This movie is probably one of the more well-known Kurosawa films
for a silly reason: it was one of the sources George Lucas
ripped off adapted in Star Wars. Specifically,
the movie follows two hapless fellows, Tahei and Matakishi,
one short, one tall,
who are swept up in historic events beyond their control.
Also there's a snotty
princess being rescued by a brave and loyal hero. (Toshiro Mifune, of
George Lucas appears in a brief talking-head segment on the DVD. He acknowledges
stealing paying homage to the movie in
turning Tahei and Matakishi into R2D2 and C3P0; he says the
whole princess thing is more or less coincidence. OK.
The movie itself is pretty funny. Tahei and Matakishi are greedy and cowardly buffoons, endlessly bickering. They're also exceedingly stupid, which makes it easy for Mifune to manipulate them.