The Hidden Fortress (Japan, 1958)
Another Akira Kurosawa epic classic! This one takes some time to simmer and get going but well worth the wait.
'The Hidden Fortress' is a film of a young gutsy Princess and her escape from an evil dark empire. The Princess is assisted by two fearful servants and a samurai that helps guide her along the way to re-establish her empire in a new homeland. Oh wait…that’s the plot of ‘Star Wars.’ Sound familiar? Actually, George Lucas references 'The Hidden Fortress’ often as a partial inspiration for his 1977 classic.
Watching ‘Hidden Fortress’ you can definitely sense this story telling perspective as well as the characters relationship and similarities in persona and dialogue to C3PO and R2D2, not to mention the influence of Kurosawa on Lucas’ screen techniques using ‘frame wipes’ for transitions.
George Lucas discusses the influence of Akira Kurosawa in his works