Seven Samurai (Shichinin no Samurai) (1956)



Critic Consensus: Arguably Akira Kurosawa's masterpiece, The Seven Samurai is an epic adventure classic with an engrossing story, memorable characters, and stunning action sequences that make it one of the most influential films ever made.

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Movie Info

Akira Kurosawa's epic tale concerns honor and duty during a time when the old traditional order is breaking down. The film opens with master samurai Kambei (Takashi Shimura) posing as a monk to save a kidnapped farmer's child. Impressed by his selflessness and bravery, a group of farmers begs him to defend their terrorized village from bandits. Kambei agrees, although there is no material gain or honor to be had in the endeavor. Soon he attracts a pair of followers: a young samurai named Katsushiro (Isao Kimura), who quickly becomes Kambei's disciple, and boisterous Kikuchiyo (Toshiro Mifune), who poses as a samurai but is later revealed to be the son of a farmer. Kambei assembles four other samurais, including Kyuzo (Seiji Miyaguchi), a master swordsman, to round out the group. Together they consolidate the village's defenses and shape the villagers into a militia, while the bandits loom menacingly nearby. Soon raids and counter-raids build to a final bloody heart-wrenching battle. ~ Jonathan Crow, Rovi
Action & Adventure , Art House & International , Classics , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Columbia Pictures

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Takashi Shimura
as Kambei leader of samurai
Toshiro Mifune
as Kikuchiyo would-be samurai
Yoshio Inaba
as Gorobei wise warrior
Seiji Miyaguchi
as Kyuzo swordsman
Minoru Chiaki
as Heihachi amiable samurai
Daisuke Katô
as Shichiroji Kambei's friend
as Katsushiro young samurai
Kuninori Kodo
as Gisaku village elder
Ichiro Chiba
as Priest
Fumiko Homma
as Peasant Woman
Isao Yamagata
as Samurai
Sojin Jr.
as Minstrel
Kamatari Fujiwara
as Manzo Shino's father
Yoshio Kosugi
as Mosuke
Yoshio Tsuchiya
as Rikichi militant villager
Toranosuke Ogawa
as Grandfather
Noriko Sengoku
as Wife from Burned House
Gen Shimizu
as Masterless Samurai
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News & Interviews for Seven Samurai (Shichinin no Samurai)

Critic Reviews for Seven Samurai (Shichinin no Samurai)

All Critics (57) | Top Critics (12)

The greatest movie ever made about warriors and battle.

Full Review… | March 26, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Again and again, Kurosawa sends a dark thrill through his audience with a touch of sensuous physical reality.

Full Review… | April 20, 2009
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Kurosawa's film is a model of long-form construction, ably fitting its asides and anecdotes into a powerful suspense structure that endures for all of the film's 208 minutes.

Full Review… | March 1, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Besides the well-manned battlescenes, the pic has a good feeling for characterization and time.

Full Review… | March 1, 2007
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | February 26, 2007
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

The epic action scenes involving cavalry and samurai are still without peer.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Seven Samurai (Shichinin no Samurai)

Kurosawa's perfected blend of action, humor, and pathos is on display in this masterpiece. Three and a half hours never felt so short and entertaining.

Kase Vollebregt
Kase Vollebregt

Super Reviewer


Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

A rural village in feudal Japan decides to fight back against the bandits who have been raiding them by hiring samurai from a nearby town. One of the many remarkable things about Akira Kurosawa's astonishing historical epic is the fact that at nearly 3 and a half hours it never drags for a single second of it's length. Not one bit. That fact alone is testament to Kurosawa's incredible skill as both writer and director. The balance of artful visuals and narrative is perfect and every character is fascinating and perfectly played, especially Toshiro Mifune's gleeful and almost feral glory hound and Takashi Shimura's good hearted but wily Ronin. And if like me you still wanted more after its not inconsiderable running time, its Hollywood remake The Magnificent Seven is a damn fine film in its own right. One of the pinnacles of world cinema.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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