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: Minoru Chiaki, Takashi Shimura, Toshirô Mifune, Daisuke Kato, Seiji Miyaguchi, Yoshio Inaba
  • Director: Akira Kurosawa
  • Writer: Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto, 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 Suffragette

    Suffragette

    Meryl Streep, Carey Mulligan and Helena Bonham-Carter star in Sarah Gavron's drama about the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement

  • Film4 Notorious

    Notorious

    The story of the life and death of Chris Wallace, known to his fans as the legendary rap artist Notorious B.I.G.

  • Film4

    Saoirse Ronan on Arrietty

    The actress talks about lending her voice to the Studio Ghibli adventure

  • Film4 Hope Springs

    Hope Springs on Film4

    Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones star as a married couple who turn to Steve Carell's therapist for help with spicing things up in David Frankel's authentic comedy-drama on Film4

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Bobcat Goldthwait on God Bless America

    "To me, the best part about being famous is taking down phonies..." As God Bless America receives its UK TV premiere on Film4, writer/director Bobcat Goldthwait (World¿s Greatest Dad, Willow Creek) lo

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Editor Chris Wyatt on '71

    Editor Chris Wyatt has worked on modern classics of film and TV including  Dead Man¿s Shoes, Dreams Of A Life and Dead Set. Here, he talks about his work with Yann Demange on ¿71, out now on DVD and B

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

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

or Register

Share