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Shichinin no Samurai
Seven Samurai
1954


directed by
Akira Kurosawa

The Magnificent Seven
Saul Bass poster
for USA remake The Magnificent Seven
(a direct quote from Seven Samurai)


By now, this must be Kurosawa's best known movie. And it is very good. A perfect bland of action and what the Japanese unashamedly call melodrama. Has even been turned in a computer game with the help of Kurosawa's son. But like I say, Rashomon might make a better game. This production, at a time when Japan was still suffering the after-effects of World War II, must have been a very ambitious undertaking for Toho and Japan. It shows.

If you don't know the movie is about a poor village engaging seven out of work samurai to defend them from robber bands, buy this movie ASAP. To quote the gay persons' line, you don't know what you're missing. Maybe the strongest point it makes is, you may be forced to kill off brigands like so many rats; but unless you can find somebody like Shane to do that nasty job for you, you are the loser — even if you come out on top.



Too many favorite scenes to even start to list, but what comes to mind right away:
— the villagers watching all samurai walking by
— the youngster getting ready to knock out applicants with a 3 by 4
— the hoary cliché of sticking out a hat behind a bush to attract gunfire
— the burning robbers' hang-out
— the way everybody starts running when the real action starts
— the guy trying to catch a girl, running after her through richly flowering meadows




rain machine making overtime

Toho Co. Ltd.
Produced by Toho
Japan 1954

207 minutes, B/W, Academy screen


Credits:

Cast:

producer
screenplay


photographed
lighting
art director
art consultation

fencing direction
archery direction
sound recording
music by
assistant director
Shojiro Motoki
Shinobu Hashimoto
Hideo Oguni
Akira Kurosawa
Asakazu Nakai
Shigero Mori
So Matsuyama
Seison Maeda
Kohei Ezaki
Ienori Kaneko
Shigeru Endo
Fumio Yanoguchi
Fumio Hayasaka
Hiromichi Horikawa
Kambei, samurai leader
Kikuchiyo
Gorobei
Kyuzo
Heihachi
Shichiroji
Katsushiro
Manzo
Gisaku
Yohei
Mosuke
Rikichi
Gosaku
Peasants



Shino, Manzo's daughter
Grandfather
Husband
Wife
Masterless Samurai
Coolie
Vendor
Minstrel
Bandits
Takashi Shimura
Toshiro Mifune
Yoshio Inaba
Seiji Miyaguchi
Minoru Chiaki
Daisuke Kato
Ko Kirnura
Kamatari Fujiwara
Kuninori Kodo
Bokuzen Hidari
Yoshio Kosugi
Yoshio Tsuchiya
Keiji Sakakida
Jiro Kumagai
Hariiko Toyama
Tsuneo Katagiri
Yasuhisa Tsutsumi
Keiko Tsushima
Toranosuke Ogawa
Yu Akitsu
Noriko Sengoku
Gen Shimizu
Jun Tatari
Atsushi Watanabe
Sojin Kamiyama
Kichijiro Ueda
Shimpei Takagi
Akira Tani
Haruo Nakajima
Takashi Narita
Senkichi Omura
Shuno Takahara
Masanobu Okubo


Rubbers
I must apologize, but can't help myself (it's stronger than weakling me):
Those are robber, not rubber bands and its robbers, not rubbers hanging out
(getting slightly obscene here, even; but both do stink when burning)



Akira Kurosawa's masterpiece is one of the greatest epics ever filmed. It's set in 16th-century Japan and deals with Japanese villagers who hire professional warriors to defeat bandits. Spectacular motion picture teems with fabulous battle scenes and characters filled with emotion and humanity.
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