The Hidden Fortress

(Kakushi toride no san-akunin), (Three Bad Men in a Hidden Fortress)


Toshiro Mifune, Misa Uehara, Takashi Shimura, Susumu Fujita,

Kurosawa combined the conventional Japanese period film with fairy-tale elements to produce an energetic and brilliant farce. Toshiro Mifune manages to be both heroic and self-mocking in his role as a most unorthodox and loyal retainer to a now defeated lord, attempting to escape with his princess charge into safe territory. They are joined by two comical farmers who alternately help and hinder their efforts. (If all this sounds strangely familiar, that may be because George Lucas borrowed heavily from The Hidden Fortress in making Star Wars.) “It is as though Buñuel had made The Mark of Zorro,” Donald Richie wrote. “The result is what they call an action-drama in the trade, but one so beautifully made, one so imaginative, so funny, so tender, and so sophisticated that it comes near to being the most lovable film Kurosawa has ever made.”

  • Akira Kurosawa
  • Hideo Oguni
  • Ichio Yamazaki
  • Japanese
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • B&W
  • 'Scope 35mm
  • 134 mins
  • Janus Films