七人の侍 - Seven Samurai

"Danger always strikes when everything seems fine." Kambei Shimada

"Danger always strikes when everything seems fine." Kambei Shimada

☆ Iconic 


七人の侍 - Seven Samurai (1954) created the action hero in search of glory and battle and spawned countless modern imitators.


Directed by Akira Kurosawa.


Starring Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura and Keiko Tsushima among many others.


What caught my attention as an actor and filmmaker while viewing Seven Samurai were the following. The exquisite detail of each and every villager and samurai yet Kurosawa did the opposite with the murderous, marauding bandits by making them opaque and undefined. Kurosawa has said that he had all the actors portraying peasants and samurai live, train and work together before production began, so they would act as a team believably on film.

Akira's use of contrasting the Japanese tradition of the community working as one with the western tradition of the individual helping the community also caught my attention. Kurosawa spent the rest of his career espousing the individual in his films.

Lastly, Akira's showcasing the rigid societal hierarchy and the fate and lot given to each character. Note how Mifune's character, who is a peasant, declares himself a samurai in the scene below. The samurai knows he is a peasant, but does not instantly challenge or kill him for making such a bold, deceptive claim. This challenge to the rigid Japanese society must have pissed off the tradition and hierarchical bound Japanese audiences in 1954 when Seven Samurai was released theatrically. Look at the size of Toshirô samurai sword. Mifune has to carry it over his shoulder. Gets me thinking that these peasants had killed other samurai in the past and taken their wealth and possessions after gaining their trust.


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Trivia - Tôhô Kabushiki Kaisha nearly went bankrupt financing simultaneously the productions of Seven Samurai and Godzilla.



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Note - If you would like to view 七人の侍 - Seven Samurai to rent or buy please click on the link below the comments. It is sponsored by Google, so it is the safest and most secure way to get a copy for your film library.