Day 262: Seven Samurai (1954)

seven-samurai-2It’s Sunday and there’s only 14 left in the year so that could only mean one thing and that it’s Sunday At The Classics. On September 23, the remake of The Magnificent Seven is going to be released into theaters, but what people do not realize is that the original film was a remake itself. So for today’s film, I am featuring the film that started it all in Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai. A village in Japan is constantly under attack from a gang of more than thirty bandits. The village is scared and they no longer know what to do until the granddad (Kokuten Kōdō) suggests that they grab some samurai to protect the village. After seeing a Ronin named Kambei (Takashi Shimura) rescue a child, they ask him to save the village and he agrees as he hires six other samurai to help him against the bandits. The film stars Toshirô Mifune (Rashomon) as Kikuchiyo, Daisuke Katō (Yojimbo) as Shichirōji, Isao Kimura (High And Low) as Katsushirō Okamoto, Minoru Chiaki (The Hidden Fortress) as Heihachi Hayashida, Seiji Miyaguchi (Ikiru) as Kyūzō, Yoshio Inaba (Throne Of Blood) as Gorōbei Katayama, Yoshio Kosugi (King Kong Vs Godzilla) as Farmer Mosuke, and Kamatari Fujiwara (Kagemusha) as Farmer Manzo. 

seven-samuraiThis is probably the longest movie that I have viewed for the whole entire challenge so far clocking in at three hours and 27 minutes long. I do have to say however that it was well worth it because this was one piece f cinematic history right here. Akira Kurosawa was a master of his craft whether it was writing or directing because there are still films being made today that borrow from him. He was also the inventor of the Rashomon Effect (click the link to read about it) which is something still used today. You can see where all of the elements of The Magnificent Seven were taken from just by watching this film. The one thing I have to say is that Toshirô Mifune was electrifying in this film. You looked forward to seeing him on camera with his charismatic performance. I would definitely name him the MVP of the film because he definitely stole the show the first minute he was on screen. The rest of the seven were also very good actors including the old veteran Ronin Takashi Shimura who was very confident in his role and was the basis for Yul Brynner’s role. The cinematography was absolutely amazing and the editing was great as well. So you can see why this film is such a classic and why it’s is praised. My favorite scenes in the film besides the scenes with Mifune were the battle scenes. The battle scenes were literally the last part of the film and so well done. You have to understand that it was 1954 so the sword playing may not be perfect, but you get it. I definitely recommend this film to any cinephile out there that has not yet seen this yet. Do yourself the favor and watch it. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.