Legendary Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa would be 104 years old today if he was still with us. Born on this day, March 23rd in 1910 he passed away September 6th 1998, aged 88.
He was notable for films such as Seven Samurai, Ran, The Hidden Fortress, Yojimbo and many, many more, and was without doubt one of the most influential filmmakers in cinema. Seven Samurai, his story of a band of masterless samurai defending a village from bandits, is his perhaps his most famous achievement.
How influential was he? The Hidden Fortress was the famous inspiration behind George Lucas’ Star Wars (episode IV). Yojimbo was essentially remade by Sergio Leone as A Fistful of Dollars, and by Walter Hill as Last Man Standing with Bruce Willis.
Seven Samurai was remade by Hollywood as The Magnificent Seven with an incredible cast headed by Yul Bryner in 1960. It was also, unofficially, remade as Battle Beyond the Stars in 1980, sometimes referred to as “The Magnificent Seven in space”.
All thirty of his films have been released on DVD whilst Blu-ray releases are starting to roll out too. If you haven’t yet seen any of his films then perhaps we’d recommend starting with Seven Samurai.
The Hidden Fortress