The art of movie-making is versatile and wonderful in the way of thematic and ideological coloring due to the genre peculiarities and the manner of representation. The world of movie is rich in the outstanding characters and persons who made and are still making movie art more magnificent, vivid and interesting among other kinds of art.
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One of the most eminent and well-known directors from Japan, Akira Kurosawa presented his masterpiece of cinema with a noble title and plot. It is, of course, “Seven Samurai”. This work is a part of movie classics and was pictured in the year 1954. The plot and the characters of it strive to implement the idea of all times which is incorporated in the extent when strong help weak and provide in return an exchange of what each can give among what is at one’s disposal.
“The magnificent Seven”
Another great movie is “The magnificent Seven” which was edited by John Sturges in the year 1960 and actually repeats the Kurosawa’s film in idea and plot. Moreover, the dialogues of the characters are nearly the same and reflect a great desire of one stratum of people to make life possible for others. The motives of brevity and a huge sense of courage dominate in this film. The fact that good should be victorious notwithstanding how great evil may seem.
First, both movies narrate about the situation in a village where farmers work, but feel oppressed by perpetual rides of bandits willing to have meals and making violent actions towards the population of it. The elders in both cases make up their minds to hire the defenders for farmers to feel saved from the ominous bandits appearing spontaneously and without any good news, in fact. In “Seven Samurai” farmers of the mountain Japanese village are so poor that can only suggest for serving three meals.
This theme is similar in “The Magnificent Seven” where inhabitants of one very small Mexican village are intended to buy guns ofr the defense, but run across one of the former gunslinger, Chris, who makes emphasis on the matter of arms for the farmers. Besides, he points out the need in more number of people to be hired in order to defend the village. The fee is rather small and presents a pittance.
Second, these two movies are considered with the number seven as an optimal quantity for feeling protected or to know that it will be enough. In fact, even in the ancient times people went together with the divine design of everything supposing a number of seven.
In “The Magnificent Seven” Chris says: “You are farmers, not fighters.” (The Magnificent Seven) By these words this hero stresses the idea that only guns accompanied with him are not enough and maintains the problem by taking six more “fighters”. When the culmination moment appears in the film concerning the ride of bandits with their leader Calvera claiming: “Even five won’t give us too much trouble.” (The Magnificent Seven) Chris accompanied with Vin, O’Reilly, Lee up to Chico applies: “There won’t be any trouble if you ride on.” (The Magnificent Seven)
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“Seven Samurai’s” idea is the same. The six samurai were found by the representatives of the village and the seventh is not fully a man possessing the status of samurai, Kikuchiyo. They fought under a very specific and concrete at the same time banner. Once they gathered in the house and one of the samurai, Kambei, being the leader of “seven” showed the picture of six circles with one triangle as a whole entity of their power: “The letter on the bottom means fields, that is farmers, the circles – us!” (Seven Samurai) Then Kikuchiyo, a would-be samurai with temperament trait of character, outlines: “Only six circles. What about me?” (Seven Samurai) At the moment he gets a request of Kambei: “The triangle is you, my dear Kikuchio.” (Seven Samurai)
The contrasting periods of time in both movies depict the difference in time conditioning which in case with samurai was in the middle of 16th century and in case with gunmen it was in the second half of the 18th century. Nonetheless, in both time frameworks the difficulties with a lack of legal power have much in common in Japan as well as in Mexico, its West part known to be too wild for ordinary people.
While Kurosawa’s work has been considered in the light of the influence of Western film and culture, the reverse has also been significant. One of the real treasures exhibited by Kurosawa’s oeuvre, his ability to embrace popular forms such as the action-packed chambara genre and interpret them with intelligence, subtlety and thematic sophistication has been an undoubted inspiration of many non-Japanese filmmakers. (Crogan 2000)
John Sturges’s film was pre-forced by the mastership of Kurosawa and shaped in the manner of classical Westerns which until now inspire the deepest callings in the audience of admirers. The original movie of “Seven Samurai” still distinguishes from “The Magnificent Seven”. Projecting the themes of wining farmers’ trust only due to meals or pittance the characters have some differences in the destinies of the village elders, for example.
In “Samurai” he dies by a bandit’s hand, in “The Magnificent Seven” he stays saved and healthy. Then, as it is seen, while comparing the times and the arms in the first case people of village were sent for the swordsmen; in the second they tended to buy guns and, as a result, hired gunsmen. The extent of samurai coincides due to the investigation of America with emergence of cowboys and gunslingers.
By the way, the film by Kurosawa due to the time when it was edited is also grateful for the aspect of well-photographed episodes which have no special effects and screened in black-and-white colors. The film of Sturges is edited in the colors of habitual Westerns with desert background and gunmen full of brevity and courage. It is rather difficult for one to evaluate the more significance among two examples in terms of main characters’ status or class. This point concerns the personal preferences of the admirers.
Thus, Akira Kurosawa’s film “Seven Samurai” and John Sturges’s movie “The Magnificent Seven” are the works which represent the classical manner of execution and play of actors ever known in the history of cinema. These two movies are sequentially connected in the theme and idea, because the first one is the original Japanese source and the second one is the American imitation on the entire idea of “ubiquitous good” having roots in the hearts of strong people so that to defend weak ones. The characters, plots and even dialogues seem to be the same, unless the facts of time prospects, and peculiarities in the destinies of some characters.
“Seven Samurai” movie, 1954 Japan, 200 mins.
“The Magnificent Seven” movie, 1960.
Crogan, Patrick. Seven Samurai. Sydney, 2000. Web.
Arnold, Gary. Seven Samurai Still Gritty and Great at 50. World and I, Vol. 19, 2004.