In the wonderfully animated Zinema 2 theatre in Duluth, several feet from the entrance, there was once (and more than likely, still is) a portrait of an energetic Toshirô Mifune. The picture is taken directly from the famed Japanese director Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai.
The world renowned, black and white, 1954 film, gathering Kurosawa’s incredibly versatile troupe of actors, stars Takashi Shimura of Godzilla fame, Daisuke Katô, and Isao Kimura as the samurai-in-training, as well as Mifune as the immortally lovable Kikuchiyo.
Seven Samurai has been considered by many to be Kurosawa’s mugnum opus, his masterpiece on celluloid. His dramatic scenes shot deep in the forests, and in the rain, all coupled by a soundtrack that gives Jaws a run for its money. The dialogue is convincingly true enough to suck you in from the start. One of my favorite scenes is toward the beginning when a child is taken hostage by a thief who then runs into a house and refuses to come out. The villagers swarm and try to formulate a plan to remove the thief without harming the child. Enter Kambei (Shimura) who flawlessly deters the hostage taker’s plan by fooling him.IMDb.com as part of their Top 250 list.
My recommendation is an understatement. I say watch this film with an open eye for memorable characters, and ear for wonderful dialogue, and a bowl of popcorn. Make sure to set aside time for breaks because this film is an epic at 3 hours and twenty-seven minutes long!