7 Underrated Akira Kurosawa Movies to See After Your ‘Seven Samurai’ 70th Anniversary Watch

Even among the more underrated Akira Kurosawa films are timeless masterpieces.

If films like “Dersu Uzala” and “The Idiot” and “Kagemusha” aren’t talked about as much, it’s because the best-known Kurosawa titles — “Seven Samurai,” “Rashomon,” “Throne of Blood” — also happen to be among the most influential movies ever made, casting their shadow over the Spaghetti Western genre, “Star Wars,” and so many more.

More from IndieWire

Just within the past few weeks, a movie loosely based on “Seven Samurai,” Zack Snyder’s misbegotten “Rebel Moon Part 2,” started streaming, Spike Lee confirmed he’ll direct an adaptation of “High and Low,” and, let’s face it, there’d probably be no “Shogun” at all without the Kurosawa-immortalized Japanese samurai culture onscreen. Probably no director other than Fritz Lang and John Ford has influenced as many genres as Kurosawa, who died in 1998.

But instead of focusing so much on his impact, look at the films. It’s understandable that cinephiles will celebrate  “Seven Samurai” this year, as it celebrates its 70th anniversary. When the low, rolling drums of Fumio Hayasaka’s score started rumbling over those striking white-on-black credits when the film debuted on April 26, 1954, a nearly four-hour adventure about defiance and rebellion and heroes helping peasants become warriors was about to unfold. It’s hard to think of any action movie more kinetic before it, ending up in a grimy fugue of wind, rain, and mud, its noble heroes’ bodies bent in fatigue as the final onslaught arrives.

Once you’ve celebrated “Seven Samurai” again, go a little deeper into Kurosawa’s filmography. Past “Throne of Blood,” “Rashomon,” “Yojimbo,” and “The Hidden Fortress” too. More obscure titles await that offer their own riches: Startling tales of idiocy and fascism, of a Nanai trapper in far eastern Russia and a painter of sunflowers in Arles.

Read on for seven underrated Akira Kurosawa movies to watch.

Best of IndieWire

Sign up for Indiewire's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.