Shichinin no Samurai
(1954), the epic story of a village beset by bandits who turn to seven masterless ronin for protection.
Kurosawa’s masterpiece was inspired by the Westerns of John Ford, so director John Sturges simply returned the favour.
It’s a remarkably faithful return bar the loss of the original's subtle vein of social comment. The biggest differences are a beefed-up role for chief villain Eli Wallach and the understandable decision to switch samurai swords for revolvers.
Moment You Know You're Watching A Hollywood Movie:
If the irrepressible strains of Elmer Bernstein’s fanfare score don’t give the game away with seconds,you’re probably deaf.
If you are deaf (in which case, sorry for being a bit callous), try the Seven's sheer star-wattage: Steve McQueen, Yul Brynner, James Coburn, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn…and the other two.
(Yeah, yeah, we know: Brad Dexter and Horst Buchholz. But they're not exactly household names...)