The Hidden Fortress by Akira Kurosawa (Japan, 1958, 139 min.). A spirited adventure that only Kurosawa could create, a general and a princess must dodge enemy clans while smuggling the royal treasure out of hostile territory with two bumbling, conniving peasants at their sides. Acknowledged as a primary influence on Star Wars, The Hidden Fortress delivers Kurosawa’s inimitably deft blend of wry humor, breathtaking action, and humanist compassion on an epic scale.