Seven Samurai, The ( Shichinin no samurai )
"Seven Samurai" by Yojimbo
A rural village in feudal Japan decides to fight back against the bandits who have been raiding them by hiring samurai from a nearby town. One of the many remarkable things about Akira Kurosawa's astonishing historical epic is the fact that at nearly 3 and a half hours it never drags for a single second of it's length. Not one bit. That fact alone is testament to Kurosawa's incredible skill as both writer and director. The balance of artful visuals and narrative is perfect and every character is fascinating and perfectly played, especially Toshiro Mifune's gleeful and almost feral glory hound and Takashi Shimura's good hearted but wily Ronin. And if like me you still wanted more after its not inconsiderable running time, its Hollywood remake The Magnificent Seven is a damn fine film in its own right. One of the pinnacles of world cinema.