in about 100 words or less
Japan 139m, B&W
Director: Akira Kurosawa; Cast: Toshirō Mifune, Misa Uehara, Minoru Chiaki, Kamatari Fujiwara
The Hidden Fortress is an adventure story which follows the travels of Princess Yuki and her protector General Rokurota Makabe as they attempt to travel through enemy territory with a large sum of gold. While the plot is rather unremarkable, what makes this film interesting is that it is told from the perspective of peasant folk who have their own motives to assist the Princess and General on their dangerous journey. There are better Kurosawa films, but perhaps no other has been as important to popular culture in serving as inspiration to George Lucas, who borrowed the plot, narrative structure, the use of “frame wipes” and even the spear fight – all of which are featured in Star Wars (1977).