Akira Kurosawa is a name that every film lover knows by heart, the influential filmmaker created works that redefined the course of action films. In his long career spanning over 57 years, he created many legendary films like ‘Rashomon’ and ‘Ran’ but one film that truly showed his calibre was ‘Seven Samurai’.
Here are some unknown facts about the cult classic: -
1). The Film Was Originally Titled ‘Six Samurai’
When the first draft of the film was created (by Akira Kurosawa, Hideo Oguni and Shinobu Hashimoto), the story was about six samurais defending a village of farmers but Akira thought that presenting six sober, calm and one tone samurai can be a little boring and that is when he introduced another samurai in the film who’s more empathetic and emotional. This role was played by Toshiro Mifune, who was originally cast to play the character of swordsman Kyuzo.
2). The Production Of The Film Was Shut Down Twice
Yes, you heard it right! The classic film might not have reached to us but thank god it did not happen. Toho Studios knew that the film will take a lot of money to be made but as Kurosawa’s vision started expanding, the budget started growing, which made Toho Studios shelve the shooting process as they were simultaneously shooting for ‘Godzilla’ as well. There came a time when the studio was pushed on the verge of bankruptcy but after facing several obstacles, the film finally got made and we couldn’t be much happier.
3). A Number Of Versions Of The Film Were Released
Kurosawa’s original cut of 207 minutes was released in selected theatres of Japan, later the film was cut down and the shorter version got released in second and third-grade theatres. The film was re-edited for Venice Film Festival, where the first half was cut off on a huge margin and it caused a lot of confusion for the viewers and they highly criticised Kurosawa. In 1991, a 190-minute version was theatrically released in the U.K. and a 203-minute version was released in the U.S in 2001; both the versions met with critical acclaim.
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