A veteran samurai, who has fallen on hard times, answers a village's request for protection from bandits. He gathers 6 other samurai to help him, and they teach the townspeople how to defend themselves, and they supply the samurai with three small meals a day. The film culminates in a giant battle when 40 bandits attack the village.
The battle that spans the last hour of the film is among the greatest in the cinema, as the bandit cavalry attack the fortified village in driving rain and the samurai individually and collectively take their stand, their reward a bowl of rice or a burial mound.
Reviewed by Kim Newman
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