Akira Kurosawa

The Hidden Fortress

The Hidden Fortress

A grand-scale adventure as only Akira Kurosawa could make one, The Hidden Fortress stars the inimitable Toshiro Mifune as a general charged with guarding his defeated clan’s princess (a fierce Misa Uehara) as the two smuggle royal treasure across hostile territory. Accompanying them are a pair of bumbling, conniving peasants who may or may not be their friends. This rip-roaring ride is among the director’s most beloved films and was a primary influence on George Lucas’s Star Wars. The Hidden Fortress delivers Kurosawa’s trademark deft blend of wry humor, breathtaking action, and compassionate humanity.

Film Info

  • Akira Kurosawa
  • Japan
  • 1958
  • 139 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 2.35:1
  • Japanese
  • Spine #116

Special Features

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Alternate 3.0 surround soundtrack preserving the original Perspecta simulated stereo effects, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray
  • New audio commentary by film historian Stephen Prince, author of The Warrior’s Camera: The Cinema of Akira Kurosawa
  • Documentary from 2003 on the making of the film, created as part of the Toho Masterworks series Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create
  • Interview from 2001 with filmmaker George Lucas about Kurosawa
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Catherine Russell
    New cover illustration by Vania Zouravliov, type by F. Ron Miller

Purchase Options

Collector's Sets

Collector's Set

AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa

AK 100: 25 Films by Kurosawa

DVD Box Set

25 Discs

Ships Jun 16, 2018

$319.00

Out Of Print

Special Features

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Alternate 3.0 surround soundtrack preserving the original Perspecta simulated stereo effects, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray
  • New audio commentary by film historian Stephen Prince, author of The Warrior’s Camera: The Cinema of Akira Kurosawa
  • Documentary from 2003 on the making of the film, created as part of the Toho Masterworks series Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create
  • Interview from 2001 with filmmaker George Lucas about Kurosawa
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Catherine Russell
    New cover illustration by Vania Zouravliov, type by F. Ron Miller

The Hidden Fortress
Cast
Toshiro Mifune
General Rokurota Makabe
Minoru Chiaki
Tahei
Kamatari Fujiwara
Matashichi
Susumu Fujita
Hyoe Tadokoro
Misa Uehara
Princess Yuki
Takashi Shimura
Izumi Nagakura
Eiko Miyoshi
Lady-in-waiting
Toshiko Higuchi
Slave girl
Credits
Director
Akira Kurosawa
Executive producers
Sanezumi Fujimoto
Executive producers
Akira Kurosawa
Screenplay
Ryuzo Kikushima
Screenplay
Hideo Oguni
Screenplay
Shinobu Hashimoto
Screenplay
Akira Kurosawa
Cinematography
Ichio Yamazaki
Editing
Chozo Obata
Music
Masaru Sato
Art direction
Yoshiro Muraki
Costume design
Masahiro Kato

From The Current

Action-Packed Kurosawa in El Paso

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Action-Packed Kurosawa in El Paso

The great Kurosawa classic that inspired Star Wars screens at the Alamo Drafthouse in El Paso this Saturday.

On Film / In Theaters
Nov 30, 2017
From the Kurosawa Archives
From the Kurosawa Archives

With a monumental body of work spanning nearly six decades, thirty feature films, and a staggering array of styles and genres, Akira Kurosawa has been a cornerstone of our collection since we released Seven Samurai as our second Criterion edition in …

On Film / Short Takes
Mar 23, 2017
George Lucas on Akira Kurosawa
George Lucas on Akira Kurosawa

Akira Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress has long been cited as an influence on George Lucas’s Star Wars. An avid fan of Kurosawa’s, Lucas would eventually work with the Japanese auteur, executive producing the international version of his 1980 Kag…


Mar 19, 2014
The Hidden Fortress: Three Good Men and a Princess
The Hidden Fortress: Three Good Men and a Princess

In addition to technical brilliance and a humanist message, Akira Kurosawa’s adventure features one of the director’s strongest female characters.

By Catherine Russell

On Film / Essays — Mar 18, 2014
Oren Moverman’s Top 10

Like any top ten list in any discipline by anyone privileged enough to be asked to catalog his professional indulgences for public viewing, the following list is deeply meaningful and truly meaningless.


Feb 22, 2012
The Hidden Fortress

Best known as the major influence on George Lucas’ Star Wars, Akira Kurosawa’s 1958 The Hidden Fortress deserves recognition as a definitive cultural expression of Japan’s master filmmaker. After the international success of Rashomon (1952) and…

By Armond White


May 22, 2001
The Hidden Fortress

One of the greatest action-adventure films ever made, The Hidden Fortress stands alongside the finest achievements of its creator—Japanese film master Akira Kurosawa. Produced in 1958, this thrilling Cinemascope epic—starring Kurosawa’s favorit…

By David Ehrenstein


Oct 13, 1987

Explore

Akira Kurosawa

Writer, Director

Arguably the most celebrated Japanese filmmaker of all time, Akira Kurosawa had a career that spanned from the Second World War to the early nineties and that stands as a monument of artistic, entertainment, and personal achievement. His best-known films remain his samurai epics Seven Samurai and Yojimbo, but his intimate dramas, such as Ikiru and High and Low, are just as searing. The first serious phase of Kurosawa’s career came during the postwar era, with Drunken Angel and Stray Dog, gritty dramas about people on the margins of society that featured the first notable appearances by Toshiro Mifune, the director’s longtime leading man. Kurosawa would subsequently gain international fame with Rashomon, a breakthrough in nonlinear narrative and sumptuous visuals. Following a personal breakdown in the late sixties, Kurosawa rebounded by expanding his dark brand of humanism into new stylistic territory, with films such as Kagemusha and Ran, visionary, color, epic ruminations on modern man and nature.