The story is so ideally interesting that it’s surprising no one else ever thought of it. The idea about rivalry on both sides, and both sides are equally bad. We all know what this is like. Here we are, weakly caught in the middle, and it is impossible to choose between evils. It was truly an enormous popular hit. Everyone at the company said it was because of the sword-fighting. But that is not so – the reason was the character of the hero and what he does. He is a real hero, he has a real reason for fighting. He doesn’t just stand by and wave his sword around.
- Akira Kurosawa [x]