The Hidden Fortress (1958)

The Hidden Fortress is one of the Kurosawa films that inspired George Lucas to make Star Wars. It’s a wonderful film that tells the story from the point of view of two peasants. These two peasants, Tahei and Matashichi (Minoru Chiaki and Kamatari Fujiwara), are just trying to make a better life for themselves, but continue to get in their own way. The film begin with them lamenting that they went to fight with the Yamana clan but arriving late so they are though of as survivors of the Akizuki clan, who lost and are told to bury the dead, after this they split up and are both captured. They then are brought to an Akizuki Castle with a bunch of other prisoners where they are going to dig until they find the hidden Akizuki treasure. After a prison uprising Tahei and Matashichi go in the opposite direction to try to get away from the army. While gathering firewood they stumble across some Akizuki gold and find a fellow traveler (Toshiro Mifune) who has also fond some gold he is in a Hidden Fortress as well as a mute girl (Misa Uehara). However this fellow traveler is more than he seems as he is General Makabe Rokurōta who is under the task to transport the Princess Yuki Akizuki and the gold to reestablish the Akizuki Throne. There are twists and turns in the story as well and has a nice bit of humor. At the core it is a story about the compassion of humans and greed. If those things interest you check it out.

Hidden Fortress is what inspired Lucas to have Star Wars be told from the droids (C-3PO and R2-D2, and perhaps BB-8) point of view. I haven’t watch The Force Awakens enough times to make a good judgement on this idea. Hidden Fortress has the magnificent Toshiro Mifune and it is one of Akira Kurosawa’s films so those are enough reasons to see the movie. It’s a classic film and there really isn’t much to knock it for, sure you’ve got to do a bit of reading but that’s about it.


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