The Hidden Fortress

The Hidden Fortress ★★★★

Kurosawa goes widescreen! This is definitely not meant to be a serious dramatic work, but Kurosawa could hang with the best of entertainers with the great adventure vibe on display in the film, and it's also really damn funny throughout. Some terrific action sequences, a really fun main ensemble cast, and a strong sense of pacing help cover up any relatively minor flaws that the story has with introducing the supporting cast. I'm not surprised that George Lucas used the film as the backbone of the first Star Wars film, although Princess Leia is no Princess Yuki.