Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.
Original title: Kakushi Toride No San Akunin
Japan, 1958. Toho Company. Screenplay by Ryuzo Kikushima, Hideo Oguni, Shinobu Hashimoto, Akira Kurosawa. Cinematography by Kazuo Yamasaki. Produced by Sanezumi Fujimoto, Akira Kurosawa. Music by Masaru Sato. Production Design by Yoshiro Muraki. Costume Design by Masahiro Kato. Film Editing by Akira Kurosawa. Podcast: My Criterions.
Critics have often told audiences that this rich adventure is the perfect place to start if you have little or no experience with foreign films, probably because it closely resembles American westerns and is the movie that Star Wars was based on. It is also a marvelous epic film by master Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa and probably his most enjoyable film. It begins with two bickering slaves (later to become droids) who are assigned to escort an endangered princess (have you caught up yet?) to safety with the help of a samurai warrior (Toshirô Mifune setting up for Han Solo). Their endless trek across feudal Japan makes for ecstatic entertainment.
The Criterion Collection: #116
Berlin Film Festival Award: Best Director (Akira Kurosawa)