On the Criterion DVD, there is a short gallery of posters from around the world for the initial release of Seven Samurai in 1954. The two Polish posters are absolutely striking. For comparison, I’ve added the American one sheet, which is not bad at all when compared to the boring fare we have to look at today.

Movie one sheets are the results of consensus and compromise. Posters are the main vehicles for marketing campaigns to build awareness and drive audiences to the theaters. That is what makes these Polish posters so noteworthy because they have the feel of personal interpretations of the movie by single artists.

Polish poster for <i>Seven Samurai</i>, 1954

Polish poster for Seven Samurai, 1954

Poster for the first Polish release of Seven Samurai, 1954. Created by Marian Stachurski in a faux woodcut style.

Poster for the first Polish release of Seven Samurai, 1954. Created by Marian Stachurski in a faux woodcut style.

The US one sheet.

The US one sheet.

Go buy the Criterion edition of Seven Samurai right now.

It is one of the best films ever made and a film that for me, even with repeated viewings, still has many gifts to reveal.