Seven Samurai

+ Inside Cinema: Akira Kurosawa

Shichinin no Samurai

Kurosawa’s epic samurai movie is a must-see on the big screen.

Image from Seven Samurai + Inside Cinema: Akira Kurosawa

Japan 1954
Dir Akira Kurosawa
With Takashi Shimura, Toshirô Mifune, Yoshio Inaba, Keiko Tsushima
207min + interval
English subtitles
Certificate PG
A BFI release

Genuinely epic in scale and tone, Kurosawa’s hugely influential samurai movie is a towering achievement. When 16th-century farmers whose village is repeatedly attacked by merciless bandits ask an elderly, masterless samurai (Shimura) for help, he hesitantly agrees and assembles a band of warriors to defend and train the villagers... Boasting terrific performances, superb camerawork, and expertly mounted battle sequences, Seven Samurai is undoubtedly one of the greatest action movies ever made. Moreover, in its rich attention to detail, its vivid characterisations and its sorrowing acknowledgement of life’s injustices, it recalls the profound masterpieces of Homer and Shakespeare.

Also available on BFI Player

+ Inside Cinema: Akira Kurosawa
Little Dot Studios-BBC 2021. 6min
A short video essay exploring Akira Kurosawa’s influential samurai films.

Geoff Andrew, Programmer-at-large

See other screenings of this film, as well as the Seniors’ matinee + intro.

See our Japan 2021 season.