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

Unrated  |   |  Drama  |  19 November 1956 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.7/10 from 210,321 users   Metascore: 99/100
Reviews: 582 user | 150 critic | 5 from

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



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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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)


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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




Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

19 November 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Seven Samurai  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


$269,061 (USA) (29 August 2003)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (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  »

Did You Know?


Toho pulled the plug on the project several times when it ran over budget, forcing director Akira Kurosawa to go back and personally argue with the board of directors who were convinced they were making a flop. See more »


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 »


[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 »


Spin-off Seven Samurai 20XX (2004) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Kurosawa's triumphant epic- totally & successfully driven by character and story
7 December 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Akira Kurosawa was and is considered the master of east-western film-making (in that he made his Japanese films accessible for fans of American westerns while still making the movies his country found popular), and out of the few Kurosawa movies I've had the pleasure of viewing (Hidden Fortress, Rashomon, and this) I'd have to say that while Rashomon is still my favorite, I nevertheless had a blast during this one. The story has become quite influential to filmmakers from the likes of John Sturges (The Magnificent Seven) to John Lasseter (A Bug's Life): a small village has been terrorized by bandits for far too long, amid times of civil war in the nation, and so on the advice of Grand-Dad, they decide to hire four - which soon becomes seven - samurai for the job. There's no money, just food and honor, even though the village isn't exactly pleased to have samurai back in their village. Each character is drawn and executed compellingly, though for my money Toshiro Mifune proves why he became one of Japan's most notorious film actors. His work as the brave, bold outcast of the seven is awe-inspiring practically all the way through, like the hero of a western that anyone can root for since he's a true rebel at heart within a group of men with a task at hand.

Kurosawa directs his tale and main and supporting players like a grand composer, orchestrating a vivid story and extracting from great actors like Takashi Shimura (the old, wise Samurai), Ko Kimura (the disciple Samurai), Daisuke Kato (Schichiroji), and Mifune (Kikuchiyo, which isn't his real name) just the right touches of humanity, humor, tragedy, romance, and intensity. The overall intensity, by the way, isn't over-estimated; its long length (almost 3 1/2 hours) isn't distracting in the slightest since Kurosawa's editing and photography (the later helmed by Asakazu Nakai) are extraordinary. Not to compare the two films, but one thing I saw in common with Seven Samurai and a Lord of the Rings film is that, if anything else, it definitely isn't a boring experience. Along with a score by Fumio Hayasaka that gives the film just a bit more of a pulse, and a showdown that is relentless with excitement, this is one of the must-see action films for film buffs, or anyone with an serious interest in having fun with an epic.

127 of 155 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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