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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.

Director:

Akira Kurosawa
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4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Toshirô Mifune ... General Rokurota Makabe
Minoru Chiaki ... Tahei
Kamatari Fujiwara ... Matashichi
Susumu Fujita Susumu Fujita ... General Hyoe Tadokoro
Takashi Shimura ... The Old General, Izumi Nagakura
Misa Uehara ... Princess Yuki
Eiko Miyoshi Eiko Miyoshi ... Old Lady-in-Waiting
Toshiko Higuchi Toshiko Higuchi ... Farmer's Daughter bought from slave trader
Yû Fujiki Yû Fujiki ... Barrier guard
Yoshio Tsuchiya Yoshio Tsuchiya ... Samurai on horse
Kokuten Kôdô ... Old man in front of sign
Takeshi Katô Takeshi Katô ... Fleeing, bloody samurai
Kôji Mitsui ... Guard
Toranosuke Ogawa ... Magistrate of the bridge barrier
Kichijirô Ueda Kichijirô Ueda ... Slave Trader
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

6 October 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hidden Fortress See more »

Filming Locations:

Harima, Hyogo, Japan See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Toho Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1959) | (cut)

Sound Mix:

Perspecta Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Misa Uehara, who played the princess, described her first makeup session involving Akira Kurosawa walking into the dressing room with a picture of Elizabeth Taylor, using it to explain what he was looking for in his princess with regards to makeup. See more »

Goofs

At 1 hour and 3 minutes, when the two peasants are trying to mime a message to the princess (whom they think is mute), you can see the shadow of a crew member's arm moving quickly in the lower left hand corner of the frame. See more »

Quotes

[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

Waiting for Rokurota
27 July 2003 | by slimjackSee all my reviews

The Hidden Fortress is a fine movie that deserves better than to be remembered as the inspiration for Star Wars. Two more dissimilar movies would hard to be imagined. The peasants bear a striking resemblance to Vladimir and Estragon in their infighting, negotiable affection for each other and their seeming inability to make any real progress toward any goal whatsoever. They are truly a venal pair, loveable only in their humanity and humor.

I saw The Hidden Fortress on the Criterion DVD. Beautiful print but no commentary outside of a brief interview with George Lucas distancing himself from the film's alleged influence on Star Wars. It would have been nice to hear interviews with surviving cast and crew or a knowledgeable historian. Criterion also made a terrible choice in not translating more of the credits. Only Kurosawa and Mifuni had the honor of an English translation. Surely Misa Uehara, Minoru Chaiki and Kamatari Fujiwara deserve to have their names known to we who lack basic Japanese. The Princess and the peasants help make this movie what it is. I gripe too much though. Without Criterion (and Netflix)I would not have been able to see this movie at all.

Again, The Hidden Fortress is a great movie that also happens to be great fun. Highly recommended


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