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Seven Samurai (Steelbook) [Blu-ray] [DVD] 
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SEVEN SAMURAI (Limited Edition Blu-ray Steelbook)
A film Akira Kurosawa
One of the greatest films ever made Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai has influenced the work of director's from George Lucas to Steven Spielberg, and spawned remakes, such as John Sturges acclaimed The Magnificent Seven.
With their village raided every year by vicious bandits, a group of peasants hire seven warriors to protect them. Initially met with suspicion the warriors eventually gain the trust of the peasants and they join forces to face the bandits
Available for the first time Blu-ray, this special edition includes alternative presentations of the film, a new and exclusive interview with Asian expert Tony Rayns, and the film's original Japanese trailer.
Endlessly copied but never surpassed, Seven Samurai is a truly timeless classic
- Limited Edition Steelbook with exclusive artwork
- Newly remastered High Definition transfer
- Play with or without original intermission
- Original Japanese theatrical trailer
- The Art of Akira Kurosawa (2013, 48 mins): Asian cinema expert Tony Rayns discusses Kurosawa's career and influence
- Fully illustrated booklet with essays and credits
* subject to change
Region B Blu-ray)
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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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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
Filmed in black and white, Japanese with sub titles, no computer generated images and no blood and gore on show.
No overtly sexual scenes and no bad language. Read more
Fantastic, delivery before the due date and a great clear copy. Just what I needed.Published 1 month ago by Graham
Years ahead of its time. I still find the rice planting music going through my head. Amazingly, the Magnificant Seven was just as good.Published 1 month ago by Dave
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, plan, consider, then act. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Dr. Michael J. Atkins