Everybody knows that Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 masterpiece Seven Samurai is widely considered one of the greatest films of all time, right? But how many of us have actually seen it? Probably a lot fewer than have watched John Sturges’ 1960 Western remake, The Magnificent Seven – not to mention all the other American movies inspired by or riffing on the Japanese original ever since.
The director’s cut of Seven Samurai was not seen in American cinemas until very recently; it ran 207 minutes, and US distributors did not believe that audiences here would sit still for that long. Well, now you’ve got the chance to see the whole thing, just the way that the brilliant Kurosawa intended. The original uncut version will be screened on Tuesday, January 15 at the Rosendale Theatre as part of its “Views from the Edge” series.
Set in 1587, Seven Samurai tells the classic tale of a desperate Japanese farming community that hires seven ronin or masterless samurai to defend it from the repeated predations of bandits, with no pay to offer but rice. Though its battle sequences, filmed from various angles using multiple cameras, are regarded as masterful and highly influential on later action films, Seven Samurai also invests much of its considerable running time into nuanced character development. It stars the great Toshiro Mifune as the young wannabe samurai Kikuchiyo and Takashi Shimura as Kambei, the leader of the small warrior band.
Seven Samurai begins at 7:15 p.m. on January 15. Tickets cost $7 general admission and $5 for Rosendale Theatre Collective members. The Rosendale Theatre is located at 408 Main Street (Route 213), and there is ample parking available both on the street and in the municipal parking lot behind the Theatre. For more information, call (845) 658-8989 or visit https://rosendaletheatre.org.
Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, Tuesday, January 15, 7:15 p.m., $7/$5, Rosendale Theatre, 408 Main Street, Rosendale; (845) 658-8989, https://rosendaletheatre.org.