Friday, August 8, 2008


The Seven Samurai (Shichinin no samurai, 1956) was an amazing film by Japanese master director Akira Kurosawa about seven samurai (including the grizzled, unkempt Toshiro Mifune) who defend a town against marauding bandits. It was a rousing, mythic, influential film that spawned many imitations. This is art.

The Magnificent Seven (1960) was a great American western based on Kurosawa's film--same story, this time in English, with such great character actors as Steve McQueen, Eli Wallach and Yul Brynner. This is entertainment.

The Magnificent Seven is a song based on the western, based on the samurai movie--this time performed by the magnificent Clash--led by punk rabble rouser Joe Strummer. Here they perform it on the Tom Snyder show in 1981. This is rock and roll.

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