Tuesday, 27 July 2010

(500) Films of Empire - Day 315

50 - Seven Samurai - 4 stars
As expected, this was vastly superior to The Magnificent Seven, the cowboy remake of Kurosawa's samurai epic.
One of the reasons that I wasn't fond of the Western version is because of the lack of characterisation within the seven.
With Samurai, the running time is just over three hours with the final battle taking place in the last half hour so there is plenty of time to get to know the seven samurai, even though the title is incorrect as they point out that the young member of the group is not actually a samurai, just a member of village who wants to fight.
That being said, once again there are a couple of members of the group who get lost in the mix and do not get subplots like Mifune the drunk, Shimura the leader and the young lad who becomes romantically involved with one of the villager's daughter.
The final showdown between the Samurai against the raiders is nicely drawn out and is easier to follow than the hectic gunfight of Magnificent.
If this had been The Five Samurai and been trimmed to about 2.5 hours then this could have been the five star masterpiece that others claim it to be... having said that, Five Samurai is not as catchy a name as Seven Samurai.

Days remaining - 50 Films remaining - 50

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