The Hidden Fortress (kakushi-toride No San-akunin)
The Hidden Fortress (kakushi-toride No San-akunin) (1958)

Two soldiers hide out in the woods from the invading army. They find a gold bar hidden in a tree, and the mood changes from brutality to humor.

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: January 1, 1958
DVD Release Date: June 28, 2010
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Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Gary Arnold
Washington Post

Kurosawa's calculations pay off in thrills and clever character delineation. The trials of the journey impose heroic imperatives and bonds of loyalty that ennoble even the meanest characters.

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Eric Melin

Kurosawa was drawing influence from American directors like John Ford, so its an enjoyable film, but sometimes the movies that influenced a generation of filmmakers lose some of their luster because they've been borrowed from so many times.

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Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews

The play of light and dark elements in what's arguably Akira Kurosawa's most broadly appealing and entertaining picture...explores a dichotomy of the idiocy of greed and the rewards of sacrifice. [Criterion Blu-ray]

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Bosley Crowther
New York Times

Essentially a superficial film and that Kurosawa, for all his talent, is as prone to pot-boiling as anyone else.

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Walter Chaw
Film Freak Central

For all its scale, it is at its heart a "nerd" comedy

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Christopher Long
Movie Metropolis

An immaculately staged bit of escapist entertainment that should not get lost among Kurosawa's more celebrated works.

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James Berardinelli

By introducing comedy into the mixture and telling the tale from an atypical perspective, Kurosawa has differentiated The Hidden Fortress from nearly every similar feudal era Japanese epic ever committed to the screen. This is a masterpiece.

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Matthew Sorrento
Film International

Mifune shines and invigorates what remains secondary Kurosawa (less rewarding than Throne), but a solid primal adventure in its own right.

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Keith Phipps
The Dissolve

Kurosawa stages every scene with an eye toward screen-filling spectacle, [...] But he's also concerned with the characters' journey, and how they change-or don't-along the way.

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Flixster Audience Score: 93% Flixster User Reviews
xGary Xx
A pair of bickering escaped slaves stumble upon the mountain hideout of a defeated general and his princess who are being hunted by the occupying army. They… More
Conner Rainwater
I have to be honest, people really have to stop comparing this to Star Wars and searching for every possible parallel. Really the only connection here is the… More
Bob O'Reilly
If Japanese cinema icon Akira Kurosawa ever made a comedy of sorts, this is it. The Hidden Fortress follows two bumbling, stumbling, bickering peasants named… More
Stella Dallas
this was fun! but where was luke? or was that george lucas' own contribution: a hero named after himself lol
Tim Salmons
To call this film a masterpiece is certainly an understatement. It is most prominently in film circles known as a direct inspiration for Star Wars, but I tend… More
Wahida K
Nice Classic.