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.
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
This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #116. See more »
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 »
Get away from me! You stink of dead bodies!
Give it up. We both stink of dead bodies. And it's all your fault!
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Yes, yes, I've seen Star Wars. Now see the original.
Such a fine film maker can hardly help but make a fine movie like this one. It seemed odd to me only in the fact that the plot seemed so UN-Japan like. The most interesting thinks to look for are the similarities to Sergio Leone films: A man who obviously was greatly influenced by Kurosawa. What Leone may not have known, is that those long shots of unmoving fighting men waiting to make a thrust or cut with a sword is very true to the actual way that Samurai fought. Cowboys on the other hand generally shot from behind trees and rocks. For an interesting comparison, watch "Hidden Fortress" followed by "The Good, The Bad, And the Ugly". It will be be an enlightening experience.
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