the way he constructs scenes, using contrasting images, evocative music and varying the length of cuts to affect tempo. For example, look carefully at how the early scene of the farmers searching the streets for samurai and the later sequence where Katsushiro watches Kyuzo and Kikuchiyo waiting for the bandit scouts to return to their horses. Both of these scenes are superb primers to Kurosawa's style.

For years we had to put with the 160-minute version of the film that was made for export, which was actually called "The Magnificent Seven" until John Strugis's Western remake. Fortunately, "Seven Samurai" has been restored to full 208-minute glory, saved from being a lamentable cinematic tragedy on a par with "Greed," "The Magnificent Ambersons," and "Ivan the Terrible." There is a sense in which "Seven Samurai" is truly my favorite film, because it was the one that instilled in me a love of cinema, of the craft and art of movie making, of compelling me to understand intellectually how Kurosawa was skillfully manipulating my emotions. The final battle sequences, fought and filmed in a torrent of rain, exhausting characters and audience alike with its increasingly relentless tempo, is given its potency because of the human elements that have been established in all that has taken place before hand. "Seven Samurai" is a magnificent film against which the vast majority of epics pale in comparison. Not even Kurosawa scaled these heights ever again.
2013-12-01
A really excellent film, although many may find trouble with it's length.
Kurosawa is one of my favorite directors, I can always watch one of his films knowing that it won't disappoint me. If you ask anyone about Kurosawa's best film, they'll probably tell you Seven Samurai is his masterpiece. Although it is true that it is indeed a masterpiece, it's not my favorite film from him.

The first time I watched this film, I didn't like it, due to its length. It would take more viewings to really appreciate its greatness. So when I read reviews complaining about its length, I understand them. I encourage everyone, though (mostly to those who found it boring because of its length), not to give up on this film, it really requires more viewings. And if you don't like it, there's nothing wrong with it, after all, you just can't like everything.

This film can be divided into three parts:

1- The search for the seven samurai

The villagers, being oppressed by bandits, decide to stand up and fight this time against them, so they go in search for samurai to help them in that task. This is my favorite part of the film, the recruitment of the seven samurai is one of the best things I've seen in a movie.

2.- The preparation for battle (against the bandits)

The villagers, with the help of the seven samurai, start their preparation to defend their village and fight against the bandits. This part is also outstanding, the defense planning of the village is something to behold.

3.- The Battle

The Bandits finally decide to attack the village, the great battle between the villagers and bandits takes place. The battle sequences are really impressive here, the astonishing Kurosawa's camera-work allows you to behold the battle without missing a thing; you can see everything that's happening in the battlefield (mostly when the bandits enter inside the village).

I know I didn't get into much plot detail, but I just needed to review this movie and let everybody know that they may not appreciate this film in the first viewing, although there are many that liked it in the first one.
2011-09-13
Thrilling, interesting, beautiful, and unexpectedly funny.
Coming in at over three hours, and being set in 1500s feudal Japan, Seven Samurai is a true historical epic. It may not have gone many exotic places, much of it in one tiny village, but hey, neither did Titanic. But it's epic status is not what sets it apart from the rest; no, rather is its dramatic storyline and subplots, as well as very likable leads. Kurosawa's script (also a writer here) doesn't play this up as a period piece, thankfully refraining from anachronisms, and it says fresh in 2012 (although it was probably re-subtitled with the DVD release a few years ago). It also shows the Japanese humor that Kurosawa eagerly portrays in some scenes--genuinely funny, I might add--even if not full on comedy quality (it is a drama after all).

After the opening credits, which features great drum based music, showcasing Japanese culture and the action element of Seven Samurai, we see a group of bandits about to pillage a village positioned in a basin with sides made of mountains, frequently demanding that the villagers pay them to keep them safe. A farmer from this small farming town overhears their conversation to come back when the harvest is over. A leader from the village suggests hiring samurai to protect them, ones that will take rice and shelter as compensation. So we see a down-on-his-luck veteran-samurai negotiating and freeing a child from harm, and a representative from the village asks for help. After much persuading the samurai accepts, but says the job will require at least seven. Next, we track down four more, a good natured one that is often the source of comic relief, and a master swordsman, who's quiet, yet well spoken, with philosophical lines. A villager is accepted to the brotherhood. Finally, a clown of a man, seldom not drunk at the beginning, who begs to come along, and they reluctantly accept.

After this rich exposition, the committee tasked with finding the samurai return victorious, and you next expect a great celebration, possibly even a feast (this is a town where the villagers seldom eat rice out of season, only millet). Much to the chagrin of the seven, there is no outpouring, not even people in the streets. The men with daughters and/or wives, are protecting them from who they think are going to rape them. The rest are simply afraid. So the wild card, the fool among masters, sounds the alarm bells in the village square. After all the peoples fear the worst and come out to defend themselves, the samurai delivers a wonderfully pointed speech about how they did not come to be feared and hated by the townspeople, but to provide a great service for below minimal payment scolding them for indecency and generalizations, and more than anything, whining about it, too.

The next half hour or so, is showing the village and collected samurai readying for defense (traps, positioning, and the like), and teaching the villagers how to defend themselves with a sword or spear. And a lovely romance too scandalous for public approval, this is the only part that would gain a significant amount if in color. The picturesque setting with its wonderful fall setting, with leaves on the ground, a small stream and presumed cherry blossoms for this great love story: Technicolor would have just made your heart sing.

But of all the things in this movie that are good, nothing beats the last hour, an all out battle: bandits versus the magnificent seven (yes, this is where that came from). I can't overstate it enough, of all the movies I've seen with battles or even wars in it, nothing, not even the brilliant western shootouts from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, can top this, not one second could be beaten by almost any other fights in the history of cinema. You may not like the long, suspense and plot building drama that precedes it, but no one can deny the masterpiece that is this battle. As a stand-alone movie, it would still be pretty good (and probably not too short, either).

Long movie short, Akira Kurosawa's rich character development and perennially likable personalities (it seems as though a different person wrote each part, they're really that built up), along with what is the all time greatest battle I've ever seen, easily and gracefully earns Shichinin no samurai a high place in anyone's movie collection. http://woltzpictures.wordpress.com/
2012-07-10
One of my favourite films of all time
The only other Akira Kurosawa film I had seen before this was Rashomon, which I watched for the first time last week. After hearing much about The Seven Samurai, I also decided to watch this film today for the first time.

The first thing I noticed when I started watching the film is the incredibly long length: 3 hours and 27 minutes. I must admit that I initially wasn't terribly excited at the prospect of sitting through a single film for such a long period of time. Nevertheless, by the time the first half-hour of the film had passed, I found myself hooked.

I'm not really sure where to begin, but I guess Kurosawa's superb direction might be a good place to start. Like Rashomon, the direction for The Seven Samurai was well ahead of its time. In terms of cinematography, he made effective use of some of the techniques he had previously pioneered in Rashomon, one of his most influential examples being the way in which he points the camera up towards the sun, with the sunlight glaring onto the screen. I found these shots impressive in Rashomon and am equally impressed by them here in The Seven Samurai.

The story itself was also well ahead of its time. The now-common plot element of recruiting and gathering a ragtag group of protagonists for a specific goal began with this film and went on to inspire many later films, though none of them were able to surpass the original. I had already seen some of those inspired films beforehand, but what sets The Seven Samurai apart is its greater sense of realism, something which later inspired films seem to be lacking. The realistic aspect of the film truly shines during the battle sequences in the last hour of the film. They are possibly the most realistic and yet exciting battle scenes I have ever seen on film. There wasn't much melodrama either and most of the film barely has a background score to it (some scenes did have it but I found the music largely forgettable), and yet the film was powerful and incredibly moving, especially the ending.

As for the acting, Toshiro Mifune was again impressive just like he was in Rashomon. While I thought his acting was slightly more versatile in Rashomon, his performance as 'Kikuchiyo' in The Seven Samurai was much more moving and really made me care for his character. Some of the other leading actors in Rashomon also returned in The Seven Samurai, such as Minoru Chiaki and Takashi Shimura, who gave a very impressive performance as the group leader Kambei. Other memorable performances in the film came from Seiji Miyaguchi and Isao Kimura. The only issue with the cast is the obvious lack of female characters, with the only notable one being Shino, who was portrayed reasonably well by Keiko Tsushima.

Overall, Kurosawa has shown a lot of improvement with this film, as I found The Seven Samurai to be a superior film to Rashomon in nearly every way. In fact, The Seven Samurai is now one of my favourite films of all time, second only to Satyajit Ray's 'The Apu Trilogy' (1955-1959), which also happen to be from the 1950s. In my opinion, it was quite possibly the greatest decade for films, with 'The Apu Trilogy' and 'The Seven Samurai' being the finest examples from that era.

10/10
2009-03-29
A true masterpiece
Akira Kurosawa directed 31 films during his career. That is a impressive number for any director, but it is even more impressive when you consider how many of theses are truly great films. Because of this choosing the greatest Kurosawa film is no easy task. I've always been partial to "Ikiru" as my favorite Kurosawa film, but "Seven Samurai" is a close second. For those not aware the basic premise of the film is a group of seven samurai are recruited to help defend a poor farming village from invading bandits. That may sound like a simple plot, but this film is far from that. The film is a complex and rich story told in three acts. The first is the recruiting of the samurai, the second is the preparation for battle, and the third is the battle. At over 3 hours long one would think this would be a boring film, but it isn't. The film is excellently paced and never drags. This is due to the great story, well-developed characters, wonderful performances, great action scenes, and, of course, Kurosawa's fantastic direction.

One example of Kurosawa's great direction in this movie is his use of "deep focus". These are shots where he chooses to compose it in order to get many subjects in the frame and in focus at the same time. By doing this he gives us a better sense of what is going on. In some of the shots we can see how every character is reacting to a situation at the same time, without cutting back and forth between them. In other shots he gives us a sense of characters and how they relate to their surroundings.

He uses this extensively in the second act to help establish the layout of the town. So, by the third act, we have a thorough understanding of how and where the action is taking place. Even during the action Kurosawa uses these wider shots to show us what is happening and put things in perspective. He uses camera movement and composition to emphasize the action, instead of rapidly cutting between shots. Some modern directors would do well to take note of this technique.

Watching "Seven Samurai" one might feel that many of the scenes are familiar. That's partly because the film was remade into "The Magnificent Seven" in 1960 but it also because this film has inspired countless similar action films since its first release. The recruiting scenes, the training scenes, and the fight scenes have been duplicated in many ways. There is even a scene toward the beginning of the film in which one of the lead characters shows his intelligence and talent by defeating a villain completely unrelated to the main plot. It's a nice character establishing scene that is ubiquitous in modern day action films. Kurosawa has been listed as an primary influence by great directors such as Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg, and Martin Scorsese. Watching "Seven Samurai" it is easy to see why he is such an influence. It is a true classic and one of the great masterpieces of the cinema.
2013-08-29
Great stuff by often drags.
You want Samurai? We've got seven of them and they're all recognisable and nuanced in their own memorable way. As a side-note, I literally just looked up what the plural of the word Samurai was because I just wasn't sure. The embarrassing thing is that I really should have been sure considering I spent three and a half hours watching a film whose title has the pluralised form of Samurai displayed for the world to see. Clearly, I am not an observant person.

I am not opposed to films being long as long as all the scenes within them at least seem necessary to the plot and characters. When your film has a black screen that says, 'INTERMISSION' on it, it's safe to say that you are pushing it a little. With a run time of 206 minutes Kurosawa's epic lives up to that weighty noun. While I could criticise it for being over-bloated, almost all the scenes were necessary to making the film what it is.

The film has three long phases. The first phase is the formation of the titular Samurai boy band of death in their quest to protect a village of farmers from a barrage of bandits. Each of the characters has ample screen time devoted to them (which considering the amount of time available to assign). They are all full to brim with character; an important trait when considering the film is pre-colour. With the power to use colour to immediately recognise the characters stolen from the film, it is forced to use physical mannerisms to show which character is which at a glance… that and silly hairstyles.

I have never really understood Japan to its full extent and hopefully never will. Throughout the film, the statuses, jobs and relationships of farmers and Samurai are given. It was made very clear exactly the context of these historical occupations and how they interact with one another. I always thought that Samurai were the knights of feudal Japan. It seems, however, that they are more akin to today's mercenaries. The way that the contextual statuses are woven within the film adds to how believable the film is. I was taken by how little these characters seemed like actors playing roles and rather actual Samurai.

It is important to mention the runtime once more. I know I may be lingering slightly but so did the movie so take it up with Akira Kurosawa. I you were using this review as a recommendation and weren't expecting a gargantuan epic; I honestly couldn't recommend this film to you. While it was an enjoyable story, it is not a film that I will ever willingly return to. There are huge pacing issues making the film often drag a black and white cinematic parachute.

I would recommend you watch this film once. Mainly so that you can show off that you watched a 3+ hour film that isn't any of the Hobbit films (this is a much better film than any of those). The characters are some of the best put on film in history and the story is dense with plot. However, it did very well to deter me from a second viewing.
2015-05-17
Brilliant composition plus brilliant acting = brilliant flawless movie!
It is hard to know exactly where to begin when talking about a film of such utter quality. What must be said at the start is that "The Seven Samurai" is flawless. It's characters are brought to life by some of the finest and most committed acting I have ever seen. It is a compelling story of courage, duty, honor, respect and change.

I could echo Roger Ebert's commentary, in which he noted that Kurosawa's film set the standard for the modern action film. It was he notes the first film to assemble a team of hardened men to undertake a mission. But I say read Eberts review if you want to get his take.

I have watched the film several times and what is truly amazing about "The Seven Samurai" is the way in which Kurosawa choses to tell his tale, which is, I think, truly innovative and subtle.

Growing up on action fare as we have "Seven Samurai" should really hold no magic for us. We have the formula (in many forms) before. Countless times. However it is not old to us and magic it carries. I make the case (now anyway) that this comes largely from Kurosawa's knack, his amazing gift, for photographic composition. Most filmmakers today in the action genre have some flare for flashy cinematography. We get sharp angles, dramatic poses (most favorably lighted), and fast cuts. I guess this is to involve us in the high emotion of the situation. But Kurosawa has patience and while I think he gave the blocking of his shots, and their composition a great deal of thought, it comes across as if he did not. His camera moves as though it were simply following the characters through the story. The camera work in "Seven" is so much more subtle and so much more compelling than almost any action fare today. His camera allows, we the viewer, to be, at various times, all of the major characters in the film.

Toshiro Mifune's emotional explosion at his "fellow" Samurai is probably the most obvious example of this. He gets up and at first appears to agree with the Samurai sentiment that killing all of the villagers is a good idea, but when he turns and his anger is directed at them the scene and our place in it change. We are no longer passive viewers watching heated exchange between two factions. The angry Toshiro is yelling at us, looking down at us. For we are looking up at him as his fellow samurai would see him. By the end of his out burst he angrily leaves the room but before he goes he turns slightly to look at us, but we don't see his face, for now we are looking (in one of the great shots of the film) at his feet. The Samurai are ashamed and so are we because we identified with them at first and Kurosawa had the guts to show us that we are wrong to do so.

I could go on, and on about his film, but I leave you with this, watch it.
2001-08-31
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