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SEVEN SAMURAI, main cast members


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Kanbei (Takashi Shimura), the Leader of the Samurai:




Heihachi (Minoru Chiaki) , shot during the raid on the bandit hideout.




Kyuzo (Seiji Miyaguchi), the old sad one:




Gorobei (Yoshio Inaba), the happy one:




Katsushiro (Isao Kimura), the young one:




Shichiroji (Daisuke Kat?), the round-faced one:




Kikuchiyo (Toshir? Mifune), the funny one:






Shino (Keiko Tsushima), farmer's daughter, Katsushiro's girlfriend:




Manzo (Kamatari Fujiwara), Shino's father:




Rikichi (Yoshio Tsuchiya), farmer whose wife was kidnapped, he fought like a warrior by the end of the movie:




Rikichi's wife (Yukiko Shimazaki), killed in fire at bandit's hideout:



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I often wondered if Yul Brynner was cast in the Shimura role in THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN based on the baldness.


Of course, Shimura's character wasn't bald to begin with, and we know the story behind it.


Friends and I over the years often had fun trying to fit the American counterpart to the Samuri characters, and seeing if they're good fits.



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There is some dispute about Brynner's role in "The Magnificent Seven". Brynner himself claims to have bought the rights to "The Seven Samurai", however, Lou Morheim, who was awarded Associate Producer credit on the film claimed that he had initially purchased the rights. Brynner at first wished to direct the film and not appear in it, but later reconsidered and decided to play the main character. No idea if his shaved head was a consideration.

Director John Sturges had worked previously with Bronson, Dexter and McQueen and he probably selected them. Vaughn was hot from an Academy nomination for Best Supporting Actor so he was offered a role and he suggested his old college buddy Coburn. Coburn was interviewed by Sturges and awarded the part of the Zen-like master swordsman, Kyuzo, which is probably the closest match.

Eli Wallach has no idea how he was selected to this day and Horst Buchholz I believe was the choice of the studio.

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Naturally, nothing is quite that simple. The "Funny One" from Samurai is part Chico - the Buchholz role. Chico follows the bunch because he's been impressed by Chris (Brynner) and is rejected by him, catches fish to ingratiate himself to the others and is impressed by master gunslinger Britt (Coburn). These actions were all performed by Mifune in Samurai. Chico was also the young love interest which was Katsushiro in Samurai.

Harry (Brad Dexter) and Lee (Robert Vaughn) are original to Mag 7. Vin (McQueen) and O'Reilly (Bronson) have traits similar to their Samurai counterparts, one as the leader's confidant and the other being recruited while chopping wood for breakfast.

One ad format for Seven officially lists the characters as follows:

Chris, the Leader

Vin, the Deadly One

Chico, the Young One

O'Reilly, the Strong One

Lee, the Vengeful One (?)

Harry Luck, the Greedy One

Britt, the Rugged One.


Kurosawa was so impressed by the American version of his Samurai film, he sent director Sturges a genuine samurai sword in appreciation.

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> Eli Wallach has no idea how he was selected to this day


Yet look what it's done for his career. He's reprised that character in more than one other movie, and several younger ( than ME, anyways) moviegoers first became familiar with him due to that.



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