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The Hidden Fortress

Original Japanese poster
Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Produced by Sanezumi Fujimoto
Akira Kurosawa
Written by Shinobu Hashimoto
Ryuzo Kikushima
Akira Kurosawa
Hideo Oguni
Starring Toshirō Mifune
Misa Uehara
Minoru Chiaki
Kamatari Fujiwara
Music by Masaru Satō
Cinematography Kazuo Yamasaki
Editing by Akira Kurosawa
Distributed by Toho Company Ltd.
Release date(s) December 28, 1958 (Japan)
October 6, 1960 (US)
Running time 139 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese

The Hidden Fortress (隠し砦の三悪人 Kakushi toride no san akunin ?) is a 1958 jidai-geki film directed by Akira Kurosawa and starring Toshirō Mifune as General Rokurota Makabe and Misa Uehara as Princess Yuki. A literal translation of the Japanese title is The Three Villains of the Hidden Fortress.



The film begins with two bedraggled peasants, Tahei and Matashichi (Minoru Chiaki and Kamatari Fujiwara) escaping the aftermath of a battle. While trying to make their way home, they meet and begin to travel with General Rokurota Makabe (Toshirō Mifune). The general is trying to transport the princess of a defeated royal family and what remains of their wealth to safe territory in secret. The peasants mostly impede his mission, sometimes trying to run off with the gold. They are later joined by a farmer’s daughter (Toshiko Higuchi), whom they acquire at an inn from a slave-trader, or procurer. Together, the five make an arduous and desperate trek through enemy territory, transporting a treasure of gold that the princess and the general hope to use to rebuild the princess's military to one day retake her land and rebuild her realm.


This was Kurosawa's first feature filmed in a widescreen format, Tohoscope, which he continued to use for the next decade. Hidden Fortress was originally presented with Perspecta directional sound, which was re-created for the Criterion DVD release.




George Lucas has acknowledged the influence of The Hidden Fortress on Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, particularly in the technique of telling the story from the points of view of the film's lowliest characters, C-3PO and R2-D2.[2] Kurosawa's use of frame wipes (sometimes cleverly hidden by motion within the frame) as a transition device also influenced Star Wars.

The film was rated 100 percent fresh at Rotten Tomatoes.[3]


A loose remake entitled Kakushi Toride no San-Akunin: The Last Princess was directed by Shinji Higuchi and released on May 10, 2008 .

Poster gallery


External links



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