Seven Samurai (1954)

16th century Japan: a village of farmers hire seven samurai to help defend against marauding bandits.

So, what’s the big deal?

The deal is that Seven Samurai revolutionised storytelling in filmmaking and it continues to influence films to this day – and I’m not talking about The Magnificent Seven remake. Seven Samurai introduced Japanese cinema into Western culture, it was the first film to use the ‘group of adventurers’, the ‘hero introduction’ which we see in most action films; slow-motion action scenes, hordes of bad guys coming over the hill, the list is endless.

Without Seven Samurai there would be no Star Wars Jedi, no Ocean’s Eleven or Dirty Dozen, and Bruce Willis would be asking if you want fries with that.

Seven Samurai is also complex: class divide, unrequited love, honour (of course), and ultimately it questions the morality of good versus evil.

The farmers have won. We have lost.

Screen 1: Revolutionary

Seven Samurai . 1954 . Akira Kurosawa

Reviewed by Craig Pay

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