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Seven Samurai (1954)

Shichinin no samurai (original title)
Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama | 19 November 1956 (USA)
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 Rated Movies #20 | Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Kikuchiyo (as Toshiro Mifune)
... Kambei Shimada
Keiko Tsushima ... Shino
Yukiko Shimazaki ... Wife (as Yukio Shimazaki)
... Farmer Manzo
Daisuke Katô ... Shichiroji (as Daisake Kato)
Isao Kimura ... Katsushiro (as Ko Kimura)
... Heihachi
Seiji Miyaguchi ... Kyuzo
Yoshio Kosugi ... Farmer Mosuke
... Farmer Yohei
Yoshio Inaba ... Gorobei Katayama
Yoshio Tsuchiya ... Farmer Rikichi
... Old Man Gisaku (as Kuninori Todo)
... Thief
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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:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | 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:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,830, 1 September 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$269,061, 31 August 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

| (re-release prints)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When reading the scroll Mifune presents the them, the other samurai laugh. Kikuchiyo is a girl's name made up of two parts, like Betty Sue in America. That's why the samurai laugh so hard at the name. Obviously Mifune's character is illiterate and can't read the scroll himself and it's a very subtle thing that the other samurai choose to tease him about the age and not about choosing a girl's name. The name translates out to a Thousand Generations of Chrysanthemums (Kiku = Chrysanthemum and Chiyo = one thousand generations. See more »

Goofs

At one point in the English translation of the Criterion edition, one of the characters makes reference to "playing possum," Opossums are only found in the Western Hemisphere, and would have been unknown to medieval Japan except possibly by a few scholars. 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

Referenced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Bounty Hunters (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Kurosawa's triumphant epic- totally & successfully driven by character and story
7 December 2003 | by 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.


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