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.
In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.
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
This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #138. See more »
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 »
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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