Celebrate the 70th Anniversary of Akira Kurosawa’s ‘Seven Samurai’ with a Trailer for the 4K Restoration — Watch SuperNayr

Akira Kurosawa‘s classic epic “Seven Samurai” is celebrating its 70th anniversary with a 4K restoration and theatrical re-release.

“Seven Samurai” centers on 16th-century Japanese warriors who protect their village from invaders. Toshiro Mifune and Takashi Shimura lead the three-hour feature hailing from legendary auteur Kurosawa. “Seven Samurai” was his third film following “Rashomon” and “Ikiru.” “Seven Samurai” famously debuted at the 1954 Venice Film Festival, where Kurosawa won the Silver Lion for Best Director. 

The 70th anniversary 4K restoration was made possible by Toho Co. Ltd, which released the original film. The restored film debuted at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival; the festival further honored Kurosawa’s contributions to cinema by incorporating a still of “Rhapsody in August” in the official Cannes poster.

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The restoration of “Seven Samurai” will be released in the U.S. by Janus Films. Deadline debuted the trailer.

“Seven Samurai” infamously quadrupled its budget during production, with the shoot taking place across 148 days, spread over a year. Toho Studios was simultaneously funding “Godzilla,” and the dual productions almost put the production company into bankruptcy. The original cut was 207 minutes long, with a truncated version debuting at Venice. Toho Studios also re-edited the film for U.S. audiences, and an almost-original director’s cut clocking in at 203-minute cut finally got a domestic theatrical release in 2002.

The Criterion Collection later issued Kurosawa’s original cut on DVD with a digitally-remastered version in 2005 and a Blu-ray in 2010.

The legacy of “Seven Samurai” has been evident in fellow later epics like 1960 remake “The Magnificent Seven,” “Star Wars,” “The Matrix Revolutions,” “Mad Max: Fury Road,” and even Zack Snyder’s “Rebel Moon.” “Seven Samurai,” besides being a film school staple, also topped the 2018 BBC Culture annual critics’ poll as the best international film of all-time.

Kurosawa’s filmography is also being revisited thanks to Spike Lee’s reimagining of “High and Low” starring Denzel Washington. The 1963 Kurosawa crime film is being remake as an Apple Original Film in partnership with A24.

The 4K restoration of “Seven Samurai” premieres July 5 at the Film Forum in New York and will open July 7 at the American Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles. The feature will also screen at L.A.’s Laemmle Royal theater July 12. Distribution is from Janus Films. Check out the trailer below.

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