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Criterion Collection: The Hidden Fortress [Blu-ray + DVD]

Toshiro Mifune , Minoru Chiaki , Akira Kurosawa    Unrated   Blu-ray
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Criterion Collection: The Hidden Fortress [Blu-ray + DVD] + Criterion Collection: Persona [Blu-ray] + Criterion Collection: The Freshman [Blu-ray]
Price For All Three: CDN$ 92.41


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Product Description

Special Features

New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray Alternate 5.1 surround soundtrack preserving the original Perspecta simulated stereo effects, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray New audio commentary by film historian Stephen Prince, author of The Warrior’s Camera: The Cinema of Akira Kurosawa Documentary from 2003 on the making of the film, created as part of the Toho Masterworks series Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create Interview from 2001 with filmmaker George Lucas about Kurosawa, Trailer, New English subtitle translation PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Catherine Russell

Product Description

A grand-scale adventure as only AKIRA KUROSAWA (Seven Samurai) could make one, The Hidden Fortress stars the inimitable TOSHIRO MIFUNE (Yojimbo) as a general charged with guarding his defeated clan’s princess (a fierce MISA UEHARA) as the two smuggle royal treasure across hostile territory. Accompanying them are a pair of bumbling, conniving peasants who may or may not be their friends. This rip-roaring ride is among the director’s most beloved films and was a primary influence on George Lucas’s Star Wars. The Hidden Fortress delivers Kurosawa’s trademark deft blend of wry humor, breathtaking action, and compassionate humanity.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars New release of Kurosawa gem June 23 2014
Verified Purchase
This 2014 restoration of the Kurosawa masterpiece THE HIDDEN FORTRESS is magnificent. Modern audiences may never have enjoyed this film more that with this edition. Toshiru Mifune is at his usual incredibly entertaining and masterful level of acting.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful image quality" June 21 2014
By kure
It seems to be alive.

rome film highest. criterion is the monoch

Thank you for the high-definition disk.

Purchase is recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my personal favorites of Kurasawa Jan. 11 2014
By J. Garaguso - Published on Amazon.com
I just can't believe there's no review on this amazing movie. Incredible. Please look this movie up elsewhere online and read the reviews you can find. Even Rotten Tomatoes gives it 5 stars. Anything I write won't come close to some of the more insightful reviews on this fantastic movie. I will say this, the hilarious scenes starring the 2 peasants forced to accompany the General (the great Toshiro Mifune giving another one of his amazing performances) and the Princess throughout the movie were the inspiration for R2-D2 and C3PO in Star Wars. Pretty cool trivia fact. If you're put off by sub-titles, that's a shame. You're missing some of the greatest movies ever made by one of history's greatest directors. I can watch this or Kurasawa's Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, Ran, Throne of Blood, Kagemusha and Rashomon all day long. (Sorry, I couldn't pick just one once I started. And I'm know I left some out.) Of course, Seven Samurai is an all day long movie just by itself..lol.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Own For Any Kurosawa Fan! March 17 2014
By zeb - Published on Amazon.com
Received my pre-order a day early from another retailer who had a better deal. I've been waiting a very long time for Criterion to release a blu-ray edition of this incredibly entertaining film. I must say, they did a stellar job of overhauling the visuals to a level this film has never even come close to. The clarity of the film's widescreen format with an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 is breathtaking. There will be two large black bars on top and bottom of the screen. It seems noticeably brighter and the contrast level is maxed out. You might want to tone down the brightness level a notch or two in order to make it easier on the eyes for the next 2 1/2 hrs. The blacks are deep and the visual integrity is near 3 dimensional. You won't get that fuzzy low rez blur that you get from lower quality formats. The close-ups of faces are incredibly detailed to the point where you can see their pores, sweat, wrinkles, and grunge. The foreground as well as the background is crisp and detailed. It's hard to believe such a dramatic makeover could be possible with a film nearly 60 yrs old. The subtitles are brighter and much easier to read. There is noticeable grain throughout the film which is intended and doesn't detract from the enjoyment rather it's appreciative. Don't see how this film can get any better.

There are 3 audio options; original monaural, 3.0 perspecta simulated surround, and a commentary from the Japanese film scholar Stephen Prince. The commentary is very insightful and highly entertaining. Other options include the making of the film called "It is wonderful to create" and a short interview with George Lucas; how he was influenced by Kurosawa in SD quality.

The case includes a small booklet which has the chapter selections as well as an insightful introduction from another film scholar Catherine Russell. The DVD and Blu-Ray discs are arranged from top and bottom inserts instead of separate spindles to minimize space as well as cost.

Now that you've read my spiel. Go click "confirm purchase" now!
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Favorite Japanese movie Jan. 18 2014
By G. Pierce - Published on Amazon.com
I will probably get the blu-ray version. Already have the DVD. Best Kurosawa movie and one of Mifune's best. I have over 300 Japanese movies and this is my favorite. If you are looking for a samurai movie with a lot of fighting scenes, this isn't the movie for you. Lucas has admitted that he got the basic idea for Star Wars from this movie. The main plot is a general trying to take a princess through enemy territory to get her home with the help of two bumbling peasants. The two peasants provide most the comedy with Mifune playing a stoic samurai leader. Great movie and I highly recommend getting it.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hidden Fortress March 19 2014
By Digital obsever - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
The movie was great, the Cast, Directing, Photography story line, a crystal clear Picture.
What more can you ask of a movie.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspired by the Movies of John Ford March 19 2014
By The Movie Man - Published on Amazon.com
“The Hidden Fortress” takes place in a war-ravaged feudal Japan. Two peasants, Tahei (Minoru Chiaki) and Matakishi (Kamatari Fujiwara) have escaped from a prisoner-of-war camp and are heading home when they encounter General Rokurota Makabe (Toshiro Mifune). The General tells the men he knows where a large amount of gold can be found, and enlists their help transporting Princess Yuki (Misa Uehara) to safety. With Yuki disguised as a mute farming girl and the gold hidden in bundles of sticks, the small group travels the countryside avoiding enemy soldiers except when the General is forced to take action.

Director Akira Kurosawa’s primary inspiration is American films, particularly those of John Ford. “The Hidden Fortress” is different from many of the director’s films in that it is as much a comedy as an adventure movie. The story is told from the point of view of secondary characters. Tahei and Matakishi are bumbling and greedy and provide lots of the humor. According to George Lucas, these characters were the inspiration for C3PO and R2D2 in “Star Wars.”

Bonus features on the 2-disc Dual-Format Blu-ray/DVD edition include audio commentary, a 2003 making-of documentary, a 2001 interview with George Lucas about Kurosawa, and a booklet featuring a critical essay. The film is in Japanese, with English subtitles. The Criterion Collection releases continue to be the most elegantly packaged with the best quality pictures, particularly of older films.
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