Runtime : 139 mins

Genre : Drama Action Adventure

Vote Rating : 8/10

Reviews for this movie are available below.

Plot : In feudal Japan, during a bloody war between clans, two cowardly and greedy peasants, soldiers of a defeated army, stumble upon a mysterious man who guides them to a fortress hidden in the mountains.

Cast Members

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Now though top billing and much of the screen time is afforded to Kurosawa regular Toshirô Mifune ("Gen. Makabe") this film really belongs to the two opportunistic farmers "Matakichi" (Kamatari Fujiwara) and "Tahei" (Minori Chiaki). These two chancers learn of a fortune in gold hidden away after their land is invaded by their neighbours. Off they set to discover it, and along the way stumble upon the general in his mountain-top eerie. Now it's not really a fortress, more a big shack at the top of a hill, but they soon discover it hides something way more valuable than gold. The Princess "Yuki" (Misa Uehara) who is wanted by her enemies even more than the treasure. Their bumbling ineptitude and curiosity married with their greed and of course - acute sense of self preservation - leads them to join with the fleeing couple and for all four to try and smuggle the princess and the loot to the safety of an adjacent kingdom where safety awaits. What ensues now is a series of entertaining and perilous adventures that allow each character to take centre stage. Mifune is very much in his element as the loyal, chivalrous - and pretty lethal - general; the Princess is no shrinking violet either and along the way we are entertained to an engaging assessment of the venality, mendacity and couragousness of war - it brings out the best and the worst in everyone. There is an almost Laurel and Hardy feeling to the end of this perfectly paced adventure film, which certainly raises a smile and I thoroughly enjoyed this.

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