8.3/10
104,031
269 user 153 critic

Rashomon (1950)

Rashômon (original title)
Unrated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 26 December 1951 (USA)
A heinous crime and its aftermath are recalled from differing points of view.

Director:

Writers:

(stories), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
3,019 ( 335)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Top Rated Movies #99 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Yojimbo (1961)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A crafty ronin comes to a town divided by two criminal gangs and decides to play them against each other to free the town.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Eijirô Tôno, Tatsuya Nakadai
Seven Samurai (1954)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Tsushima
Ran (1985)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In Medieval Japan, an elderly warlord retires, handing over his empire to his three sons. However, he vastly underestimates how the new-found power will corrupt them and cause them to turn on each other...and him.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao, Jinpachi Nezu
Ikiru (1952)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A bureaucrat tries to find a meaning in his life after he discovers he has terminal cancer.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Takashi Shimura, Nobuo Kaneko, Shin'ichi Himori
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A war-hardened general, egged on by his ambitious wife, works to fulfill a prophecy that he would become lord of Spider's Web Castle.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Minoru Chiaki, Isuzu Yamada
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Set in Post-WWII Italy, a working class man's bicycle is stolen. He and his son set out to find it.

Director: Vittorio De Sica
Stars: Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola, Lianella Carell
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A man seeks answers about life, death, and the existence of God as he plays chess against the Grim Reaper during the Black Plague.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Max von Sydow, Gunnar Björnstrand, Bengt Ekerot
Sanjuro (1962)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A crafty samurai helps a young man and his fellow clansmen save his uncle, who has been framed and imprisoned by a corrupt superintendent.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai, Keiju Kobayashi
(1963)
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A harried movie director retreats into his memories and fantasies.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Anouk Aimée, Claudia Cardinale
M (1931)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

When the police in a German city are unable to catch a child-murderer, other criminals join in the manhunt.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Peter Lorre, Ellen Widmann, Inge Landgut
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Lured by gold, two greedy peasants escort a man and woman across enemy lines. However, they do not realize that their companions are actually a princess and her general.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Misa Uehara, Minoru Chiaki
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

After living a life marked by coldness, an aging professor is forced to confront the emptiness of his existence.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Victor Sjöström, Bibi Andersson, Ingrid Thulin
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
Kichijirô Ueda ...
Noriko Honma ...
Daisuke Katô ...
Edit

Storyline

A priest, a woodcutter and another man are taking refuge from a rainstorm in the shell of a former gatehouse called Rashômon. The priest and the woodcutter are recounting the story of a murdered samurai whose body the woodcutter discovered three days earlier in a forest grove. Both were summoned to testify at the murder trial, the priest who ran into the samurai and his wife traveling through the forest just before the murder occurred. Three other people who testified at the trial are supposedly the only direct witnesses: a notorious bandit named Tajômaru, who allegedly murdered the samurai and raped his wife; the white veil cloaked wife of the samurai; and the samurai himself who testifies through the use of a medium. The three tell a similarly structured story - that Tajômaru kidnapped and bound the samurai so that he could rape the wife - but which ultimately contradict each other, the motivations and the actual killing being what differ. The woodcutter reveals at Rashômon that he ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The great, exciting Japanese production that brings a new experience to the cinema. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 December 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rashomon  »

Box Office

Budget:

$250,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In the downpour scenes showing the Rashomon Gate, Akira Kurosawa found that the rain in the background simply wouldn't show up against the light gray backdrop. To solve this problem, the crew ended up tinting the rain by pouring black ink into the tank of the rain machine. The ink is clearly visible on the Woodcutter's face just before the rain stops. See more »

Quotes

Tajômaru: [recalling staring transfixed at the man's wife] I thought I saw a goddess. At that moment I decided to have her, even if I had to kill her man. But if I could have her without killing, all the better.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Fellini: I'm a Born Liar (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A brilliant masterpiece from a masterful director
8 April 2006 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

"Rashomon" was Akira Kurosawa's first national hit (becoming, at the time, the highest-grossing foreign film in America) and even gained an Oscar for Best Foreign Film, but almost sixty years later it still hasn't lost any of its impact. It is widely revered as one of the most influential films of all-time, but unlike some other movies, it is not a film that feels dated. The revolutionary methods of Kurosawa are still effective and on-par with the cinema of today -- this isn't a movie where you say, "Yeah, fifty years ago it might have been different, but now it's done in all the movies." Kurosawa's techniques are still superior to most of his imitators. Look at the 2003 John McTiernan film, "Basic," which copies a good portion of "Rashomon's" concept. Which is the better film? It's not a hard choice.

The film begins under a structure which reads "Rashomon" on its exterior, in a small Japanese village. It's raining outside and a woodcutter (Takashi Shumura) and a priest (Minoru Chiaki) inadvertently find themselves in the company of a wandering commoner (Kichijiro Ueda), and as he asks them what is the matter they both begin to relay the most horrific story they claim to know -- of a brutal murder a few days prior.

Kurosawa then switches to flashback and we see three different versions of the exact same event -- the slaying of an innocent man (the murderer played by Kurosawa film regular Toshirô Mifune) in the woods outside the village. Was it because of lust? Betrayal? Envy? Or insanity? We hear from the murderer, the wife of the victim, and a woman channeling the spirit of the dead man.

"Rashomon" is brilliant. Some people have complained that the ending is a cop-out and sentimental hogwash, but I think Kurosawa was fond of sentimentality to a point (he uses a good deal of it in "Ikiru") but the difference between what he does with sentimentality as opposed to many filmmakers of today is that he uses to to ENRICH the story, not provide an easy solution to all the problems.

Is there resolution in the finale of "Rashomon"? To a degree. But, like "Ikiru," it also leaves an open answer to its audience -- this film questions us, and our humanity, and it says something about the human condition and our weaknesses as a species. Yet it also proposes that along with the evil is an inherent good, and in my opinion the message of "Rashomon" is just as important and effective as its film-making techniques and acting.


81 of 98 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Rashomon or Seven Samurai? Errand
laughing niemand_123
Rashomon Reconsidered - Unreliable Narrators billheron53
Rashomon Reconsidered - Unreliable Narrators billheron53
Where the hell did all those threads vanish? mevmijaumau
20thC Japan: What of baby as cast later life/ FinesHerbes
Discuss Rashomon (1950) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page