How well do you remember Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai"?

By: Torrance Grey
Image: The Movie DB

About This Quiz

This film by Akira Kurosawa electrified audiences and inspires filmmakers to this day. And, of course, it was the basis for "The Magnificent Seven." Test your knowledge of this classic with our quiz!

What year was "Seven Samurai" released?

The film had been several years in the making.

In what century do the events of "Seven Samurai" occur?

The year is 1586, as indicated by the family register Kikuchiyo carries around.

How many samurai survive the whole film?

We thought we'd get this question out of the way before specific questions about causes of death provide spoilers!

What three crops are mentioned in the film?

Rice is the most valued, followed by barley and then millet.

Why do the raiders spare the village in the film's opening?

A farmer overhears their plans to raid and takes the news back to the village.

What kind of samurai does the village elder suggest they find?

"Even bears come down from the mountains when they're hungry," he says.

When the farmers first see Kambei, what is he doing?

Kambei is preparing to pass for a monk.

Which character(s) follow Kambei after he saves the little boy?

We don't known Kikychiyo by name yet -- or ever, technically.

What does Kikuchiyo want with Kambei when he follows him?

It's Katsushiro who wants to be the apprentice, and of course the farmers want to hire Kambei.

What does Kambei want Katsushiro to do when a new samurai enters the hut?

It seems rude, but no true samurai would allow the stick to make contact.

Why is Shichiroji chosen?

Shichiroji helps Kambei judge the potential of other samurai.

Who is the group's archer?

Kambei uses a bow and arrow later, but it's Gorobei who's the Katniss Everdeen of the group.

Who finds and recruits Heihachi?

Having only just signed on, Gorobei wastes no time in finding another samurai.

What is Heihachi doing when Gorobei finds him?

The cheerful Heihachi calls himself a samurai "of the Wood-Chop School."

Why does Gyuzo kill another samurai in town?

The two first fought with wooden sticks, but the man refused to accept the result of that bout and escalated things.

Since Heihachi is a lesser-skilled samurai, why does Gorobei think he'd be an asset?

The actor who played him, Minoru Chiaki, had a very amiable face.

Why does Manzo want his daughter Shino to cut off her hair?

Manzo chases her around the village when she's resistant to his suggestion.

Who saves the day when the farmers' rice is stolen?

Katsushiro is from a samurai family who apparently have attained position and money.

Why do the others laugh at the rogue samurai's claim to be "Kikuchiyo"?

Japanese audiences would have known that "Kikuchiyo" is a two-part girl's name, like "Mary Jane." The "13 years old" point is made explicit in the dialogue.

Why does Kikuchiyo ring the town's alarm bell?

He demands and gets respect from the villagers, and for this reason, Kambei accepts him as the seventh.

Why is Katsushiro outraged when he thinks Shino is a boy?

Katsushiro soon learns different when he gets into a wrestling match with the "boy."

Who comes out of a hut, holding an axe high, to kill the captured scout?

Kambei doesn't want the raiders' scout killed, but he doesn't get his way on this one.

What does Kikuchiyo's anti-samurai rant reveal about him?

Class mobility was virtually nil in this time, so if you were born to farmers, you were a farmer, period.

Who makes a banner for the village to fight under?

Kikuchiyo is represented by a triangle, whereas the "real" samurai are all circles.

What terrible secret is Rikichi hiding?

We learn the truth in the raid on the fort, where his wife lives as a sex slave.

Which of the samurai do not go on the raid on the fort?

Rikishi makes four -- which causes the ill-fated reunion with his wife.

Who dies in the attack on the fort?

The actor who played him was actually the last of the seven to die in real life.

What does Gyuzo do that wins Katsushiro's breathless admiration?

Yes, they had primitive guns in the 16th century -- but Katsushiro might have invented the man crush.

What (indirectly) causes does Gorobei's death?

Kikuchiyo has mettle, but his lack of discipline costs Gorobei his life.

How does Gyuzo die?

Katsushiro is understandably broken up about this.

How does Kikuchiyo die?

He succeeds in killing the raiders' leader first, though.

What does Kambei say to Shichiroji at the battle's end?

Later, Kambei will say the true victory belongs to the farmers, not to them.

What are the villagers doing in the final scene?

Shino and Katsushiro could not easily marry, as they are from different social classes.

How long is "Seven Samurai's" uncut runtime?

Toho Studios cut it down for the American theatre run, believing that American audiences wouldn't sit through 207 minutes.

Which American Western film is a retelling of "Seven Samurai"?

Sadly, Akira Kurosawa called the Steve McQueen film a disappointment.

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