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Seven Samurai [Blu-ray]

Toshiro Mifune , Akira Kurosawa    To Be Announced   Blu-ray
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Toshiro Mifune
  • Directors: Akira Kurosawa
  • Classification: To be announced
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003BEDT6E

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

Unanimously hailed as one of the greatest masterpieces in the history of the motion picture, Seven Samurai has inspired countless films modelled after its basic premise. But Akira Kurosawa's classic 1954 action drama has never been surpassed in terms of sheer power of emotion, kinetic energy, and dynamic character development. The story is set in the 1600s, when the residents of a small Japanese village are seeking protection against repeated attacks by a band of marauding thieves. Offering mere handfuls of rice as payment, they hire seven unemployed "ronin" (masterless samurai), including a boastful swordsman (Toshiro Mifune) who is actually a farmer's son desperately seeking glory and acceptance. The samurai get acquainted with but remain distant from the villagers, knowing that their assignment may prove to be fatal. The climactic battle with the raiding thieves remains one of the most breathtaking sequences ever filmed. It's poetry in hyperactive motion and one of Kurosawa's crowning cinematic achievements. This is not a film that can be well served by any synopsis; it must be seen to be appreciated and belongs on the short list of any definitive home-video library. --Jeff Shannon

Review

'One of the purest adventure movies ever made' --Rolling Stone

'..the yardstick by which all other action movies should be measured' --Empire


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
86 of 89 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Clocking in at just under four hours with not a scrap of filler, Kurosawa's THE SEVEN SAMURAI is every bit as legendary at its enthusiasts would have you believe.
The basic story is extremely simple. In a period of social chaos, a small farming village learns it will once more be attacked by a band of thirty bandits after the harvest. At first the farmers despair, but village elder Gisaku (Kokuten Kodo) recalls that in his childhood a similar village met a similar situation by hiring Samurai to defend them. The villagers accordingly send representatives to the city, where they are able to convince Samurai Kambei Shimada (Takashi Shimura) to undertake the defense.
If the plot sounds familiar, it should: Hollywood would translate it into the extremely popular 1960 western THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN--but fine though that film is, it pales beside THE SEVEN SAMURAI, which effectively turns an action film premise into a character study of the first order and endows the story with both tremendous simplicity and artistry. Much of this is due an extraordinary ensemble cast, which includes the celebrated Toshiro Mifune (who would later appear in Kurosawa's THRONE OF BLOOD and YOJIMBO); above this, however, is Kurosawa's remarkable vision that draws upon the visual motif of the circle.
The circle is a powerful presence in SAMURAI. The village is presented as a roughly circular pattern of houses; the farmers meet in circles; in due time the Samurai enter the circle and stand at the center of the circle, directing the defense--and indeed the circle will become the defense, as Shimada works to find means to draw the bandits into the circle and to their doom.
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unmissable 25 Oct 2006
By Amazon Customer TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is one of a small handful of films that transcend the label 'classic' and are essential.

Seven samurais influences are many and varied like so much else that Kurosawa directed. A seemingly simple tale of a roaming band of masterless samurai find fulfilment and destiny when they agree to protect a defenceless village that is being raided by a ruthless band of marauders.

Kurosawa pulled out all the stops as the action builds to a monumental and iconic final showdown fought in pouring rain.

Criterion have already released this earier in their catalogue. It contained the best available print of the film and a fine commentary by film expert Michael Jeck.

That commentary is included once again here, ( a wise move as it's a good one), along with an all new commentary by a group of film historians.Along with the commentaies there are 2 documentaries looking at the making of the film and it's influences that include much input from all involved and together last about 90 minutes.

The sound is still mono but coherent and lively. The print however has been mastered again and is superb, black and white this may be but it looks far better than a 52 year old film has any right to.

You get an awful lot for your money over the 3 discs but there is one inclusion that towers above all else here and that is the brilliant interview 'my life in cinema' where Kurosawa talks to interviewer Nagisa Oshima,(a filmaker himself), about his life and the films he has made. This allows the viewer to audience what is simply the best and most fact packed conversation with the great director available. The 2 hours running time is over before you know it.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great movie. Poor Blu-ray. 17 Jan 2014
By Dav-t
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
This short review is about the quality of this BFI release of Seven Samurai, not the actual film which in itself is worthy of five stars. The print used by the BFI for this Blu-ray has not been remastered, there is a lot of damage and scratches inherent in the print and the blacks look very grey.

Extras are lacklustre, an interview and trailer is all you get. If you really want to enjoy this film in Hi-def then purchase the Criterion edition from the USA. It blows the BFI edition out of the water in terms of picture quality and extras, see below:

New, restored high-definition digital transfer, with the original uncompressed monaural soundtrack and an optional DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
Two audio commentaries, one featuring film scholars David Desser, Joan Mellen, Stephen Prince, Tony Rayns, and Donald Richie, and the other Japanese film expert Michael Jeck
Fifty-minute documentary on the making of Seven Samurai, created as part of the Toho Masterworks series Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create
My Life in Cinema, a two-hour video conversation from 1993 between directors Akira Kurosawa and Nagisa Oshima
Seven Samurai: Origins and Influences, a documentary looking at the samurai traditions and films that helped shape Kurosawa’s masterpiece
Theatrical trailers and teaser
Gallery of rare posters, behind-the scenes photos, and production stills
New and improved English subtitle translation
PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by Kenneth Turan, Peter Cowie, Philip Kemp, Peggy Chiao, Alain Silver, Stuart Galbraith, Arthur Penn, and Sidney Lumet and an interview with Toshiro Mifune from 1993.

You will need a multi-region player to play the Criterion edition. Here's the amazon link for it:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Criterion-Collection-Samurai-Blu-ray-Import/dp/B003KGBISY/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1390001795&sr=8-4&keywords=seven+samurai
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars just like the cowboy version only MUCH better
Big fan of martial arts fist saw it when I was a kid (now 57) and still watch it. just like the cowboy version only MUCH better. Maybe one day someone will do this in colour..
Published 12 days ago by russell davis
5.0 out of 5 stars always in the top 100 best films ever
Classic film, always in the top 100 best films ever, it's very old fashioned but brilliant.
Published 16 days ago by markdespark
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best
I first purchased Seven Samurai a good few years ago on VHS, which I still have but like all tape recordings over time the quality gradually deteriorates. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Micky D
5.0 out of 5 stars Visceral, I think they say.
Of course, it is a great film. I'm interested in what it lacks as representative of Kurosawa. Toshiro Mifune is probably the most energetic, committed actor you will see but his... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mario
4.0 out of 5 stars on the Blu-ray Steelbook
the good news:
- it's a very beautiful disc-case
- booklet, 12 pages
- Tony Rayns on AK, 49 mins
- you can play the film with the original intermission
-... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ralf Bader
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Film
I just love this film, fabulous story! If you love westerns, then buy this film - you won't regret it.
Published 3 months ago by Orchidroom
5.0 out of 5 stars great
Very good service. I really cannot think of anything to report really and have only good comments. A satisfied customer, thank you.
Published 4 months ago by Stew
5.0 out of 5 stars Seven Samurai [Blu Ray]
When you get this movie, don't expect to have a very clear picture, at the end it is a very old movie.... this movie is one of the best movie you will get... Read more
Published 4 months ago by W. Nasser Moh
4.0 out of 5 stars “Seven Samurai” on BLU RAY – Released At Last In The UK...
As you've probably gathered most of the reviews are for the 'DVD' version of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 masterpiece “Seven Samurai” because a BLU RAY version of it has only been... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mark Barry
5.0 out of 5 stars Seven samurai
If you want to try japanese cinema but not sure where to start, this is for you. The costumes, visual customs of the time and acting are superb, and this was the tour de force... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Auntie M
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