A rare example of a story where the remake and the original are equally good, if for different reasons. Kurosawa's brilliant tale of a good-hearted samurai who recruits six others to help defend a small town under constant attack from bandits, was trannsplanted to America where it became John Sturges's The Magnificent Seven. The US version is a hugely entertaining, about a bunch of men who come together to protect the weak and helpless. (Let's just pretend that Return Of The Magnificent Seven never existed.) The Japanese original is less sure of its massage and more interested in its characters. It's an absorbing and violent drama where the samurai fight to regain their honour, and the deal between them and the townspeople is complicated by class distinction. Kurosawa also explores filmmaking as an art, with vivid imagery, making it an emotional and visual masterpiece.
Director: Akira Kurosawa Cast: Takashi Shimura, Toshiro Mifune


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