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The Hidden Fortress (1958) Poster

Trivia

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Akira Kurosawa made this commercial and accessible film as a way to repay Toho Studios for allowing him to make riskier, more artistic fare such as Rashomon (1950). It was later one of the greatest inspirations for George Lucas' Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977).
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In an interview for the Criterion collection DVD, George Lucas stated that while this film is a story about a princess and her protectors that this was not the primary element that he employed in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977). He stated that he was more concerned with the way that Hidden Fortress is told through the eyes of two lesser characters. In Hidden Fortress it is the two thieves; in Star Wars it is C3PO and R2D2. In both films the comical interplay between the two characters is a major theme.
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Akira Kurosawa's first widescreen film.
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A bit distraught from the lack of success of his last two films which he deemed heavy and tragic, Akira Kurosawa took a new tone with this movie, stating, "I want to make a 100% entertainment film, full of thrills and fun".
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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.
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The wide shot of the horsemen killing the samurai in the first scene was achieved in one take.
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The Akizuki and Yamana clans existed in feudal Japan, though they reached their peaks centuries apart. The Hayakawa clan is fictional.
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Akizuki means "autumn moon," hence the crescent moon insignia seen throughout the film.
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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.
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Depending on which set of subtitles you're reading, Tahei and Matashichi were either Akizuki or Yamana soldiers. In one subtitle, Tahei reminds Matashichi that being on the losing side, they are forced to bury the dead. In another, he reminds him that they arrived to the war late and were mistaken for the losing side.
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This film has a 100% rating based on 29 critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.
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This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #116.
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Director Trademark 

Akira Kurosawa: [weather] The long rainy sequence where the farmer's daughter returns to her company's hideout.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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