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The Hidden Fortress (1958)

Kakushi-toride no san-akunin (original title)
Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama | 6 October 1960 (USA)
Lured by gold, two greedy peasants escort a man and woman across enemy lines. However, they do not realize that their companions are actually a princess and her general.



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4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kamatari Fujiwara ...
Susumu Fujita ...
Eiko Miyoshi ...
Old Lady-in-Waiting
Toshiko Higuchi ...
Farmer's Daughter bought from slave trader
Yû Fujiki ...
Barrier guard
Yoshio Tsuchiya ...
Samurai on horse
Kokuten Kôdô ...
Old man in front of sign
Takeshi Katô ...
Fleeing, bloody samurai
Kôji Mitsui ...
Toranosuke Ogawa ...
Magistrate of the bridge barrier
Kichijirô Ueda ...
Slave Trader


The story follows two greedy peasants in feudal Japan, Tahei and Matashichi, who are returning home from a failed attempt to profit from a war between neighboring clans. En Route they encounter the remnants of the defeated tribe that consists, most notably, of a famous General and a Princess who are hiding out in a fortress in the mountains. General Rokurota Makabe and Princess Yuki need to escape into allied territory with their large supply of gold so that they can rebuild their shattered clan. To do this the Peasants are tricked into helping them, with the promise that they will receive a large share of the gold when the destination is reached. Along the way, the General's prowess is put to the test as he must guide the 4, and later 5 with the inclusion of a freed slave, through close encounters with the pursuing enemy, and out of difficult situations the bumbling peasants manage to get them into. Written by Jeff Napierala

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

gold | princess | mute | fortress | duel | See All (21) »


Adventure | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

6 October 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hidden Fortress  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


| (1959) | (cut)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


A bit distraught from the lack of success of his last two films which he deemed heavy and tragic, he took a new tone with this film, stating "I want to make a 100% entertainment film, full of thrills and fun." See more »


In the opening sequence the two villagers see a soldier killed by cavalry. Within moments the soldier is stiffened with a hand in the air, despite the fact that it takes hours for rigor mortis to set in. See more »


[first lines]
Tahei: Get away from me! You stink of dead bodies!
Matakishi: Give it up. We both stink of dead bodies. And it's all your fault!
See more »

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User Reviews

Another Masterpiece of Master Akira Kurosawa
12 August 2005 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

In the Sixteenth Century, in Japan, Tahei (Minoru Chiaki) and Matakishi (Kamatari Fujiwara), two rascals and greedy peasants, are trying to return to the city of Akizuki through Hayakawa, after an unsuccessful attempt of making money with the war between the clans of Yamana and Akizuki. While warming themselves in a fire, they find gold with the symbol MT. Suribachi of the Akizuki hidden in the firewood, and they decide to search for other branches. Tahei and Matakishi meet General Rokurota Makabe (Toshirô Mifune), who is secretly protecting Princess Yukihime (Misa Uehara), and without knowing their identities, they accept to escort and help them in the transportation of the gold through the enemy lines to Akizuki.

"Kakushi toride no san akunin" is a delightful movie, indeed another masterpiece of master Akira Kurosawa. The screenplay is amazingly wonderful, having action, comedy and code of honor. Toshirô Mifune is perfect in the role of the samurai that is assigned to protect his princess no matter the cost of the life of his young sister; Minoru Chiaki and Kamatari Fujiwara are hilarious in the role of two greedy rascals, ready to betrayal, cheat and risk their miserable lives for gold, and responsible for the funniest moments along the story; the very gorgeous Misa Uehara is stunning in the role of a princess, showing personality and a very noble behavior. Summarizing, it is a perfect movie, with fantastic locations and costumes and magnificent choreography of fights. I intended to use the saying "Hide stones among stones, men among men" said by Makabe to the peasants as the title of my review, but I noted that another IMDb user had the same idea. I read on the cover of the DVD that George Lucas inspired his franchising "Star Wars" in this movie. This was the first time that I watched "Kakushi toride no san akunin", which was unknown for me, and I really recommend it to any audience. My vote is ten.

Title (Brazil): "A Fortaleza Escondida" ("The Hidden Fortress")

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