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The Seven Samurai

The Seven Samurai (七人の侍 Shichinin no samurai, 1954) is a movie by Akira Kurosawa, starring Takashi Shimura[?] and Toshiro Mifune. The film takes place in war-ridden 16th-century Japan, where a village of farmers look for ways to ward off neighbouring robbers. Since they do not know how to fight themselves, they hire seven samurai to fight for them.

Warning: Wikipedia contains spoilers

The story unfolds gradually, and the heroes are not the cardboard cut-outs popular in some action movies. There is a chemistry developing between the villagers and their helpers, and a fairly continuous role reversal. For instance, to attract the samurai into helping them cheaply, the villagers have to act dumb and poor. Later, when the samurai find out what the villagers are really like and think of rebelling against their clients, the clownish samurai turns around and shows his real intelligence by convincing his fellow warriors of their need to fight for their clients.

The film ends with a battle scene, in which the samurai and villagers end victorious.

The film is available in several versions, from 141 to 160 minutes; the Japanese original and the U.S. reissue are both 203 minutes long.

(still to mention:

  • quality of acting
  • cinematographic qualities
  • which genres and films can be said to stem from The Seven Samurai
  • prizes won by Kurosawa for this movie
  • Inspiration and story for The Magnificent Seven

A humorous animated film A Bug's Life[?] took the story of the Seven Samurai to an entomological level.

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