Skip to main content

The Hidden Fortress

The Hidden Fortress
Hidden Fortress Widescreen

Linwood Dunn Theater
Pickford Center, 1313 Vine Street
Hollywood, CA 90028


Cinema has endured for decades in the face of competing visual storytelling mediums. In connection with our event The New Audience: Moviegoing in a Connected World, discover how studios and filmmakers – long before tablets, smartphones and the Internet – responded as audiences began trading regular visits to the movies for the ease and affordability of the first small screen: television. In response, numerous widescreen cinematic formats were rolled out around the world and capitalized on the breathtaking width of the projected image, not to mention the heightened fidelity of stereophonic sound, to achieve effects far beyond the reach of TV sets. This Is Widescreen offers a colorful assortment of films that demonstrate how filmmakers found new means of engaging the flexibility of the cinema and the key larger-than-life film formats employed over a 15-year period in Hollywood – from the launch of Cinerama in 1952 and the subsequent widescreen boom that included CinemaScope, VistaVision, Todd-AO and others – plus highlights from the first wave of 'Scope filmmaking from around the globe. 

Thursday, May 14 | 7:30 P.M.

Akira Kurosawa’s rousing samurai adventure was his first film shot in widescreen Tohoscope and was a formative influence on George Lucas’s beloved 1977 Star Wars. Kurosawa regular Toshiro Mifune plays a defeated general who teams with a pair of peasants (the forerunners to R2-D2 and C3PO) to help escort a princess and her family gold across the 16th century Japanese countryside. The Hidden Fortress was Kurosawa’s biggest box office hit in his native Japan until the internationally successful Yojimbo, and though the film was first released in the U.S. in an abridged 90-minute cut that was sometimes compared unfavorably to the director’s classics like Rashomon and Seven Samurai, the later release of his original version has greatly improved its reputation in recent decades.

1958, 139 minutes, black-and-white, 35mm | Directed by Akira Kurosawa; written by Ryuzo Kikushima, Hideo Oguni, Shinobu Hashimoto, Kurosawa; with Toshiro Mifune, Misa Uehara, Minoru Chiaki, Kamatari Fujiwara, Takashi Shimura, Susumu Fujita.