The Seven Samurai (1954) represents a lot in the Hollywood film community. It’s influence on the action genre is unrivaled, as it really is the most copied and emulated film. It’s also a very important film in the Asian film community as it really sets the tone for sword fighting, war epics to come. I’ve highlighted the cast here as many of the stunt performers were just given roles in the film as opposed to just doing the stunts. There are moments where the lead characters are doubled, so that is why both actors and stunt performers are listed.
An important note, is regarding the style of the film. Consider the swiftness of the action, and quick editing in the film, but it also changes up with slow motion cut into the fights. It’s the first to establish film techniques that increase the tension and adrenaline jolts to the audience, that many productions would use for years to come. The director, Akira Kurosawa used multiple cameras on the shoot and five assistant directors. It’s easy to see why this is such a popular film even this many years later, it simply is fantastic film-making with exciting action, plot and characters.
The single largest undertaking by a Japanese filmmaker at the time, Seven Samurai was a technical and creative watershed that became Japan’s highest-grossing movie and set a new standard for the industry. Its influence can be most strongly felt in the western The Magnificent Seven (1960), a film specifically adapted from Seven Samurai. Director John Sturges took Seven Samurai and adapted it to the Old West, with the Samurai replaced by gunslingers. Many of The Magnificent Seven’s scenes mirror those of Seven Samurai.
Things to look up (click on item to go to IMDB page or Website):
History of film companies as defined by Wikipedia: Toho Co., Ltd. – is a Japanese film, theater production, and distribution company. It is headquartered in Yūrakuchō, Chiyoda, Tokyo, and is one of the core companies of the Hankyu Hanshin Toho Group. Outside Japan, it is best known as the producer and distributor of many kaiju (monster) and tokusatsu (special effects) movies, the Chouseishin tokusatsu superhero TV franchise, the films of Akira Kurosawa, and the anime films of Studio Ghibli. Its most famous worldwide creation is Godzilla, known as the “King of all Monsters”, featured in 29 films. Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah, Mechagodzilla, and Rodan are described as being Toho’s “Big Five” due to the monsters’ numerous appearances in all three eras of the franchise, as well as spin-offs. Toho has also been involved in the production of numerous anime titles.