Hidden Fortress

Hidden Fortress

3.7 18
Director: Akira Kurosawa

Cast: Akira Kurosawa, Toshiro Mifune, Misa Uehara, Kamatari Fujiwara

     
 

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Akira Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress (original Japanese title: Kakushi Toride No San Akunin) stars Minoru Chiaki and Kamatari Fujiwara as a pair of misfit soldiers. Running from the enemy after a disastrous defeat, the two soldiers fall in with general Toshiro Mifune, who is in search of a huge cache of gold. Mifune is also desirous of freeingSee more details below

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Overview

Akira Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress (original Japanese title: Kakushi Toride No San Akunin) stars Minoru Chiaki and Kamatari Fujiwara as a pair of misfit soldiers. Running from the enemy after a disastrous defeat, the two soldiers fall in with general Toshiro Mifune, who is in search of a huge cache of gold. Mifune is also desirous of freeing princess-in-exile Misa Uehara from the clutches of the evil victorious army. Several large and small battles ensue before Mifune can realize his goal. If the plot of Hidden Fortress sounds vaguely familiar to you, try this exercise: substitute two robots for Chiaki and Fujiwara, Mark Hamill for Mifune, and Carrie Fisher for Uehara. George Lucas himself admitted that Hidden Fortress was a principal inspiration for his Star Wars saga; stretching the point farther, both Hidden Fortress and Star Wars had their roots in John Ford's The Searchers. Originally released in a 137-minute form, The Hidden Fortress was sliced to ribbons by its American distributors, and years later received extensive restoration.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
Kurosawa's light adventure is probably best known as one of the primary inspirations for George Lucas' Star Wars (1977), but it's a masterful entertainment in its own right. Toshiro Mifune stars as a famous general who uses a couple of clownish peasants to help him transport a gold shipment and a volatile young princess through enemy territory. The film was the pioneering effort of the Japanese film industry in the use of the widescreen ratio, and, in a sense, Kurosawa's brilliantly supple deployment of the process is the star of the film. Especially in the early sequences in the prison and the quarry, the director achieves extraordinary effects of mass and scale as he suggests the smallness of the squabbling peasants and the stature of General Rokurota. He also uses the available space to spread the characters as far as he can, expressing the common distrust that is, at times, the only emotion these four very differently motivated characters share. Kurosawa has often suggested to his actors that they imagine themselves as various animals in an effort to elicit a more overtly physical performance, and that seems to be the case here, as the slightly exaggerated ensemble acting style enhances the humor of a film that is sometimes reminiscent of an early silent. Mifune, a virtuoso of physical acting, did all his own stunts, the most impressive being a horse-mounted pursuit while swinging a sword. Like Star Wars, the film has something of the quality of a fairy tale, one which can be appreciated both by children and adults.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/18/2014
UPC:
0715515113212
Original Release:
1958
Rating:
NR
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
1A
Time:
2:19:00
Sales rank:
24

Special Features

New audio commentary by film Historian Stephen Prince, author of The Warrior's Camera: The Cinema Of Akira Kurosawa Documentary from 2003 on the making of the film, created as part of the Toho Masterworks series Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful To Create Interview from 2001 with filmmaker George Lucas about Kurosawa Trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Toshiro Mifune Gen. Rokurota Makabe
Misa Uehara Lady Yukihime
Kamatari Fujiwara Matashichi
Minoru Chiaki Tahei
Susumu Fujita Gen. Hyoe Tadokoro
Takashi Shimura The Old General, Izumi Nagakura
Eiko Miyoshi Lady-in-waiting
Toshiko Higuchi The Farmer's Daughter
Kichijiro Ueda Girl-Dealer
Koji Mitsui Soldier
Tadao Nakamaru Young Man
Ikio Sawamura Gambler

Technical Credits
Akira Kurosawa Director,Editor,Producer,Screenwriter
Masumi Fujimoto Producer
Shinobu Hashimoto Screenwriter
Ryuzo Kikushima Screenwriter
Yoshiro Muraki Production Designer
Hideo Oguni Screenwriter
Masaru Sato Score Composer
Kazuo Yamazaki Cinematographer
Fumio Yanoguchi Sound/Sound Designer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 --The Hidden Fortress
1. An Unlucky Pair [5:06]
2. Wanted [4:01]
3. Close Call [5:34]
4. Surprise Discovery [4:35]
5. The General [7:38]
6. Hidden Fortress [4:17]
7. Rokurota Makabe [5:17]
8. A Girl [4:34]
9. Princess Yuki [4:01]
10. Rokurota's Ruse [6:54]
11. A Clever Plan [5:12]
12. Two Hundred Pieces [3:53]
13. Leaving The Fortress [4:04]
14. No Escape [5:30]
15. Mind Tricks [6:27]
16. A Woman's Worth [5:07]
17. Rokurota In Action [3:42]
18. Duel [9:12]
19. Mounting Frustrations [5:54]
20. Fire Festival [7:49]
21. Extra Hands [5:43]
22. Drawing Fire [4:44]
23. Scarred [6:25]
24. An Honorable Man [5:18]
25. Shifting Fortunes [3:44]
26. Lucky At Last [3:55]
1. Color Bars [:20]
1. Huge Hit [5:06]
2. Changing Perspectives [4:01]
3. Fine Historian [5:34]
4. Reliable Actors [4:35]
5. Widescreen Framing [7:38]
6. Smart Screenwriting [4:17]
7. Tough Role [5:17]
8. Noh Flute [4:34]
9. Dark Subtext [4:01]
10. John Ford's Influence [6:54]
11. Triangular Compositions [5:12]
12. True Anamorphic [3:53]
13. Kurosawa's Cinematographers [4:04]
14. Elaborate Movements [5:30]
15. Impressive Character [6:27]
16. Telephoto Filming [5:07]
17. Action Highlight [3:42]
18. Samurai Tradition [9:12]
19. Social Critques [5:54]
20. Handsome Set Piece [7:49]
21. Enlightenment [5:43]
22. Breaking The Action [4:44]
23. Ethical Issues [6:25]
24. Most Exhilarating Scene [5:18]
25. Human Condition [3:44]
26. Changed Characters [3:55]
1. Color Bars [:20]
1. John Ford And Format [2:53]
2. Casting [7:57]
3. Challenges [7:18]
4. Horses [5:21]
5. Swords And Speed [6:00]
6. Key Collaborators [11:18]
1. Chapter 1 [7:51]
2. Chapter 2 [:16]

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