5 What do you think of farmers? You think they're saints? Hah!severian67 | 07/08/2007 | See all severian67's reviews (15)One of the greatest films ever made, and my all-time number one ever since I first saw it on BBC 2 when I was a sprog. An essentially simple tale of peasant farmers hiring a band of ronin to protect their village from an impending bandit raid, this movie has everything going for it - action, comedy, romance, tragedy, musings on the lot of humanity, beautiful cinematography, a sparkling script, stunning location work, and mesmerising performances from the "Kurosawa-gumi", Akira Kurosawa's core selection of actors with whom he worked again and again. Aside from the legendary Toshiro Mifune's highly-entertaining and eccentric turn as Kikuchiyo, the peasant-turned-ronin (reminiscent of his earlier performance as the bandit in "Rashomon"), there is Takashi Shimura as Kambei, the world-weary and self-effacing leader of the samurai, and Daisuke Kato as Shichiroji, his efficient second-in-command. Minoru Chiaki and Kamatari Fujiwara (who Kurosawa would later cast as the comic peasants Tahei and Mataschichi in "The Hidden Fortress", the twin inspirations for C3PO and R2D2 of "Star Wars" fame) are present as, respectively, the cheerful ronin Heihachi and the weaselly, somewhat creepy villager Manzo. Also look out for Seiji Miyaguchi as the super-cool sword master Kyuzo. Then there's the wonderfully monkey-faced Bokuzen Hidari as the eternally timid and put-upon peasant Yohei. Finally, see if you can spot the famous Japanese actor Tatsuya Nakadai in a blink-and-you'll-miss-him walk-on role as a passing samurai. The first time he'd worked for Kurosawa, but not the last by a long chalk. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one who adores this movie - that's why John Sturges remade it in 1960 as The Magnificent Seven.