MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 282 this week

Rashomon (1950)
"Rashômon" (original title)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  26 December 1951 (USA)
8.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.4/10 from 75,119 users  
Reviews: 239 user | 133 critic

A heinous crime and its aftermath are recalled from differing points of view.

Director:

Writers:

(stories), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 31 titles
created 15 Aug 2011
 
a list of 37 titles
created 13 Sep 2011
 
a list of 46 titles
created 12 Apr 2012
 
a list of 22 titles
created 01 Dec 2012
 
a list of 31 titles
created 30 Dec 2012
 

Related Items

Search for "Rashômon" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Rashomon (1950)

Rashomon (1950) on IMDb 8.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Rashomon.

User Polls

Top 250 #92 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Chinatown (1974)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A private detective hired to expose an adulterer finds himself caught up in a web of deceit, corruption and murder.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his kids against prejudice.

Director: Robert Mulligan
Stars: Gregory Peck, John Megna, Frank Overton
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

As corruption grows in 1950s LA, three policemen - the straight-laced, the brutal, and the sleazy - investigate a series of murders with their own brand of justice.

Director: Curtis Hanson
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce
Brick (2005)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A teenage loner pushes his way into the underworld of a high school crime ring to investigate the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend.

Director: Rian Johnson
Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lukas Haas, Emilie de Ravin
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In a murder trial, the defendant says he suffered temporary insanity after the victim raped his wife. What is the truth, and will he win his case?

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: James Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara
The Departed (2006)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

An undercover state cop who has infiltrated an Irish gang and a mole in the police force working for the same mob race to track down and identify each other before being exposed to the enemy, after both sides realize their outfit has a rat.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson
Paranoid Park (2007)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A teenage skateboarder's life begins to fray after he is involved in the accidental death of a security guard.

Director: Gus Van Sant
Stars: Gabe Nevins, Daniel Liu, Taylor Momsen
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Julie Kohler is prevented from suicide by her mother. She leaves the town. She will track down, charm and kill five men who do not know her. What is her goal ? What is her purpose ?

Director: François Truffaut
Stars: Jeanne Moreau, Jean-Claude Brialy, Michel Bouquet
Character (1997)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Jacob Katadreuffe lives mute with his mother, has no contact with his father who only works against him and wants to become a lawyer, at all costs.

Director: Mike van Diem
Stars: Pavlik Jansen op de Haar, Jan Decleir, Fedja van Huêt
Clockers (1995)
Drama | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Young drug pushers in the projects of Brooklyn live hard dangerous lives, trapped between their drug bosses and the detectives out to stop them.

Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Harvey Keitel, John Turturro, Delroy Lindo
Le Samouraï (1967)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Things suddenly go badly for a successful French assassin.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Alain Delon, Nathalie Delon, François Périer
Volver I (2006)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After her death, a mother returns to her home town in order to fix the situations she couldn't resolve during her life.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Stars: Penélope Cruz, Carmen Maura, Lola Dueñas
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Machiko Kyô ...
...
...
Minoru Chiaki ...
Kichijirô Ueda ...
Noriko Honma ...
Medium
Daisuke Katô ...
Policeman
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

Plot Keywords:

samurai | trial | priest | murder | forest | See more »

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 December 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rashomon  »

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 towards just before the rain stops. See more »

Quotes

Priest: A man's been murdered.
Commoner: So what? Only one? Why, up on top of this gate, there's always five or six bodies. No one worries about them.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kurosawa: The Last Emperor (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

To what extent does subjectivity affect perception?
9 September 2007 | by (prejudicemadeplausible.wordpress.com) – See all my reviews

"Rashomon" tells a very simple tale in a very complicated manner, presenting four 'versions' of the truth, each from a party either witness to or involved in the incident depicted. It is not the film's intent to have you piece together a puzzle since that would be impossible based on how drastically the four tales differ. We know that lies don't enter the equation since the participating persons all claim to be guilty. "Rashomon" is not about choosing a version of the incident you believe is true; it is about human perspective and how it shapes what we see. Even if we truly believe what we have seen is true, is it really?

The film opens when a priest and woodcutter are encountered by a man who engages in a conversation about crime with them and subsequently learns that a samurai has been killed in the woods and his wife raped by a bandit. These two details are the basic, practically undisputed facts which make up the foundation of the four versions of the story we hear: the bandit's, the woman's, her husband's (through a medium), and the woodcutter's (the only presumably objective account, which still does not make sense in relation to the others). In many ways the best thing about "Rashomon" is that it never reveals what actually happens (or if any of the four accounts is in fact true), and although we are not meant to solve the mystery (the idea here is that there is no objective truth since humans are too selfish and dishonest to view anything without bias) the story structure is still brilliant and adds a lot of ambiance to the film. The narrative flow is strong and the method seems fresh and inventive today despite countless imitations (including one inexplicably popular one- "The Usual Suspects").

"Rashomon" is very much a visual film. It would be reduced to unimportant and insignificant fare without the cinematography, which captures the mood and feel of the jungle perfectly, as does the score. The film achieves an epic feel very rare for films filmed in fullscreen, especially during the battle between the bandit and the samurai during the last telling of the story. Kurosawa was also wise enough to choose a location for the film that would accurately capture the eerie, slightly disturbing mood of the story. Just picture the events taking place anywhere other than a jungle.

"Rashomon" is not without its (minor) flaws, however. While theatrical acting (Kurosawa was fascinated with silent film) worked perfectly with films like "Seven Samurai" and "Throne of Blood", it does nothing but take away from the realism of this oft claustrophobic human drama. Yes, Mifune (Tajomaru, the bandit) does provide an interesting spin on his character for each telling, and Takashi Shumura (the woodcutter) seems as honest and real as any character could possibly be, but nearly all of that effect is lost every time Machiko Kyo appears on screen. It is hard to take her seriously and during moments when I should have been close to tears I was much closer to laughter. I'm not sure how much blame I would place on her as Kurosawa probably asked her to act exactly as she does. While discussing actors I have to (unconventionally) note Fumiko Honma as the medium, who brings a wonderfully eerie air to the film during its greatest scenes.

I don't think "Rashomon" is Kurosawa's best or most important film, but it is still a masterful piece of cinema which is absolutely essential for any film lover. It's extraordinary how much Kurosawa accomplished at such an early stage in his career and without the benefit of the lavish budgets he was allotted for later projects. The film's main question is also still relevant and confusing today: is what we think we see really the truth, and to what extent does subjectivity affect perception?

4.5/5


40 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Couldn't Get Into It... rockymav61832
Is there an accepted agreement of the actual events that took place? vza036
Eyebrows killiansplace
laughing niemand_123
Rashomon or Seven Samurai? Errand
Take out the big name - Akira Kurosawa onbliss
Discuss Rashomon (1950) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?