The Hidden Fortress 1958 ★★★★★

Hide a stone among stones and a man among men.
-Rokurota Makabe

Probably the Akira Kurosawa film with the less meaning that I've ever seen and it's still amazing. The film is simply less art-house and more action/adventure, but when it ends up being this epic you can't hold that against it.

Kurosawa's first film in Tohoscope (widescreen) and the results are gorgeous. There are scenes were every inch of the frame has something of interest in it while not seeming staged. There's also other scenes that end up being so dynamic just because of where the camera was placed.

There's also several incredible sequences like the stone staircase massacre and the horseback chase/fight just to name a few. It's like the film comes in waves. It has quiet moments that make it feel like a small intimate film that then builds into epic moments like an incredibly choreographed duel with spears.

It goes without saying that Toshirô Mifune is great in this as well. So to repeat a phrase that is nothing new to anyone about this or several other movies... this is an amazing film directed by Akira Kurosawa and staring Toshirô Mifune

6 Comments

  • I remember drinking a lot of sake while watching this, so I don't remember a whole lot of it. May have to re-watch the Criterion DVD soon.

  • It has quiet moments that make it feel like a small intimate film that then builds into epic moments

    I know what you mean. Feels like a quaint little film in some instances and then suddenly you have hundreds maybe a thousand extras in a scene like that stone staircase, or the fire festival. A real epic adventure told by a master.

  • I thank you for not blindly linking this solid film to a certain trilogy.

  • Mr Dulac - another film to add to my watch list!

  • @Rahat Ahmed: I find some people sadly only know of this movie because of that so there was no reason for me to contribute further to that.

    @Mike: Happy I could help :0)

  • AMAZING FILM!! Finally watched this!

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