Friday, April 17, 2009

Samurai Saturday: Apr 18th.


This week's IFC offering for Samurai Saturday is Akira Kurosawa's "Hidden Fortress". This was George Lucas' primary inspiration for "A New Hope", so it will seem familiar to you if you haven't seen it. Below is the synopsis from IFC.

Akira Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress (original Japanese title: Kakushi Toride No San Akunin) stars Minoru Chiaki and Kamatari Fujiwara as a pair of misfit soldiers. Running from the enemy after a disastrous defeat, the two soldiers fall in with general Toshiro Mifune, who is in search of a huge cache of gold. Mifune is also desirous of freeing princess-in-exile Misa Uehara from the clutches of the evil victorious army. Several large and small battles ensue before Mifune can realize his goal. If the plot of Hidden Fortress sounds vaguely familiar to you, try this exercise: substitute two robots for Chiaki and Fujiwara, Mark Hamill for Mifune, and Carrie Fisher for Uehara. George Lucas himself admitted that Hidden Fortress was a principal inspiration for his Star Wars saga; stretching the point farther, both Hidden Fortress and Star Wars had their roots in John Ford's The Searchers. Originally released in a 137-minute form, The Hidden Fortress was sliced to ribbons by its American distributors, and years later received extensive restoration.

5 comments:

  1. This is a good one! I actually own a copy. You definitely can see where Star Wars got it's inspiration, except the part where the C3PO and R2D2 inspired characters try to rape the princess. That's kind of weird.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Depending upon my mood at the time, when asked "What is your favorite movie?", I will normally answer Hidden Fortress. I love this movie. I own a handful of Criterion Kurosawa DVDs and VHS tapes. Good stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I like this one, but I think Seven Samurai and Yojimbo are better. This is still one of my favorites though.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Is this one a samurai movie? Can't tell from the graphic.

    ReplyDelete