- For the series, see article 7 of the samurai .
“Seven Samurai” ( 七 人 の 侍 sitinin no samurai ) - Japanese feature film of 1954 , the classic philosophical drama of Akira Kurosawa .
|jap. 七 人 の 侍|
|Akira Kurosawa |
|In the main|
|Takashi Shimura |
|Budget||$ 500,000 / ¥ 125 million|
The film appeared largely due to the fact that Akira Kurosawa really wanted to try his hand in the popular Jidaigeki genre in Japan (a historical film about the fighting adventures of the samurai), and at the same time make it both deep in meaning and fascinating in form. Initially, he intended to make a film-parable about one day in the life of a samurai, to trace all the actions of the hero until the evening when the hero was to commit a ritual suicide due to a small mistake made during that day. But the scenario did not work out, Kurosawa instructed his assistants to find a historical plot from the era of ancient Japan, and a plot appeared about a samurai who was hired to protect peasants from food and housing  .
Kurosawa wrote detailed biographies and descriptions of each significant character in the film — what clothes he wears, what he says, what food he prefers, and so on.
The original version of The Seven Samurai lasted 203 minutes; even for hire in Japan, the film was almost halved (the original version was shown only in major cities). Another shortened version - up to 141 minutes - was created specifically for export, in this version the film went in Europe and the USA; only in 1975, viewers saw the author’s version of The Seven Samurai  .
The premiere of the film in Japan took place on April 26, 1954 ; "Seven Samurai" quickly gained popularity both at home and abroad and became the object of numerous imitations, of which the most famous is John Sturges 's film "The Magnificent Seven ." The premiere at the Soviet box office took place in April 1988  .
Japan of the Azuchi-Momoyama era , torn by internecine wars, the second half of the 16th century . Residents of the village learn about the impending attack of a horse gang. Once these bandits had already visited the village, they took part of the harvest and a young woman. The peasants are perplexed: they can make bamboo spears, but they still can not defeat enemies who are perfectly armed and know the military craft. Wouldn't it be better for them to submit to their fate? There is a dispute. They turn to the elder of the village of Gisaku, who lives in the mill. He recalls a case from his past and orders to hire samurai to organize defense. Four peasants go to the city in search of needy ronin (samurai who have lost their masters), who agree to serve only for food, because the peasants supposedly have nothing more to offer them. Envoys witness how the experienced warrior Shimada Kambei ( Takashi Shimura ), disguised and shaved by a monk, disarms and kills a thief who has taken a child hostage. Witnesses of this feat are Okamoto Katsushiro ( Isao Kimura ) - a young man from an aristocratic family, and a tramp of a suspicious kind ( Toshiro Mifune ). Katsushiro asks Kambei to become his teacher and then follows him. The tramp is trying to do the same, but meets with failure. The peasants, however, tell Cambay about their misfortune, and he, although not immediately, agrees to help them.
Having estimated the conditions of the upcoming task for the defense of the village and having calculated the necessary forces, Kambei begins to look for other samurai. Soon, the good-natured strongman Katayama Gorobei ( Yoshio Inaba ) joins him. Then, Kambei meets his old fighting friend Shichiroji ( Daisuke Kato ), who is very happy to meet and without much thought agrees to enter the forming squad. Gorobei brings Hayashid Heihati ( Minoru Chiaki ), a not-so-capable warrior, but a witty and resourceful person. Kambei and Katsushiro witness a duel involving Kyuzo ( Seiji Miyaguchi ), who masterfully wields a sword. Kyuzo first rejects Kambei's offer, but then changes his mind.
The last to join the detachment is a tramp who gets a stick on the head when checking his dexterity and, using someone else’s pedigree, unsuccessfully tries to pass himself off as a samurai Kikutiyo. But according to his pedigree, he is 13 years old (12 to the modern Russian account), and he looks much older. They laugh at him and do not take him seriously. However, he relentlessly follows the samurai; gradually get used to it and, in the end, take to the squad.
Residents of the village do not know whom to fear anymore - far-away bandits or already arrived ronin. They hide their daughters from the latter. However, thanks to the energetic Kikutiyo, who knows perfectly well the life and fears of peasants, the ronin manage to find a common language with the farmers. They introduce themselves to the elder and get acquainted with a lonely old woman whose sons were killed by bandits. Samurai begin to teach the peasants the basics of military affairs, plan defense, surround the village with barriers and draw their own flag. On this flag, Kikuchiyo is indicated by a triangle, in contrast to the six legitimate samurai, indicated by circles.
Soon after the barley has ripened and harvested, scouts of bandits appear. There are only three of them, and the samurai easily deal with them: two are killed, one is captured alive. They want to save a prisoner of life, but the peasants are against it. A lonely old woman clogs him with a hoe. After receiving information about the gang camp, Kambei decides to make a sortie. Two samurai, Kikutiyo and the peasant guide, on horses captured from the scouts, head to the forest camp, where they manage to catch the robbers by surprise. They set fire to the building where they sleep, and using panic and surprise, standing in front of the entrance, they kill several bandits who run out naked and half asleep. However, most of the bandits managed to break out and organize a rebuff. The peasant sees his wife gone by the bandits, but she refuses to return to him and dies in the fire. Success is overshadowed by the loss: saving a peasant who, in desperation, tried to pull his wife out of the fire, Hayashid Heihati dies from a shot from a gun. In the evening, samurai and peasants solemnly bury the deceased in a village cemetery.
Although the gang is somewhat thinned, the bandits still decide to attack the village. Samurai-led peasants repel attacks from the south, west and east. Refused to leave the mill Gisaku burns. Kambey builds defense tactics using an imaginary “weak spot”: here one or two mounted bandits allow to break into the village, after which the line of defenders immediately closes. The single riders who broke through are doomed: inside the village a whole crowd of peasants armed with bamboo spears pounce on them.
The robbers have three guns that pose a particular danger to the defenders. As a result of the dialogue, Kyuzo goes to the forest for his guns. Returning in the morning, he humbly hands over the extracted gun to Kambei and reports of two killed bandits. After admiring Kyuzo’s actions, Katsushiro begins to describe Kikuchiyo as a warrior. Kikutiyo also decides to prove himself in business. Having left his post, he runs into the forest and sees the bandits who kill two deserters. He pretends to be “his”, starts a conversation with the shooter and kills him. The gangsters begin to chase Kikutiyo, and at the same time attack the village. They break through the post left by Kikuchiyo. As a result, Yehei and Gorobei die.
When, according to the count, only 13 bandits remain in the gang, Kambey predicts that the next battle will be the last and the attack will take place tomorrow morning. This is reported to the peasants. Overjoyed peasants bring sake and a snack from the hidden reserves to the samurai, the presence of which Kikutiyo spoke about. But their fears come true: Katsushiro has sexual intercourse with the peasant girl Sino.
In the morning, all the bandits are intentionally let into the village. The first in the ranks is the one-eyed leader. The battle takes place in the pouring rain. Samurai destroy the robbers one by one. Shichiroji beats a spear. Kikutiyo sticks 6 swords into the ground before the battle. After he knocks down three horses, his sword breaks and he takes one of the in store. Kambey sticks a sword into the ground and picks up a bow lying nearby. He hits enemies with arrows. He stabs his first Katsushiro. Kyuzo hacked the one-eyed gang leader. The bandits burst into the house where the women are hiding, and shoot back from the last gun they have left. The master of the Kyuzo sword dies from a bullet. Heavily wounded by a bullet, Kikutiyo strikes the gang leader with a sword. Kikutiyo gives up the spirit on the bridge, the leader - when falling into the water.
After the battle, three samurai remain alive: the leader of the Kambei detachment, his old friend Sitiroji and young Katsushiro. Katsushiro in the last shots runs after the peasant daughter, but stops on the bridge. Cambei and Shichiroji are standing in front of the burial ground. Kambey delivers a closing speech. Then the camera shows the burial ground, in the upper part of which there are four embankments. Swords are stuck in the mound, flags flutter on the poles. The sword, thrust into the extreme right embankment, is deployed in a direction different from the rest. The wind drives the dust.
- Takashi Shimura - Shimada Kambei ( 田 勘 兵衛 ), group leader
- Yoshio Inaba - Katayama Gorobei ( 片 山 五郎 兵衛 ), the second samurai hired by Cambai
- Daisuke Kato - Shichiroji ( 七郎 次 ), third in the group
- Minoru Chiaki - Hayashida Heihati ( 林 田 平 八 ), a samurai employed by Gorobei
- Isao Kimura - Okamoto Katsushiro ( 岡本 勝 四郎 ), youth from an aristocratic family
- Seiji Miyaguchi - Kyuzo ( 久 蔵 ), sword master
- Toshiro Mifune - Kikuchiyo ( 菊 千代 ), seventh member of the group
- Kokuten Kodo - Gisaku, village elder
- Kamatari Fujiwara - Manzo
- Keiko Tsushima - Shino, daughter of Manzo
- Yoshio Tsuchiya - Rikiti
- Yukiko Shimazaki - Rikichi's wife
- Bokuzen Hidari - Youhei
- Haruo Nakajima - The Bandit
- Tatsuya Nakadai - A Samurai Walking Around the City (Episode)
- The film won first place in Empire magazine's list of “ 100 Best Films of World Cinema, ” compiled in 2010  .
- For the first time in Kurosawa’s work, the film contrasts traditional samurai edged weapons and firearms, which are perceived as incompatible with military honor . Only bandits have shotguns in the film; among the samurai, only Kikuchiyo’s “undersamurai” shoots a shotgun, and only once. Subsequently, in other Kurosawa films, this motif was reinforced and emphasized - for example, in The Bodyguard - and culminated in Shadow of a Warrior , where Takeda Shingen was mortally wounded by a shot from the gun and in the final part of the film, the entire army of the Takeda clan is destroyed by guns in volleys. There are similar episodes in the films The Last Samurai with Tom Cruise and Zatoichi with Takeshi Kitano .
- The plot of "The Seven Samurai" was used in many films, the main of which can be called his American remake of The Magnificent Seven ( born The Magnificent Seven ) filmed in 1960 by director John Sturges . Even the plot of the animated film “ The Adventures of Flick ” by Pixar in the first half of the film almost completely copies “The Seven Samurai”. Ants act as peasants, locusts act as bandits. In one episode, the episode from “The Seven Samurai” was quoted almost verbatim, namely, the moment when the heartbroken peasants understand that even if their village buys off the bandits, its inhabitants will still be starving to death. The plot of the film is also used in the film produced by the USSR " Sixth " staged by director Samvel Gasparov in 1981.
Awards and nominations
- Venice Film Festival (1954)
- Winner - Silver Lion - Akira Kurosawa
- Mainity Award (1955)
- Winner - Best Supporting Actor - Seiji Miyaguchi
- British Academy (1956)
- Nominee - Best Movie
- Nominee - Best Foreign Actor - Toshiro Mifune
- Nominee - Best Foreign Actor - Takashi Shimura
- Oscar ( 1956 )
- Nominee - The best work of the artist (b / w films)
- Nominee - Best Costume Work (b / w films)
- Jussi Prize (1959)
- Winner - Best Foreign Director - Akira Kurosawa
- Winner - Best Foreign Actor - Takashi Shimura
- Satellite Awards (2006)
- Winner - Best Overall DVD
- In one of the episodes of the film there is a moment that allows you to set the exact date of the events. The stolen birth certificate of Kikuchiyo says that he was born in the second year of the Tenso period, which corresponds to 1574 , and Kambei concludes that, therefore, Kikuchiyo is now only 13 years old. Given the peculiarities of counting the age in Japan (a newborn child is considered one-year), the events of "Seven Samurai" unfold in 1586 .
- In 1960, the American remake of "Seven Samurai" - the film "The Magnificent Seven " - was released. The action in it was transferred to the Wild West, where seven cowboys-shooters protect the Mexican village from bandits. Akira Kurosawa considered this remake quite faithful to the original (taking into account the difference in cultural traditions of Japan and the USA). Subsequently, several more remakes were made, much less significant and artistically wealthy (for example, “The Magnificent Seven of Gladiators ”, “ The Battle Beyond the Stars ”). There is an anime “ 7 Samurai ” (2004), in which the plot, names and characters of the main characters repeat the film of Kurosawa, but the action is transferred to the future. Also, episode 2 of season 2 of the animated series Star Wars The Clone Wars is dedicated to Akira Kurosawa. The plot of this episode is based on the same story, but the action takes place on one of the planets of the fictional universe. Before the start of the series, a caption appears dedicated to the memory of Akira Kurosawa .
Weinstein Company Studio is preparing for the next remake of Akira Kurosawa's film “Seven Samurai”. The director of the new tape will be Scott Mann , who made the film " Tournament ".
- I.A. Mussky. Seven Samurai // 100 great foreign films . - Moscow: Veche, 2008 .-- 480 p. - 5,000 copies. - ISBN 978-5-9533-2750-3 .
- Seven Samurai (1954) - Seven Samurai - 七 人 の 侍 - Shichinin-no samurai - movie information - Asian films - Cinema Theater. RU
- The 100 Best Films Of World Cinema