Akira Kurosawa's films have been the greatest influence on my life, along with Karate Kid and Enter the Dragon. The samurai films were about the sword fights, secondary; first, they were about characters and timeless stories.
Like Hidden Fortress, which was the direct influence for Star Wars, and the Seven Samurai, which was remade into a western, the Magnificent Seven. I like the originals better, where the heroes' swagger is replaced by strong quiet calm. The comments, by true fans, note that four films were left out of this set, and the extras are thin. But the set does include Kurosawa's first four films, which have never been released. Several films have also shown up on Netflix streaming too. [Criterion via Amazon]