Clear your schedule and get ready for a day at the movies—and some of the best fight sequences of all time. We’ll start with Kurosawa’s undisputed classic. Coming right on the heels of World War II, Seven Samurai is the unforgettably resonant story of a desperate village and how Toshiro Mifune and six other unemployed warriors come to its defense against an army of forty bandits. Much has been written about the influence Kurosawa’s enduring masterpiece had on American Westerns—and the most shining example is John Sturges’s The Magnificent Seven, released only six years later, in which a disparate band of gunfighters (Steve McQueen, Yul Brynner, Charles Bronson) defends a Mexican village from a band of bandits led by Eli Wallach. Kurosawa himself was a fan, presenting a sword to Sturges after seeing the film. Engrossing, exciting, and thought-provoking.
Seven Samurai (Presented in 35mm)
1954. 207 m. Akira Kurosawa. Janus Films. Japan. Japanese with subtitles. NR.
The Magnificent Seven
1960. 128 m. John Sturges. Park Circus. US. English/Spanish. NR.