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on 28 April 2017
One of the great films of all time
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on 22 April 2017
Great movie great delivery
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on 28 May 2017
Fantastic Blu-ray BFI, excellent bluray with impressive image quality
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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.

Add to this a gallery, trailers and an excellent booklet containing essays by Kurosawas favourite lead Toshiro Mifune, Sidney Lumet and Arthur Penn amongst others and this is an unmissable DVD that no collection is complete without.

If you know and love Seven samurai then don't delay this is essential and if you've never seen this or are not a big fan of foreign language films then put your reservations to one side and take the plunge, you will not be disapponted.

If you enjoy this then try 'Yojimbo' and ' Kagemusha' also by Kurosawa and for a fascinating and detailed insight into Kurosawa and Mifune 'The emperor and the wolf' by Stuart Galbraith IV is very well researched and written.
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on 30 April 2012
*contains spoilers!*

TBH I dont think i could ever do this film justice with a review, i just wanted to add my own 5 stars to the rating (i wish they invented a 6th star just for this)

I think prior to this film i would have said my favorite movie was 'predator' or 'bloodsport' or something similar being the child of the 80's i was. The first time i watched 'Seven Samurai' i was 18, couch ridden with flu watching TV on a grey rainy weekday (perfect Seven Samurai weather!) i was flicking through the channels and literally caught the opening scene on film4 and just left it on...up to this point i had never watched a B&W movie OR a subtitled movie in my life.

A little later i was weeping over the death of Heihachi and Gorobei then broke down when Kikuchiyo and Kyuzo died in battle. Thank you Akira Kurosawa for introducing me to the power of Film.
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on 3 March 2004
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. The motif will be elaborated: tied to the cycle of seed time, growth time, and harvest; tied to the cycle of life; and ultimately showing the quiet bitterness of life for those who operate outside the circular codes of community: the "Ronin," the Samurai who have no master and no community, and whose lives are not valued by the community except for aid at a moment of crisis.
Shot in simple black and white, as much (if not more) a detailed character and culture study as it is an action film, THE SEVEN SAMURAI is extremely simple and yet extremely subtle, and ultimately one of the most powerful films it has been my pleasure to review. The quality of the Criterion DVD transfer is very good, but by no means flawless--although it survives well, the film has not been digitally restored, and artifacts are frequent. There is little in the way of bonus material, but the commentary by Michael Jeck is quite fine. Strongly recommended.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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on 17 January 2014
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:
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on 9 March 2017
Bought this for my husband's birthday. We enjoyed it very much. "The Magnificent Seven" is based on this story.
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on 8 March 2017
A present for a family member who loves it!
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on 10 April 2017
Good quality picture
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