Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • TBC
  • 1954
  • 203 mins

The Seven Samurai

Film4

Synopsis

A simple story of seven mercenaries hired to protect a village from marauding bandits becomes a unique and mesmerising action-packed epic of sustained tension and stoic humanity in Kurosawa's hands: an enduring classic.

About

A village in medieval Japan is repeatedly falling prey to a troop of marauding bandits. At last in desperation the villagers turn to an old samurai warrior Kambei (Shimura) to assemble a team of similarly disenfranchised fighters to protect them. This he does, recruiting five other samurai and one untrained renegade (Kurosawa regular Mifune), offering them no more payment than a few bowls of rice per day. The samurai move into the village, where they find their employers initially suspicious, before together they face the bandits as they return for their annual raid.

With elegant compositions, Kurosawa presents a vibrant story with languid sequences punctuated only rarely by scenes of action - most memorably the magnificently orchestrated climactic battle in the rainstorm. John Sturges transported the story to the West, remaking it as The Magnificent Seven, and stuck closely to the original in the narrative structure and in several of the characters.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Daisuke Kato, Minoru Chiaki, Seiji Miyaguchi, Takashi Shimura, Yoshio Inaba, Toshirô Mifune
  • Director: Akira Kurosawa
  • Writer: Shinobu Hashimoto, Akira Kurosawa, Hideo Oguni
  • Producer: Shojiro Motoki
  • Photographer: Asaiki Nakai

In a nutshell

The ease with which Kurosawa's film made the westward transition is unsurprising, considering the strong influence that the films of Ford had on him throughout his career - the chief source here being My Darling Clementine.

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4

    The Five-Year Engagement

    Jason Segel and Emily Blunt are Tom and Violet, a happy couple whose plans to marry become increasingly hopeless. Co-starring Chris Pratt and a host of sit-com favourites, expect sincerely romantic moments amongst Segel's signature frat boy humour.

    On Film4: 4 Aug 9:00PM

  • Film4

    Maidan

    Documentary portrait of the winter 2013/14 Ukrainian demonstrations in Kiev against the pro-Moscow presidency of Viktor Yanukovych and for a greater integration with Europe.

  • Film4

    Damsels in Distress on Film4

    Whit Stillman returns to directing, with a twee comedy that follows Greta Gerwig and her pompous college buddies as they set about improving campus life for all

  • Film4

    The Five-Year Engagement on Film4

    Jason Segel and Emily Blunt are Tom and Violet, a happy couple whose plans to marry become increasingly hopeless. Co-starring Chris Pratt and a host of sit-com favourites, expect sincerely romantic moments amongst Segel's signature frat boy humour.

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share