After watching Roshomon again, I decided to revisit a few more Akira Kurosawa films. The Hidden Fortress is one of the most entertaining films I've seen in a while. It's an adventure involving a general, a princess, a treasure, and two greedy peasants who love gold and bumble along to get it.
It's a fun film filled with comedy and drama, and of course the awesomely imposing Tashiro Mifune. Seriously, not many men can look intimidating in short shorts, but that man could do anything.
Misa Uehara played the clan's princess, Princess Yuki, and she was intimidating in her own way too. Where in a time when women were often portrayed as fragile creatures, this princess was strong, determined, and fierce. Think Princess Leia before Princess Leia. She was amazing and it was nice to see a strong female character in a film from the'50s.
The two clowns Tahei (Minoru Chiaki) and Matashichi (Kamatari Fujiwara) provided a lot of comedy. They went from best friends to enemies, then back again. They followed the gold and cried when they thought they lost it. Their facial expressions alone were awesome. I've never seen someone look so sad while dancing around a bonfire in a celebration. Mr. Mifune and Mz. Uehara added in their own comedic talent when dealing with these two blockheads.
Akira Kurosawa has always been an amazing filmmaker and The Hidden Fortress is just another testament to the fact.
Just for fun here's another photo of Toshiro Mifune: