Review: The Seven Samurai (1954)

Seven Samurai is quite possibly the most overrated film ever. That’s a shame, because it’s a fine film — one of the finest, in fact — but there is a tendency among certain groups of people (who should know better) to refer to it as THE GREATEST ACTION FILM EVER MADE. Now, this really is stupidity, not only because everybody knows that The Killer is the greatest action film ever made, but also because, frankly, Seven Samurai isn’t an action film at all. After all, action films are, generically speaking, about action, and although Seven Samurai features action, it’s actually about, well, samurai!

The story is simple: seven samurai (there you go) are hired to protect a village from a group of marauding bandits. That’s it. It’s not much for a film with a 207 minute running time, but uniformly excellent performances from the cast and Kurosawa’s brilliant direction carry it a long way. Ultimately though, Seven Samurai succeeds because it deals with themes (Honour! Class! Humanity!) that need 207 minutes to be expressed ‘properly.’ Magnificent.

Australia has been without a video/DVD of this film for quite some time now (actually, possibly forever, unless you count that 90 minute SBS version), so for Eastern Eye to finally give it a release… well, I’m weepy… I really am. Now what are you waiting for? Go and watch it!

10 bowls of rice out of 10.
Bookmark the permalink.