The British Film Institute has revealed that it is planning to bring to Blu-ray legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai (1954), starring Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, and Keiko Tsushima. The preliminary release date set by the studio is October 21.
Online retailer Zavvi has also indicated that a Limited SteelBook Edition of Seven Samurai will be available for purchase in October.
Akira Kurosawa's masterpiece tells the story of a group of 17th Century warriors recently detached from the powerful masters who once paid them. Veteran Samurai Kambei (Takashi Shimura) is the leader of the group who are hired by the residents of a village suffering at the hands of a marauding band of thieves. Five of his cohorts are trained warriors, but the sixth, Kikuchiyo (Toshiro Mifune), is actually the son of a farmer, desperate to earn his spurs on the battlefield. The basics of the story served as the blueprint for the western re-make The Magnificent Seven.
Note: In the United States, Seven Samurai is already available on Blu-ray courtesy of The Criterion Collection. See our listing and review of this release here.
Agreed @The Apocalypse, I am very pleased all our North American cousins have the Criterion edition. It is region locked however so this is fab news for us people in Europe. Please remember this is an international site!
I dont think that anyone is complaining. It is just that Criterion editions have proven to have the better picture quality and extras. So I myself, being dutch, will opt for the Criterion edition any time. In a few cases like Tin Drum I even bought both versions. But I understand that if you have no Region Free player it is difficult to have the Criterions so realeses like this can be a very good alternative.
I'm pleased its being made available in the UK and if the money goes to the BFI so much the better. Criterion's technical skills are not in doubt, but at some point it's just enough to own the film. Anything else is gravy
i have the criterion,great transfer...and now the BFI release....can we dream of a even better transfer....i started to dream and pray:)
i honestly dont care about steelbooks,not my thing actually...i only consider double dipping for improved PQ & AQ or extra features i havent got yet on dvd or blu of that particular movie(anny movie i mean i like)
Surprised the UK didn't get this before US, considering the film is supposedly much better known in Europe. Based on the effort Criterion put into restoring the film for the US release, I wouldn't expect any improvement to the presentation, but I'm not familiar enough with BFI to qualify that. They do need to lose the ratings symbol on the front though - that kind of junk kind of defeats the point of collectible packaging.
Great news to see this masterpiece get a region B release. I don't know about the steelbook though, doesn't seem to fit the film, a digibook or boxset would be more appropriate. I love the film so will get it anyway.
If this has some decent extras that are different to the cirterion and a comaprable transfer this may be the one I'll go with to upgrade my previous two criterion DVD versions as I haven't got around in getting the blu yet.