Picking your favorite Akira Kurosawa
film is a tricky choice for any movie fan. From "Rashomon
" to "Ran
," the great Japanese filmmaker, one of the most beloved and influential directors of all time, knocked out a string of classics in a career that lasted well over 40 years. But more often than not, at the top of the list for Kurosawa fans is "The Seven Samurai
," the 1954 samurai epic that redefined the action movie for generations.
Following six samurai (and one pretender, iconically played by Toshiro Mifune
) who are recruited by a village of farmers to protect them from bandits, it remains to this day one of the most stirring, thrilling adventures in cinema history, and landed Kurosawa firmly on the map in international cinema. The film was released in Japan 58 years ago today, on April 26th, 1954 (a U.S. release, heavily cut down, would follow 30 months later), and to mark the occasion,