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Seven Samurai in the top 10 action films

Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai has landed a number 6 spot in Entertainment Weekly’s list of the very best action films. The movies were selected by the magazine staff.

Based on a Reuters news release, the top 6 are:

1. Die Hard
2. Aliens
3. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
4. Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior
5. The Matrix
6. Seven Samurai

According to the magazine, the fact that the fourth instalment of Die Hard, Live Free or Die Hard, is conveniently opening in two weeks’ time had no influence on the choice of the top action film.




It really is kind of odd to see Seven Samurai amongst that list of films. Not going to deny it is an action film, because along with John Ford Westerns, I consider it the archetype/blueprint for modern day fare, but it feels like they put it on this list for the sake of having something older then 25 years being listed, rather then the former reason of it being the action granddaddy.

And on another note, I’d take Raiders Of The Lost Ark at #1 any day of the week over Die Hard and Aliens. Those movies were just loud, constant machine gun chatter in my mind, while Raiders was always inventive and exhilarating with its action. The fact that Raiders is generally my 2nd favorite all around film after Seven Samurai has no influence on the choice of it being my top “action” movie.


Jeremy Quintanilla

If the Seven Samurai wasnt mention I would find the list to be acceptable. Adding Seven Samurai to me it more a attempt not to appear shallow or simply fan boys of the action films.
Seven Samurai to me is not a action movie in the modern sense, there is really no reason of it being mentioned. Anyone who watches Die Hard or Aliens and expect the same intense action will be very disappointed in the Seven Samurai.

Seven Samurai belongs on the list of greatest dramas/epic dramas rather then a list of pure action films. Just because it has action scenes doesnt mean it should be listed with a movie where “YIPPEE KA YAY MOTHERF’er” is the most essential line of dialog

To me its like placing Raging Bull on the same list as Rocky, just because both have boxing, doesnt make them anywhere close to the same type of movie.. or 2001 with StarWars; Godfather with Scarface etc, etc


Vili Maunula

Indeed, I would agree with both of you.

I have always wondered about the whole “Seven Samurai is the first true action film” argument, which I think holds water just about as well as does an average piece of Swiss cheese. There are some technical innovations there that heavily influence subsequent action films, but that tends to be the case with most of Kurosawa’s films anyway. And even then, Seven Samurai was probably far more central and influential to the development of Japanese jidaigeki films than western action flicks.

And yes, Raiders kicks ass. 🙂



Well said gentlemen.
I’d say the line from Ford Westerns to Kurosawa to Spaghetti Westerns to Peckinpah films and Bonnie and Clyde to 80s actioneers onward is pretty clear but definitely in technique(s) only. The Jidaigeki influence is undeniable and greatly appreciated by me, or else such films as Kill! and Goyokin would not exist, two polar opposite but fine examples of that film niche.

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