8.1/10
30,520
105 user 90 critic

The Hidden Fortress (1958)

Kakushi-toride no san-akunin (original title)
Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama | 6 October 1960 (USA)
Lured by gold, two greedy peasants escort a man and woman across enemy lines. However, they do not realize that their companions are actually a princess and her general.

Director:

Akira Kurosawa
Reviews
4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Sanjuro (1962)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A crafty samurai helps a young man and his fellow clansmen save his uncle, who has been framed and imprisoned by a corrupt superintendent.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai, Keiju Kobayashi
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A war-hardened general, egged on by his ambitious wife, works to fulfill a prophecy that he would become lord of Spider's Web Castle.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Minoru Chiaki, Isuzu Yamada
Kagemusha (1980)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A petty thief with an utter resemblance to a samurai warlord is hired as the lord's double. When the warlord later dies the thief is forced to take up arms in his place.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Ken'ichi Hagiwara
High and Low (1963)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

An executive of a shoe company becomes a victim of extortion when his chauffeur's son is kidnapped and held for ransom.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Yutaka Sada, Tatsuya Nakadai
Yojimbo (1961)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A crafty ronin comes to a town divided by two criminal gangs and decides to play them against each other to free the town.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Eijirô Tôno, Tatsuya Nakadai
Red Beard (1965)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

In 19th-century Japan, a rough-tempered yet charitable town doctor trains a young intern.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Yûzô Kayama, Tsutomu Yamazaki
Ran (1985)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

In Medieval Japan, an elderly warlord retires, handing over his empire to his three sons. However, he vastly underestimates how the new-found power will corrupt them and cause them to turn on each other...and him.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao, Jinpachi Nezu
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A vengeful young man marries the daughter of a corrupt industrialist in order to seek justice for his father's suicide.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Masayuki Mori, Kyôko Kagawa
Rashomon (1950)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The rape of a bride and the murder of her samurai husband are recalled from the perspectives of a bandit, the bride, the samurai's ghost and a woodcutter.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Machiko Kyô, Masayuki Mori
Stray Dog (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

During a sweltering summer, a rookie homicide detective tries to track down his stolen Colt pistol.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Awaji
Ikiru (1952)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A bureaucrat tries to find a meaning in his life after he discovers he has terminal cancer.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Takashi Shimura, Nobuo Kaneko, Shin'ichi Himori
Drunken Angel (1948)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A drunken doctor with a hot temper and a violence-prone gangster with tuberculosis form a quicksilver bond.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Takashi Shimura, Toshirô Mifune, Reizaburô Yamamoto
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Toshirô Mifune ... General Rokurota Makabe
Minoru Chiaki ... Tahei
Kamatari Fujiwara ... Matashichi
Susumu Fujita Susumu Fujita ... General Hyoe Tadokoro
Takashi Shimura ... The Old General, Izumi Nagakura
Misa Uehara ... Princess Yuki
Eiko Miyoshi ... Old Lady-in-Waiting
Toshiko Higuchi Toshiko Higuchi ... Farmer's Daughter bought from slave trader
Yû Fujiki Yû Fujiki ... Barrier guard
Yoshio Tsuchiya Yoshio Tsuchiya ... Samurai on horse
Kokuten Kôdô ... Old man in front of sign
Takeshi Katô ... Fleeing, bloody samurai
Kôji Mitsui ... Guard
Toranosuke Ogawa ... Magistrate of the bridge barrier
Kichijirô Ueda ... Slave Trader
Edit

Storyline

The story follows two greedy peasants in feudal Japan, Tahei and Matashichi, who are returning home from a failed attempt to profit from a war between neighboring clans. En Route they encounter the remnants of the defeated tribe that consists, most notably, of a famous General and a Princess who are hiding out in a fortress in the mountains. General Rokurota Makabe and Princess Yuki need to escape into allied territory with their large supply of gold so that they can rebuild their shattered clan. To do this the Peasants are tricked into helping them, with the promise that they will receive a large share of the gold when the destination is reached. Along the way, the General's prowess is put to the test as he must guide the 4, and later 5 with the inclusion of a freed slave, through close encounters with the pursuing enemy, and out of difficult situations the bumbling peasants manage to get them into. Written by Jeff Napierala

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

6 October 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hidden Fortress See more »

Filming Locations:

Harima, Hyogo, Japan See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,942, 28 July 2002

Gross USA:

$46,808

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$46,808
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Toho Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1959) | (cut)

Sound Mix:

Perspecta Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Akira Kurosawa made this commercial and accessible film as a way to repay Toho Studios for allowing him to make riskier, more artistic fare such as Rashomon (1950). It was later one of the greatest inspirations for George Lucas' Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977). See more »

Goofs

At 1 hour and 3 minutes, when the two peasants are trying to mime a message to the princess (whom they think is mute), you can see the shadow of a crew member's arm moving quickly in the lower left hand corner of the frame. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Tahei: Get away from me! You stink of dead bodies!
Matakishi: Give it up. We both stink of dead bodies. And it's all your fault!
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

"Hide stones among stones, men among men" -- General Rokurota Makabe
31 July 2003 | by dobiedigitalSee all my reviews

The hidden fortress starts with it's two main characters Tahei and Matakashi (played by Minoru Chiaki and Kamatari Fujiwara) walking through a war torn country side. They have just escaped from an internment camp after a recent great battle. The two had been forced to dig graves as prisoners and they are already, at the start of the movie, at wit's end. They soon become frustrated with each other and their situation that they set out in opposite directions, only to be both recaptured shortly thereafter. After a prisoner mass uprising and subsequent exodus, the two find themselves completely unscathed but monumentally stunned amongst the dozens of dead.. and piles of pillaged gold.

Unable to carry much in their escape, their sense of scheming is palpable and a testament to the quality of direction. While walking through the woods they come upon a camping warlord, General Makabe (played by Kurosawa mainstay, Toshiro Mifune), who they enlist to help them steal the gold. Makabe has other ideas. They later meet up with the fiercely sexy Princess Yukihime (Misa Uehara) who playfully defends herself from the two anti-heroes, smacking all insolent fools with a reed and secretly running the show. The two rogues suffer through constant harassment with wide eyed fear and cowardice that Kurosawa somehow makes endearing.

It was said that Kurosawa would spend the mornings of the writing process thinking up impossible situations for the two rogue protagonists and the production crew would have the afternoon to plot out how the two would escape from certain death; The pair survive numerous captures, a prison riot, multiple rock slides (!) and more often than not each other during a sometimes cathartic, sometimes hilarious series of events. The Hidden Fortress is an archetypal dark comedy and could be well adapted in the future because of it's intelligent dynamics and carefree yet succinct episodes (the first Star Wars employs much of the same wide open sense of adventure).

While being one of the lightest of Kurosawa's films, it still has the underlying fatalism and rebelliousness that is inherent of much of interesting Japanese cinema. For examples, see much of mainstream (and probably most non mainstream) anime, as well as the nihilistic cult films of today like the recently Americanized Ringu (The Ring) and Kyua (Cure) by Kiyoshi Kurosawa (no relation). The Hidden Fortress is worth a viewing by any patient film buff.


16 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 105 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed