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Seven Samurai (1954)
"Shichinin no samurai" (original title)

Unrated  |   |  Drama  |  19 November 1956 (USA)
8.7
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Ratings: 8.7/10 from 208,334 users   Metascore: 99/100
Reviews: 579 user | 148 critic | 5 from Metacritic.com

A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Top 250 Movies #20 | Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Kikuchiyo (as Toshiro Mifune)
...
Keiko Tsushima ...
Yukiko Shimazaki ...
Wife (as Yukio Shimazaki)
Kamatari Fujiwara ...
Farmer Manzo
Daisuke Katô ...
Shichiroji (as Daisake Kato)
Isao Kimura ...
Katsushiro (as Ko Kimura)
Minoru Chiaki ...
Seiji Miyaguchi ...
Yoshio Kosugi ...
Bokuzen Hidari ...
Farmer Yohei
Yoshio Inaba ...
Yoshio Tsuchiya ...
Kokuten Kôdô ...
Old Man Gisaku (as Kuninori Todo)
Eijirô Tôno ...
Thief (as Eijiro Tono)
Edit

Storyline

A veteran samurai, who has fallen on hard times, answers a village's request for protection from bandits. He gathers 6 other samurai to help him, and they teach the townspeople how to defend themselves, and they supply the samurai with three small meals a day. The film culminates in a giant battle when 40 bandits attack the village. Written by Colin Tinto <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Mighty Warriors Who Became the Seven National Heroes of a Small Town See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 November 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Seven Samurai  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$21,830 (USA) (30 August 2002)

Gross:

$269,061 (USA) (29 August 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (international) | (2002 re-release) | (original) | (1991 re-release) | (cut) (original) | (re-release) | (restored) | (DVD edition)

Sound Mix:

| (re-release prints)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Akira Kurosawa did not get along well with actor Yoshio Inaba, (Gorobei), deriding and yelling at him for most of the shoot. Although Inaba appeared in a minor role in Kurosawa's Throne of Blood (1957), Inaba apparently found the experience of shooting Seven Samurai (1954) so stressful that he limited the amount of film work he did after it. See more »

Goofs

In the closing moments of the final battle, the bandits fire two musket shots only seconds apart. It is clear from the plot that at that point they possess only one musket. The black powder muskets of the age required much more time to reload. This error was pointed out in the commentary of the deluxe DVD edition. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bandit second-in-command: We'll take this place next.
Bandit Chief: We took it last autumn. They haven't got anything worth taking yet. Let's wait.
See more »

Connections

Remade as The Seven Samurai See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Memorable characters and one of the best action movies of all times
17 August 2004 | by (Scottsdale, AZ) – See all my reviews

Having seen Kurosawa's Seven Samurai at least 10 times, I still see something new every time I watch it. I don't see how anyone, especially a non-Japanese, could possibly absorb this movie in less than 2 or 3 viewings. I've always been surprised at how each of the 7 samurai can make such an individual impression on you even if you can't understand Japanese. Although Toshiro Mifune is often considered the star, for me its Takashi Shimura who is firmly fixed at the center of the movie. He is the guiding moral force from the moment of his appearance in the film and can capture the viewer's attention in a way similar to Alec Guinness. Mifune's character can be annoying at first in his loutish behavior, but he gains stature throughout the film and eventually becomes a unifying force second only to Shimura. Minoru Chiaki as the woodcutting samurai provides a subtle humor and the others look to him to boost their morale. Daisuke Kato is another very familiar face to Japanese movie fans and provides an excellent foil to Shimura as his second in command. Yoshio Inaba is very good as the samurai who is recruited by Shimura and quickly builds a strong rapport with him. Seiji Miyaguchi as the "expert" warrior, dedicated to honing his skill as a swordsman is a very low key yet likeable character. Ko Kimura as the young hero-worshipping samurai, as well as the love interest of the peasant girl, wishes to be a great samurai, but is easily distracted by a field of flowers or a pretty face. The peasants in the village being defended by the samurai each have their own defining characteristics as well.

In addition to the wealth of interesting characters, we have a terrific action plot--the defending of the village from 40 marauding bandits by the small troop of samurai--, and a more subtle secondary plot involving the distrust of the samurai by the villagers due to the historical interaction of these two classes in feudal Japan. All of these plot and character elements are woven together into an unforgettable epic, but, at least in my opinion, its not one that can be absorbed in a single sitting. While it's similar in this sense to another of my favorite epics, Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West, it is more complex given the number of characters.

I can only say that your patience with this film will probably be well rewarded if you take the time to give it multiple viewings. You will also have the pleasure of seeing many of the samurai and villagers pop up in other Kurosawa films and films of other Japanese directors. If you like Mifune and Shimura in this one, catch them in Stray Dog and Drunken Angel in very different settings and parts.

This one is 10 out of 10 without a doubt.


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