Seven Samurai

Seven Samurai

Japan | 1954 | 207 min. | Akira Kurosawa

A sixteenth century farming village requests protection from seven samurai against a horde of bandits who have warned they will return when the crops are ripe. A gripping three-hour ride from master filmmaker Akira Kurosawa. This screening is dedicated to the memory of longtime SIFF Programmer, Ruth Hayler.

Without Ruth Hayler, the Seattle International Film Festival would be a shell of itself. Ruth was there when SIFF began, and throughout her years at SIFF, as well as at Seven Gables and Landmark Theatres, her encyclopedic knowledge of cinema proved to be an invaluable asset. If a film ever played in Seattle, chances are very good that Ruth saw it, remembered it, could tell you how it performed with both audiences and critics, and offer her own very informed opinion. So it is with great sadness and even greater respect that we mark her passing with a presentation of her favorite film, Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai. For an epic film, the plot is beautifully simple—a village of farmers discover that a local bandit horde plans to steal their crops after harvest. In desperation, the farmers decide to hire rōnin (masterless samurai) to protect the village and its crops. The villagers approach Kambei, an aged yet experienced samurai, who reluctantly agrees to help. He then recruits four of his old comrades-in-arms. Katsushirō, Kambei's young disciple, and the barbaric Kikuchiyo (Toshiro Mifune, at his gonzo best) round out the seven. Truly one of the greatest films of all time, Seven Samurai demands to be seen on the big screen, where its breathtaking scope, spectacular action sequences, and boundless humanity make for an unforgettable cinematic experience—it's how Ruth would have wanted you to experience it.

Dan Doody

Sponsored by Consulate of Japan

  • Original Language Title: 七人の侍 | Shichinin no samurai
  • Director: Akira Kurosawa
  • Principal Cast: Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Tsushima, Yukio Shimazaki
  • Country: Japan
  • Year: 1954
  • Running Time: 207 min.
  • Producer: Sojiro Motoki
  • Screenplay: Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto, Hideo Oguni
  • Cinematographers: Asaichi Nakai
  • Editors: Hiroshi Nezu
  • Music: Fumio Hayasaka
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: Venice Film Festival 1954 (Silver Lion)
  • Filmography: Ran (1985), Kagemusha (1980), High and Low (1963), Yojimbo (1961), The Hidden Fortress (1958), Throne of Blood (1957), Rashomon (1950), Stray Dog (1949), Drunken Angel (1948)
  • Language: Japanese
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: 35mm
  • US Distributor: Janus Films
  • International Sales: Toho Co., Ltd.