Following World War II, a retired professor, approaching his autumn years, finds his quality of life drastically reduced in war torn Tokyo. Denying despair, he pursues writing and celebrates his birthday with his adoring students.
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
This was Akira Kurosawa's first film recorded in stereo, and his first filmed in Toho Scope, which was their studio's version of the American anamorphic wide-screen Cinema Scope. 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 »
Get away from me! You stink of dead bodies!
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Those who think that Kurosawa could only direct dramatic films need to see The Hidden Fortress. It is an exiting, funny, and extremely entertaining adventure film. George Lucas cites The Hidden Fortress as the prime inspiration for the Star Wars films.
Two cowardly soldiers Tahei (Minoru Chiaki) and Matashichi (Kamatari Fujiwara) flee from a battle. The two then set up camp for the night, but soon they discover a bar of gold next to their camp. The two begin fighting over it, but before they can decide who gets it, a mysterious man called Rokurota (Toshiro Mifune) appears. He asks the two to help him transport a wagon full of gold and the Lady Yukihime (Misa Uehara) across enemy lines so that they can establish their kingdom again.
This film is a blast and is filled with plenty of action and humor. A departure from Kurosawa's usual dramatic films, but excellent cinema nonetheless.
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