The rape of a bride and the murder of her samurai husband are recalled from the perspectives of a bandit, the bride, the samurai's ghost and a woodcutter.

Director:

Akira Kurosawa

Writers:

Ryûnosuke Akutagawa (stories), Akira Kurosawa (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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3,965 ( 1,046)
Top Rated Movies #130 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Toshirô Mifune ... Tajômaru
Machiko Kyô ... Masako Kanazawa
Masayuki Mori ... Takehiro Kanazawa
Takashi Shimura ... Woodcutter
Minoru Chiaki ... Priest
Kichijirô Ueda ... Commoner
Noriko Honma Noriko Honma ... Medium
Daisuke Katô ... Policeman
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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:

Exciting and Unusual Japanese Drama! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The music used while Masako is telling her version of the story sounds quite similar to Maurice Ravel's 'Bolero' and it seems clearly inspired by that model. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Commoner: It's human to lie. Most of the time we can't even be honest with ourselves.
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Alternate Versions

In order to get the film into more mainstream U.S. theatres, RKO also released this film in an English dubbed version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Magnum, P.I.: I Witness (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

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.
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User Reviews

Masterclass storytelling
15 January 2001 | by darth_sidiousSee all my reviews

Rashomon by Akira is probably one of his very best, from his storytelling to the visuals, the picture is amazing.

The film is about about the truth, and burying it because no one can handle it. People prefer to live a lie than admit the truth, very reminiscent of today's world. The characters are talking to us, we are the jury.

The performances are amazing, nothing acting is so good, blows away today's competition.

The film score is stunning as well, one of my favourites from a Japanese film.

The direction is breathtaking, the jungle is beautifully lit, it has a sense of horror to it. Black and white was the perfect choice.

Overall, an amazing film from a genius!


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

26 December 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rashomon See more »

Filming Locations:

Japan See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$250,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,942, 28 July 2002

Gross USA:

$46,808

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$46,808
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Daiei See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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