The Hidden Fortress

The Hidden Fortress ★★★★★

This unexpectedly became "family movie night" when my older boy -- he's 8 -- walked into my office and said, "So Star Wars is really about the two droids?" and I said, sort of. I explained that George Lucas had seen Hidden Fortress and liked telling a larger story through the supporting characters. So I showed him the first ten minutes of the movie, reading the subtitles aloud so he could keep up. He loved it. I was worried about the violence but it's the tamest of samurai pictures. Then my youngest came in -- he's 5 -- and started watching. They were completely hooked. Then my wife came in for the last hour, and we watched as a family. And that's how my boys saw their first Kurosawa and first b&w samurai movie.

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