1. This was the tenth collaboration between director Michael Curtiz and Errol Flynn. They made a total of twelve although they despised each other.
2. The movie was originally intended to be an adaptation of Rafael Sabatini’s novel, but it actually has little to do with the book and is more based on the adventures of Sir Francis Drake.
3. Queen Elizabeth’s rousing speech was aimed at the British audience that was in WWII when the movie came out. The line about the world not belonging to one man was a reference to Hitler. However, the studio insisted that dialogue aimed at American intervention be toned down or removed.
4. Academy Award nominations for Art Direction, Original Score, Sound Recording, and Special Effec
5. The costumes were reused from the previous year’s “The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex”.
6. A huge sound stage was constructed that included a large water tank that held two full-sized sailing ships in twelve feet of water.
7. Flora Robson also played Elizabeth in “Fire Over England”.
“Seven Samurai” is probably the most famous Japanese movie. It was directed by the acclaimed Akiro Kurosawa and released in 1954. It was the most expensive Japanese movie up to that time. Although Kurosawa was influenced by Westerns like those of John Ford, “Seven Samurai” is more influencer than influenced. Besides the obvious influence on the remake “Magnificent Seven”, it established several conventions that became common, especially in American Westerns. One of these is introducing the main character in an early scene involving an action that will be unrelated to the main activity dominating the rest of the plot. Think “Magnificent Seven’s" taking the body to the graveyard scene. Second, the reluctant heroes helping people they at first cannot relate to. Third, one of the heroes falls in love with a local girl. Lastly, the wimpy villagers eventually learn to stand up for themselves. Most important, “Seven Samurai” is probably the first significant movie to have a group of skilled killers recruited for a suicide mission as in “Guns of Navarone” and “The Dirty Dozen”.
In the movie, villagers exploited by a bandit gang, recruit some unemployed samurai to defend their village. The seven are a mixture of personalities. There will be a lot of slashing before we have the final answer to the question: “who will survive?”
If you have never seen a foreign war movie, this is a good place to start. I think it was the first subtitled movie I ever watched and opened up a whole world of foreign movies to me. America will always make the best movies overall, but there are some wonderful foreign war movies that are must-sees for war movie lovers.
Bingo. A movie in which Heston was even more wooden and humorless than usual. That guy was in a lot of good movies but he never made a movie good.
His memoirs are so pompous as to be unintentionally funny; saying stuff like the stage was his first love but he had to pass on doing King Lear on the London stage to fly to Hollywood to do Soylent Green.