Brian Trenchard-Smith on

The Hidden Fortress

Released 1960
Distributor Albex

Combining brilliant action sequences (filmed for the first time in sumptuous widescreen black and white Tohoscope) with fanciful characters out of a Japanese storybook, Akira Kurosawa’s 1958 “chambara” (sword fighting) comic-adventure deserves to be remembered for much more than simply its inspiration for the plot of Star Wars. Starring the irreplaceable Toshiro Mifune as the heroic samurai and Misa Uehara as the feisty princess in disguise. Kurosawa won Best Director at that year’s Berlin Film Festival. The 137 minute original was cut to 90 minutes for its 1962 US release, since restored.

About Brian Trenchard-Smith

Brian Trenchard-Smith has been burning to make genre films ever since seeing Hitchcock’s Vertigo at age 13. So far he has directed 42 Crimes Against Cinema, and counting (He’s an enthusiastic recidivist.) The Fantaspoa International Fantastic Film Festival recently gave him a career achievement award. His cult hits include The Man from Hong Kong, Turkey Shoot, BMX Bandits, Stunt Rock, Dead End Drive In, The Siege of Firebase Gloria. He has also made over 100 trailers ranging from Hammer horrors to Australian films of the 70′s and 80′s. His latest film is Drive Hard, a quirky action comedy with John Cusack and Thomas Jane. He hopes to shoot a Sci-Fi action picture in Tianjing, China later this year. Brian shares a passion for history with his wife Byzantine historian Dr. Margaret Trenchard-Smith. His first novel The Headsman's Daughter is available this summer on Amazon and Kindle.