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This review is from: Seven Samurai [DVD]  (DVD)
A village constantly terrorised by bandits enlist the aid of Samurais to help them defend their homes.
Not only is this a tale about honour and heroism, but it is a tale of social divide between Samurai (a status of upmost importance and somewhat royalty) and peasant (base class of Japan). We need to be told that what ever family you were born into, that is the profession you would take upon adulthood. So if you were born to a farmer, it would a farmer's life for you. Born into nobility of a Samurai, than a Samurai you would be.
The relationship betweenthe Samurais hired and the peasants I believe is the focal point of the story. From the peasants absolute gratitude for Samurais who would help them for a pittance to gradual resentment of the Samurai presence in the village.
Despite the age of the film, it is arguably one of the best action films ever made.
Shot in Black & White (come on it was 1954 afterall) and in Japanese (with English subtiles), it doesn't diminish the superiority of the film's story, characters and setting.
The superiority of the film is emphasised even more when it was made into the multibox office hit western "The Magnificent Seven" (although in my eyes "Seven Samurai" is still head and shoulders above this remake).
Kurosawa's work are timely classics. From "Hidden Fortress" to later films like "Kagemusha", Kurosawa's depiction of this almost forgotten world are ones to behold.