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
Around the 22:30 mark (in the Criterion release), the bandit explains to the husband about the sword and where it came from, but the words don't even come close to matching his lips' movements. See more »
It's you two who are weak!
If you are my husband, kill this man, then you can tell me to kill myself! But you're not a real man. That is why I was crying. I'm tired of this farce.
[She continues laughing, and turns to Tajomaru]
I thought Tajomaru might find some way out.
[She clutches the bandit by his rags]
I thought that if he would save me I would do anything for him! I wanted you to take me away. I would have been yours!
[She spits in his face and laughs again]
[...] See more »
In order to get the film into more mainstream U.S. theatres, RKO also released this film in an English dubbed version. See more »
Woman's Tale Theme (Bolero)
Written by Fumio Hayasaka inspired by Maurice Ravel's "Bolero", using the same background rhythm, and similar orchestration and build-up, but different melodic lines. See more »
Kurosawa, do I need to say more
Kurosawa tells a story four times through different characters. The characters tell the story different four times. In flash-backs, all as the characters tell them, we see the stories. Are they lying, are they all telling their own truth or is there someone who tells THE truth? The way this is handled by Kurosawa is absolutely masterful.
Of course, his direction is great. Together with cinematographer Kazuo Miyagawa they do a tremendous job with the atmosphere in the woods. With perfect light angles it looks beautiful.
A real Japanese classic.
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