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->''"This is the nature of war. By protecting others, you save yourselves."''
-->-- '''Kambei Shimada'''

''Seven Samurai'' is a 1954 Japanese film directed by Creator/AkiraKurosawa under Creator/{{Toho}}; it starred his longtime collaborators Takashi Shimura and ToshiroMifune in two of the lead roles. It is considered by many Western critics to be the finest Japanese film of all time, and a few of them consider it to be the finest film ever made, period.

Menaced by an army of bandits and on the brink of starvation, a village in medieval Japan decides to hire a small, motley collection of {{Ronin}} to defend them. Pity they have nothing to hire them ''with'' but rice...

It has been remade, homaged, or flat out ripped off numerous times, in genres ranging from western (''Film/TheMagnificentSeven'') to science fiction (''Film/BattleBeyondTheStars'', ''Anime/SamuraiSeven'', ''[[Recap/StarWarsTheCloneWarsS2E17BountyHunters Star Wars: The Clone Wars]]'') and, if you're willing to stretch a bit, anthropomorphized animals (''[[WesternAnimation/ABugsLife A Bug's Life]]'') and goofy comedies (''Film/ThreeAmigos'').

This film has a serious claim to not only being the forebear to nearly ''every'' getting-the-team-together-for-a-mission movie -- whether it's a HitchhikerHeroes, RagtagBunchOfMisfits, PuttingTheBandBackTogether, or even TheCaper -- but also to being the first ''modern'' action movie. While it wasn't the first movie to use such tropes as [[SlowMotionFall dramatic slow motion]] or [[ResignedToTheCall a reluctant hero]]—Kurosawa himself had been influenced by the films of Creator/JohnFord—it was the first to bring them together in such a way that would be instantly recognizable and familiar to the present-day audience.

This film -- very frequently appearing in Top Ten of All Time lists -- is a TropeMaker or early example for many tropes.

----
!!''Seven Samurai'' provides examples of the following tropes:
* AlliterativeName: Heihachi Hayashida.
* AlliterativeTitle
* AllWomenAreLustful: It's Shino that's trying to cajole Katsushiro into consummating their affair, rather than the reverse.
* AndYourRewardIsEdible: The peasants can only offer food to the samurai they hire to defend them from bandits. Even still, this means that the peasants don't have enough rice for themselves and must subsist on millet.
* AnnoyingArrows: Inverted. Not many people are shot with arrows, but it's an instant death one-hit kill.
* AnyoneCanDie: [[spoiler:Four of the seven, and even the comic relief.]]
* ArtisticLicenceHistory: Played with both ways. The film portrays the main samurai of the cast as all being brave and noble, but also acknowledges that the majority of them were brutal thugs who uses their power of higher social class to oppress the weak. Kurosawa said he did this because he's descended from a samurai family, and wanted in some way to apologize for his ancestor's actions. The Japanese still regard this film as a classic, but they were ''not'' happy with him deciding to speak the truth on this historical matter.
* AttackAttackAttack: The bandits fight to the last man without ever considering that there might be easier places to rob. The final bandit, hiding with the women, still sees fit to shoot at the samurai and betray his position rather than simply flee. This is partially explained by the bandit leader executing a couple of men who try to flee. We never learn why the bandit leader is so gung-ho, though.
* AvengersAssemble: If not the first movie to detail a recruitment of heroes to fight for a cause, it's definitely the one to [[TropeCodifier codify it]].
* AwesomeByAnalysis:
** Gorobei only needs to take one look at the footprints outside the (seemingly) empty house to realize there are more people in the house, and being so empty means that someone is probably standing behind the door, and thus waiting to hit him. He instantly calls Kambei out on it.
** During the duel between Kyuzo and the unnamed ronin, Kambei mutters that it's obvious who would win, even though the duellists came to a draw before. It is another indication to the audience that Kambei is a far more cunning warrior than his demeanour would suggest.
* AwesomeMcCoolname: Gorobei lampshades this by explaining that despite his name, he isn't really that tough.
* BadassAdorable: Shichiroji is short, chubby, jovial and can skewer you like a fish with his BladeOnAStick.
* BadassBoast: During the final battle, Kikuychio claims that he has a lot of swords because he won't kill many bandits with just one.
* BadassGrandpa: Kambei is the oldest.
* BadassMustache: Kambei. [[http://www.oocities.org/azuchiwind/seven_samurai_shimada.jpg Aw yeeah.]]'
* BadHabits: Kambei's introductory scene has him rescuing a child from a hostage situation by cutting off his topknot and having monks shave his head and lend him some robes. In his guise as a monk, he brings food so that the hostage-taker will lower his guard, and then rushes in and kills the hostage-taker and saves the child.
* BaldOfAwesome: Again, Kambei is an old, badass samurai, and he has not one hair on his head.
** Subverted in-story, as Kambei shaves his head early on to impersonate a monk in his EstablishingCharacterMoment, something [[ImportantHaircut no honorable (read: proud) samurai would do.]]
* BatmanColdOpen: One of the earliest examples of this trope in Kambei's introduction -- rescuing a peasant boy taken hostage. This serves as his EstablishingCharacterMoment.
* BattleInTheRain: Arguably the TropeMaker for film.
* BavarianFireDrill: So the entire village is completely deserted when the Samurai arrive, terrified that their daughters will fall head over heels for the exotic warriors. [[spoiler: Kikuchiyo flushes them out by ringing the alarm bell as if the bandits were coming.]]
* BerserkButton:
** Mentioning wives or marriage around Rikichi. [[spoiler:It's because his village traded his wife along with grain and horses for safety from the bandits when they attacked the village last time.]]
** Kikuchiyo will flip out spectacularly if commoners are being endangered.
** Manzo is absolutely ''paranoid'' that his daughter, Shino, will be seduced by a samurai: he hacks off her hair, orders her to pretend to be a boy [[spoiler: and beats her when he discovers that she'd slept with Katsushiro]].
* {{BFS}}: Kikuchiyo's nodachi is almost as big as he is.
* TheBigGuy: Kyuzo and Kikuchiyo are different types: Kyuzo is the silent, highly skilled type and Kikuchiyo is the large (Toshiro Mifune was 5'9", the tallest of the actors playing the samurai) BoisterousBruiser.
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler: The village and its people are saved. But four of the samurai are dead, and Katsushirou cannot remain with Shinou. Kambei, reviewing the scene of their victory, sadly remarks "Once again, we are defeated."]]
* BlessedWithSuck: Being samurai may make you top of the social class but it's meaningless without money to back it up. The virtues samurai have sworn to uphold also limit their lifestyle choices, like their choice of employment or spouse.
* BloodKnight: Kyuzo to test his warrior skills; [[spoiler:Kikuchiyo because he wants revenge.]]
* BloodlessCarnage: Many people die, but you won't see a drop of blood or physical wounds of any kind. The fast editing during the battles makes this somewhat easier to hide. This was 1954 after all.
* BlueBlood: The samurai, naturally. [[spoiler: Most notable with the rich but inexperienced Katsushiro, and least with the naturally humble Heihachi. And it doesn't apply to Kikuchiyo no matter how many fourteen-year-olds he impersonates.]]
* BoomerangBigot: Kikuchiyo hates farmers. [[spoiler:It turns out he's a farmer's son]].
* BreakTheCutie: Katsushiro starts off as a sheltered young man wanting to prove himself and seeking glory. The events of the movie introduce him to the consequences of a forbidden love affair and [[WarIsHell the horrors of battle]]. By the end he seems a much more conflicted, ambivalent young man.
* BringHelpBack: A couple of farmers go to a city in order to enlist help from masterless samurai. Because they're poor, the elder advises them to find "hungry samurai", and eventually they do.
* ButtMonkey: Subverted with Kikuchiyo. The other samurai mock him repeatedly, arguably Heihachi most of all, [[spoiler:but eventually accept him as a teammate. Kikuchiyo performs heroically during the final attack and even [[RedemptionEqualsDeath earns a samurai's death]].]]
** Yohei [[TheChewToy suffers a lot more humiliation]] throughout the movie, and becomes the ButtMonkey to ''Kikuchiyo''.
* CharacterTics: Kikuchiyo has a habit of scratching parts of his body, something [[Film/{{Rashomon}} Tajomaru]] before him and [[Film/{{Yojimbo}} Sanjuro]] after him have in common. Kambei has a tendency to rub his shaven head a lot, which counts as a ThinkingTic.
* CentralTheme: Who has it better, the peasants who live normal but undistinguished lives or the warriors who live exciting but violent lives?
* CombatPragmatist: Kambei shaves his head within his first scene (to samurai, this was a symbol of shame) so he can trick a bandit into thinking he is a monk and save a child. Heihachi mentions how he usually runs away from battle when he's about to die. Other samurai mention less-than-noble (from the standpoint of a samurai) tactics used for survival. The film takes place before the Edo period, when samurai really took HonorBeforeReason seriously.
** When the farmers of the abandoned outlying houses try to desert the militia because they feel marginalized, Kambei threatens to personally execute them rather than let them go, citing that [[DividedWeFall the individual who fights for the individual not only dies as an individual, but endangers the rest of the group]] (and kills morale before the fight even starts).
* CoolOldGuy: Kambei, although the village elder deserves mention.
* DeathWail: Katushiro sobs openly at all the carnage after the final battle.
* DebutQueue: We meet the Samurai one at a time as they assemble the team.
* {{Deconstruction}}: These are not the flawless samurai of poems and legends. They are real, flawed people.
** In RealLife, being a samurai sucked. They weren't allowed to change jobs to earn money. They could only rely on their martial prowess to make a living. And the possibility of death is very high.
*** The HonorBeforeReason trope is symbolically called out during the opening, where Kambei does not hesitate to shame himself by shaving his head, since it saves a boy's life. Peasants are also shown to have their own virtues that the samurai openly envy.
** The final decisive battle is quick and the opposite of grand. Before you know it [[spoiler:the bandits are all dead and two of the five remaining samurai have fallen in battle]]. The entire thing is played as realistically as possible, [[WarIsHell from beginning to end]].
* DecoyProtagonist: Played with. For the first thirty minutes, the film follows four peasants tasked with hiring samurai. Once they recruit Kambei, the story focuses mainly on the samurai.
* DefiledForever: Shino's father Manzo loses his mind after finding out she slept with Katsushiro.
* {{Determinator}}:
** Kikuchiyo. [[spoiler:Even after getting shot, he walks slowly towards the bandit leader and runs him through before dying]].
** [[spoiler:He infiltrates the bandit gang and goes to get one of the arquebuses from the bandit guardsman.]]
** A woman manages to carry her child from a burning house even after being stabbed in the back and promptly dies at the feet of the astonished samurai. Kambei remarks, "Such [[HeroicWillpower willpower!]]"
* DontMakeMeDestroyYou: Kyuzou doesn't like killing people; he's also considered one of the finest swordsmen around. This is seen early in the movie when he is shown dueling; he begs his opponent not to challenge him with real swords, because the opponent would quite certainly die. [[spoiler:He does]].
* DoWithHimAsYouWill: Kikuchiyo and Kyuzou capture a bandit and immediately have to protect him from the (justifiably) murderous villagers. However, when they are approached by the oldest woman of the town, who lost every member of her family to bandits and has since been almost unwilling to continue living, they quietly step aside and allow her her vengeance.
* DreamTeam: The main team consist of some of the best samurai around, plus two rookies.
* DressingAsTheEnemy: Kikuchiyo sees a [[IndyPloy quick opportunity]] to grab one of the muskets by quickly plundering a fallen bandit's gear, then walking right up to the musketeer and talking to him. The musketeer eventually realizes no bandit would carry a 5 1/2 foot nodachi. [[spoiler: It doesn't save him. And unfortunately, this gets Gorobei and Yohei killed in the ensuing attack.]]
* DoubleEntendre: Kikuchiyo to the musketeer bandit: ''Don't worry. All your troubles are soon over''. [[spoiler: Kikuchiyo beheads him with his BFS.]]
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler: Rikichi's wife.]]
* DwindlingParty: [[spoiler:Four of the seven samurai are bumped off throughout the story, starting fairly early]].
* EndOfAnAge: [[spoiler:The samurai who die are killed by]] firearms.
* EnthusiasmVersusStoicism: Goes all the way from Kyūzō who probably has icewater in his veins over to Kikuchiyo, who's a hop and a skip away from being stark raving loony.
* EnsignNewbie: Katsushirou
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: ''All'' of the seven get one.
** Kambei's moment, in which he shaves his head to impersonate a monk, shows how he doesn't place much stock in honor or fair play if an innocent life is on the line. He rubs his bald head throughout the film to remind the audience of it.
** Kikuchiyo is quickly established as a ruffian and buffoon, who shows up completely wasted in his attempt to join the team of samurai and tries to pass himself off as one of them with a scroll he stole, but he gets his moment later on, when he uses a simple false alarm to bring the samurai and the farmer militia together.
** Katsushiro seems like a simple starry-eyed novice; his WealthyPhilanthropist moment comes when the peasants' rice (their intended pay to the samurai, and rations for the trip home) is stolen, and he donates enough money to cover their costs.
** Gorobei takes one look at a SchmuckBait doorway, and immediately deduces what's going on. Kambei is impressed.
** Kyouzo's moment comes when his unnamed duelling opponent demands a rematch with real swords, In one line he shows utter confidence, compassion, and a certain lack of diplomacy: "No use. You'd die."
** Heihachi, who is found woodchopping, admits with cheerful honesty that he's not very good as a warrior. Yet he still agrees to join the mission.
** Shichiroji is an old war buddy of Kambei's. He's asked to join this nearly suicidal fight simply to fight alongside his friend once more, and he can't say yes fast enough.
* EpicMovie:
** This cost about $500,000 and a year to produce. Most films at the time took 1 month to film and cost $70,000! The combined production of this movie and ''Film/{{Gojira}}'' (budgeted at an estimated $1,000,000) nearly drove Creator/{{Toho}} into bankruptcy.
** Some cuts of this film are rather long. For example, the DVD version released by the British Film Institute describes itself as "the most complete version of the film available," and lasts three hours ten minutes.
* EveryoneMeetsEveryone: This is how the samurai are introduced.
* EyepatchOfPower: One of the bandits sports one.
* FakeWeakness: Kambei says:
--> "A good fort needs a gap. The enemy must be lured in. So we can attack them. If we only defend, we lose the war."
* FieldOfBlades: Kikuchiyo invokes this by planting five swords around for the final battle. If one breaks, he wants back-ups nearby. He goes through all of them.
* FluffyTheTerrible: Kikuchiyo is named after the fake papers he has to "prove" he's of noble birth. Unbeknown to him and to the amusement of the others, Kikuchiyo is the name of a little girl. He still kicks lots of ass.
* ForegoneConclusion: Kyuzo had no objection to duelling a random stranger with bamboo sticks. When his angry opponent insists on a rematch with real swords, he doesn't mince words.
--> '''Kyuzo:''' No. You'll die.
* TheGadfly: Heihachi is a joker and a clown who likes to tease people sometimes. He's particularly fond of picking on Kikuchiyo. He is the one who coined "Kikuchiyo" as the samurai wannabe's new permanent name, as a reminder of the drunken scene that the man made the night before the samurai left for the village..
* GallowsHumor: What Shichiroji tells Kambei after their battle is over.
--> "[[spoiler: Looks like we've survived again]]"
* GenderBlenderName: Kikuchiyo is actually a ''girl's'' name. (Actually two girls' names in one). It helps that the drunken, illiterate, then-nameless wannabe samurai picked out his name at random.
* GenreSavvy: The samurai at various points of the movie, but Kikuchiyo is the only one who truly understands the psychology of the farmers.
** Old man Gisaku told Rikichi and Yohei to recruit four samurai, expecting them to return with ten. When asked why he lowballed the number, he explains if he had instructed to recruit ten samurai, they'd have brought back fifteen (which they would not be able to afford).
* GetAHoldOfYourselfMan: Kikuchiyo when Rikichi breaks down crying at [[spoiler: Heihachi's]] funeral.
* HaventYouSeenXBefore: When Gorobei recruits Heihachi chopping wood:
--> '''Heihachi''': Haven't you ever seen anyone cut firewood before?
* TheHeart:
** Heihachi is the jokester of the team, and specifically brought in to raise morale despite being 'average' in skill (but still better than Kikuchiyo). [[spoiler: He's the first to die.]]
** Kikuchiyo evolves into the new conscience of the team, though. He's the one who builds a moral connection between the farmers and samurai, and [[spoiler:it's that connection that's lost when he is killed in battle]].
* HeroicBSOD:
** Kikuchiyo suffers from this [[spoiler: after his glory seeking results in the deaths of one of the samurai and many of the villagers, particularly his bumbling assistant Yohei]].
** Katsushiro as well at the end of the battle when [[spoiler: Kyuzo is killed.]]
* HonorBeforeReason: [[spoiler:Rikichi's wife]] does not care about the fire at the bandit camp that she is in. She is so [[DefiledForever ashamed over what happened to her]] [[spoiler:she runs right back into the flames when she sees Rikichi trying to rescue her.]]
* HotBlooded: Kikuchiyo is a loud and boisterous glory seeker.
* HypocriticalHumor: At one point Katsushiro is lazily picking flowers in the mountains when he happens across a young woman dressed as a boy (Shino), also picking flowers. He angrily tells her that an able-bodied young man should not be picking flowers at a time like this... emphasizing his point by gesturing with the flower he's just picked.
* ImportantHaircut:
** Kambei cuts his hair (a sign of his samurai status) in his first scene to rescue a child hostage, proving he cares more about life than personal dignity.
** Manzo, worried about womanizing samurai coming to town, tries to cut his daughter Shino's hair and disguise her as a boy. [[spoiler:It doesn't work. Good news is, the just-as-innocent Katsushiro is the one who finds Shino and begins a humorously sweet courtship with her.]]
* InterclassRomance: Katsushiro and Shino but they can't be together because she is a peasant.
* {{Intermission}}: It was a long movie: an intermission occurs once the samurai and villagers have begun to train, and cuts away to reveal that harvest time has arrived.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold:
** Kikuchiyo may be abrasive and loud, but he's deeply empathetic towards the farmers' plight and gets very emotional when he feels that they have been done injustice in some way.
** Heihachi is a mild-mannered, well-intentioned man whose remarks are either made at Kikuchiyo's expense or unintentionally provoke a DudeNotFunny reaction.
* KatanasAreJustBetter: Averted, as there's little they can do against muskets at range. The peasants also use long spears against the sword-wielding bandits.
* KidSamurai: Katsushiro is the youngest of the seven and only beginning the samurai way.
* KnightErrant: The samurai fit this to a T.
* KnightInShiningArmor: Subverted. The samurai are enraged when they discover that the villagers whom they are defending have in the past sometimes killed samurai escaping from battles and stripped them of their armor and weapons. As the other samurai begin muttering about how they'd like to slaughter the entire village, Kikuchiyo [[spoiler:(who was born a commoner)]] angrily reminds them that it was living under samurai rule that forced the villagers to live like that in the first place. This case of WriterOnBoard is widely held to be an apology by Kurosawa, who was from a family with samurai heritage.
* LargeHam: Kikuchiyo again. His presence is bigger than the other six put together.
* LastBreathBullet: [[spoiler:At the climax, all but two of the bandits are dead, and while the remaining samurai are trying to ascertain if there are any left, the Big Bad manages to shoot and kill two of the remaining heroes before being killed himself]].
* LineOfSightName: Kikuchiyo got his name from a scroll he mysteriously happened to have with him that clearly wasn't his, and pointed to his name at random.
* TheMagnificentSevenSamurai: Trope Maker. 'Seven warriors defend a village from bandits' has become a template used in many places.
* AManIsNotAVirgin/ ARealManIsAKiller: Katsushiro spends most of the movie as Kambei's attendant and messenger and not allowed to participate in battle (even Kikuchiyo is allowed to fight). By the eve of the final battle, [[spoiler: he sleeps with Shiro]], and the next day, Kambei lets him fight and he kills his first man. [[BreakTheCutie Neither fills him with the sense of manhood that he had expected.]]
* ManipulativeEditing: How Kyuzou is shown to be such a great swordsman. The actor was terrible at it, but clever editing made him look awesome.
** Kyuzo's actor also had no experience with riding horses. ToshiroMifune, on the other hand, was a legitimately skilled swordsman and horse rider. In the scene where the samurai ride to scout out the bandit camp, Kikuchiyo was intentionally staged as an idiot with his horse to disguise the other actor's lack of skill.
** Also when the villagers try to [[spoiler: execute the captured bandit]], the samurai are holding back the entire crowd. Realistically, there was no possible way the samurai could keep the entire mob away from the captive, but careful close-ups and choreography made it look realistic.
* TheMario: The samurai have their own specialities, but Kambei is pretty good in all those fields as well. He's a damn fine swordsman, but [[MasterSwordsman Kyuzo is the best fighter]]; he looks at morale from the big picture while [[DrillSergeantNasty Shichiroji]] is good at personally motivating the men; he's good with a bow, but [[TheArcher Gorobei is the designated archer]]; and while he's a great tactician and strategist, Kikuchiyo is the TheSocialExpert, and the [[TheHeart true conscience]] to remind the samurai what they're truly fighting for.
* MasterSwordsman: Kyūzō is the best example. Kambei certainly counts as well. Subverted by Kikuchiyo, who wields the impractically long odachi and takes five katana as "reserves" should his sword break while killing the bandits.
* MoodWhiplash: The [[spoiler:first samurai]]'s burial scene goes through no fewer than four intense emotions in less than 30 seconds.
* MookDepletion: The eponymous samurai learn approximately 40 bandits will attack the town they are defending come harvest time. They spend time training the villagers, staging raids on sleeping bandits, creating fortifications and traps, picking off the problematic bandits with muskets (the bandits have muskets, making them very dangerous to the samurai), and so on in order to deplete the bandits. Kambei, the oldest and wisest of the samurai, even says "We must reduce them," in the English subtitles.
* MustNotDieAVirgin: [[spoiler:Katsushiro and Shino realize it's now or never.]]
* MutualKill: [[spoiler:Kikuchiyo and the bandit leader kill each other]].
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Kikuchiyo has this reaction when his decision to leave his post for a commando raid on the bandit camp ends up getting several people, including [[spoiler: Gorobei and Yohei]] killed in the ensuing counterattack.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: See MyGodWhatHaveIDone above.
** When Rikichi tries to go into the bandits' burning camp to try and save his wife, [[spoiler: Heihachi is killed dragging him to safety]]. Rikichi understandably feels terrible about it afterwards.
* NoIndoorVoice: Kikuchiyo. Never is this more clear than when the 7 visit an old lady. Heihachi even asks him, "Why the hell are you always screaming?"
* NoRespectGuy: Kikuchiyo is a bumbling wannabe samurai who is a complete laughing stock of his companions, especially [[TheGadfly Heihachi]]. No matter what he tries, he looks like an idiot in front of everyone. Though he does earn a little bit of respect once in a while [[spoiler: and after he dies, he is buried with his sword like the other three samurai casualties]].
* NonIndicativeName: The seven heroes are composed of six ''ronin'' and a peasant.
* NumberTwo: Shichuroji is a born second-in-command.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: While Kikuchiyo is blundering and awkward, and makes some fatally stupid mistakes throughout the film, he's surprisingly insightful towards the class differences between the farmers and samurai, and helps both parties to sort them out.
* OneHitKill: See SingleStrokeBattle. There are also several cases where swords, spears, arrows, and (particularly) bullets are immediately lethal.
* TheOutsideWorld: The peasant village is isolated by geography - peasants have to stay near their crops - except for when wars pass back and forth. It is the center of the whole movie and everyone else is exotic and somewhat scary to them.
* PluckyComicRelief:
** Heihachi Hayashida, who lacks skill, is recruited in hopes he can be this during adversity. However [[spoiler:he is the first one killed before the big battle]].
** Kikuchiyo serves as this due to his role as the ButtMonkey through most of the film.
** Yohei, the duck-footed, bumbling little old man, plays the role well - before suddenly becoming a SacrificialLion.
* PyrrhicVictory: The samurai succeed. But it's debatable whether they ''won...''
--> '''Kambei:''' So, again we are defeated. The farmers have won. Not us.
* TheQuietOne: Kyūzō rarely says a word, and when he must, he only uses a few.
* RapePillageAndBurn: Samurai as a whole have done a lot of this. It's why the peasants have turned against them.
* RatedMForManly: A movie about {{Samurai}} fighting bandits and one of them romances a local girl.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: In possibly the most emotionally-charged scene of the movie, Kikuchiyo delivers one to the farmers, then turns around and delivers an equally scathing one to the samurai, setting up TheReveal.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler: Kikuchiyo abandons his contingent of farmers, leading to Yohei's and Gorobei's deaths. He makes up for it during the FinalBattle by rescuing the village women and killing the bandits' leader, before dying of a gunshot wound inflicted by said leader.]]
* TheReveal: [[spoiler:Kikuchiyo is revealed to be a common-born farmer's son. This explains his reactions to the villagers, lack of training, and his unwitting assumption of a child's name. A thirteen-year-old girl's, no less]]
** [[spoiler:The villagers either scavenged weapons and armor from dead samurai, or killed samurai and stripped them of their belongings.]]
* {{Ronin}}: The "seven samurai" are ronin, samurai with no master, [[spoiler:and Kikuchiyo's technically a peasant]].
* RuleOfThree: The doorway gag in the village. Specifically, the peasants invite various samurai to Kambei's inn room to 'discuss' the job, and Katsushiro's hiding just inside the door ready to hit them with a stick (to test their skills). The first applicant walks right in and gets smacked. The ''second'' is so fast that he actually dodges the blow and disarms Katsushiro... but he isn't willing to stay. The third (Gorobei) stops in front of the doorway, looks through at Kambei, and says with a smile, "Please! No pranks."
* TheRuntAtTheEnd: Katsuhiro tagging along with the much older samurai. Of course, Kikuchiyo is the real odd one out of that group.
* {{Samurai}}: Technically, like the Ronin entry above notes, they're not ''really'' samurai: but all seven are still striving to follow bushido.
* SamuraiPonytail: All seven feature the short-and-straight version, except the drunken badass portrayed by Mifune, who has a short-and-messy version. Kambei's hair, sadly, is [[IDidWhatIHadToDo sacrificed to a greater goal.]]
* SatelliteCharacter: Out of all the Samurai, Shichiroji gets the least to do.
* SceneryPorn: It is Kurosawa, after all. Only natural lighting and quite minimalistic.
* SchmuckBait: Kambei leaves a gap in the village's defences to allow the bandits a way into the village, which the villagers can then close off after 1 or 2 bandits enter and pick them off. Despite seeing the fortifications, being totally outnumbered, and knowing that the villagers have been trained to fight them, the bandits still rush the gap and get slaughtered.
* ScreamingWarrior: Kikuchiyo, going with his boisterous personality.
* ShooOutTheClowns: Comic relief villager Yohei [[spoiler: is killed shortly before the final battle]].
* ShoutOut: The bandit leader and his lieutenant wear headgear that makes them look like [[UsefulNotes/DateMasamune Date Masamune]]. One of them even has an eyepatch.
* TheSiege: One happens to the village. This one is over very quickly.
* SingleStrokeBattle: Early in the film, Kyūzō is seen holding a duel with another swordsman. They face off, neither moving for some time - then there is a sudden charge, Kyūzō swings, his opponent falls to the ground, dead. It's possibly the most famous SSB in film history. Some argue that it is the TropeCodifier, if not TropeMaker, for SSB.
** Later in the movie, Kambei does this as well, but against ''horsemen''. [[spoiler: He wins.]]
* SlowMotionFall: A pioneering example is used when Kyuzo kills his opponent in a duel.
* StarCrossedLovers: Either [[spoiler:Katsushiro and Shino]] or [[spoiler:Katsushiro and Kyūzō]], depending on your interpretation. Also possible is [[LoveTriangle all three]].
* TheStoic: Kyūzō has an unshakeable composure, although he's seen smiling and laughing with the others, usually when there's a joke at Kikuchiyo's expense.
** During his first battle, while his opponent fidgets nervously and moves back and forth, Kyūzō barely moves at all, and when he does, it's calmly and with confidence.
** NotSoStoic: When it is revealed [[spoiler:the villagers scavenged weapons and armor off dead/dying samurai, Kyuzo is the first to say that he wants to avenge them by killing the villagers]].
* TakingYouWithMe: [[spoiler:Kikuchiyo kills the bandit leader before dying of a fatal gunshot wound.]]
* TheTeamWannabe: Katsushiro and Kikuchiyo approach this trope from opposite directions; the former is a child that wants to be a samurai while the latter [[spoiler: is an adult peasant that pretends to be a samurai.]]
* TechnicianVersusPerformer: Kyūzō and Kikuchiyo are the extremes respectively of this trope in terms of samurai; the former is a quiet perfectionist who practices his art for the sheer love of it - while the latter is a natural talent who loudly mocks his foes and basks in the glory of victory.
* ThanksForTheMammaries: Played for drama. Katsushiro realizes that Shino is a girl when accidentally feels her breast.
* ThemeNaming: With the exception of Kambei all samurai have numbers in their names. Katsu''shi''ro: 4, ''Go''robei: 5, ''Shichi''roji: 7, Hei''hachi'': 8, ''Kyū''zō: 9 (the kanji is different but the pronunciation is the same), Kiku''chi''yo: 1000. Probably intentional, but leaves one wondering why Kambei is an exception.
* ThrowingYourSwordAlwaysWorks: Played with. [[spoiler:Kyūzō]] does this, but only to show the others where his attackers are hiding [[spoiler:before he dies]].
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: Kikuchiyo prepares for the last battle by stabbing several swords into the ground. "I can't kill enough with just ''one'' sword!" After his signature nodachi breaks, he starts to use his spare swords until only two remain.
* TookALevelInBadass: All the villagers, really, who greet the news of the bandits by literally hanging their heads in despair, but who under the samurai become a disciplined fighting force and successfully defend the village. However, Yohei stands out. After spending most of the movie vacillating between LovableCoward and plain old coward--he advocates surrendering to the bandits, he wants to go home when the rice is stolen, he looks so ridiculous with a spear that everyone bursts out laughing--he stands his ground, kills one of the bandits, and dies during the final battle.
--> '''Yohei''': (last words) I defended my post.
* TrainingThePeacefulVillagers: TropeMaker
* TranslationYes: One of the peasants expresses his uncertainty about what Kambei is planning with a fairly long sentence. The subtitle boils it down to, "I'm confused."
* TraumaticHaircut: Manzo cuts his daughter's hair to disguise her as boy to protect her from the samurai.
* UnbuiltTrope: This movie subverts or deconstructs many tropes, but only because ''they hadn't become tropes yet.'' For instance, the villagers aren't ''utterly'' helpless - they simply [[TrainingThePeacefulVillagers need leaders]]. The seven samurai aren't [[BoringInvincibleHero invincible warriors]] ''just'' because they're {{Samurai}}. The bandits are murderous thieves, but not faceless {{Mook}}s - they're shown relaxing, complaining, weeping in terror as they run for their lives... And, of course, since the GoryDiscretionShot hadn't been invented yet, it isn't subverted. WarIsGlorious, on the other hand, is a trope that ''did'' exist, and the movie subverted ''that'' pretty thoroughly.
* UngratefulTownsfolk: The samurai, after saving the village, are given nothing more than millet, while the beautiful women of the village gorge themselves on rice, and Katushiro, who loved Shino, ends up alone.
* VictoriousLoser: Inverted. The samurai may have won the battle and their reason for going to the village, but don't gain anything for themselves. As Kambei points out the townspeople are prospering and planting while singing and nothing but cold graves or hunger and the road await the samurai. Saved from being a Downer Ending by Kambei's wise outlook and the amazing heroism of the seven.
* WarIsHell: There is no glorious charge, no clever one-liners, no climactic swordfight. There is mud, and blood, and the squeals of men impaled on spears. And the corpses of friends.
* WarriorPoet: Kyūzō, the most skilled samurai of the group, sits studying a wildflower while he waits to ambush some of the bandits.
* WeaponTombstone: [[spoiler: The graves of the four fallen samurai are marked with their own swords. Yohei's is marked with his spear.]]
* WeHelpTheHelpless: The film gives a somewhat ambivalent and often cynical treatment of this.
* WhamShot: When Kikuchiyo is training the farmers, they all have simple bamboo spears... except for Yohei who seemingly grabbed a proper spear out of nowhere.
* WhenItRainsItPours: Used quite effectively during the final battle.
* {{Wipe}}: Used many, many times by Kurosawa to transition from scene to scene.
* WithFriendsLikeThese: Kikuchiyo and Heihachi frequently bicker and argue throughout the entire first act. Although after Heihachi accidentally offends Rikichi, he discusses the incident with Kikuchiyo and the two agree on something for once.
* TheWomenAreSafeWithUs: Manzo is so terrified that his daughter will be raped by the Samurai that he cuts off her hair to disguise her as a boy.
* YouAreAlreadyDead: The guy who challenged Kyuzo to a duel first with sticks, then with swords. [[spoiler:Kikuchiyo's death could also qualify]].
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