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The Seven Samurai, Directed by Akira Kurosawa

Toho, April 26, 1954 (Japan)

Screenplay: Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto, and Hideo Oguni

Starring: Takashi Shimura, Toshirô Mifune, Yoshio Inaba, Seiji Miyaguchi, Minoru Chiaki, Daisuke Katô, Isao Kimura, Kamatari Fujiwara, Yoshio Kosugi, Bokuzen Hidari, Keiko Tsushima, and Kokuten Kodo

That such an epic could be made within the constraints of the technology of the times is a marvel. So too is the journey into the depths of dignity. Without it, all else is a house of cards.

Amidst this desperate battleground, wholesome and demonic passions leak into the tombs of broken hearts. For love—forever fragile—is helpless. Born in the soft embrace of dandelion-filled fields of discovery, love cannot escape the divisiveness of its surroundings. It is scorched by its own burning flames. Within the bloody fields of death, the destiny of lovers is not offered a free pass. The universe just keeps on winning, fending off all comers, despite man’s desperate, feeble attempts to stop time.

Kambei Shimada (Takashi Shimura): But, time flies. Before your dream materializes you get gray hair. By that time, your parents and friends are dead and gone.

The last men standing bare the heavy responsibility of such weighted inheritance. As protectors of the spirits, they are keepers of the sacred secrets. They are trusted to not only guard but nurture the cherished memories of the beloved departed: their touch, smiles, the sound of their laughter, the legend of their fight, and their unbreakable courage and undying dignity.