Seven Samurai

Seven Samurai ★★★★★

One of the greatest films of the 20th century that continues to fascinate me because of Kurosawa's technical mastery, his patient storytelling, and his compassion.

While Toshiro Mifune has the showboating role as the rambunctious Kikuchiyo, it's Taksahi Shimura as the group's leader whose performance commands our attention and admiration. In my book, Shimura was one of the best screen actors from the last century who unfortunately did not get as much attention as Mifune. When Shimura and Mifune are on screen together, especially in a Kurosawa movie, it is magic. When Shimura is the focus of any film, he is amazing. His back-to-back work for Kurosawa in Ikiru (as the hapless dying bureaucrat Watanabe) and Seven Samurai (as the wise, master swordsman Kambei) demonstrates Shimura's acting versatility.

In the best book written about Kurosawa's body of work, The Films of Akira Kurosawa, author Donald Richie notes that Seven Samurai is one of the most highly influential movies of all time that has been "remade, reworked, and referenced" more than any others in world cinema. If you love movies, Seven Samurai is a must for repeated viewings.

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