Other Sellers on Amazon
+ £1.26 UK delivery
Criterion Collection: Seven Samurai [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Get £1 Off Amazon Video*
Frequently Bought Together
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Feudal Japanese villagers hire seven warriors to defend them from 40 mounted bandits. Directed by Akira Kurosawa.
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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:
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of my favourite films. Great edition. Delivered fast.
Good seller. Thanks.
Over 3 hours long, this film masterpiece was the origin of so many film genres. In its own right it takes a typical Japanese pace to ponder, plain, consider then act. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Dr. Michael J. Atkins
A classic movie that I always wanted in my collection. Great conditionPublished 15 days ago by Derek James
This is a really great movie. I always wondered why people raved on about it......now I know. The story, the acting, the characters,the humorous antics. It's a really great movie. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Keith R. Sauerwald
Absolute Classic on so many levels !
Martial Arts without the slick modern
high-gloss special effects.
Superbly made, with rich characters, great action, well paced, suspenseful and full of interesting character development. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Lee09