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.
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
"Rasho" means "citadel". "Mon" means "gate". Rashomon means the front gate of Heijokyo (Nara City) or Heiankyo (Kyoto). During the Nara Era, the capital of Japan was Heijokyo, from 710 A.D. to 784 A.D. From the Heian Era to the Edo Era, Heiankyo was the capital, from 794 A.D. to 1869 A.D. "Kyo" means "capital", and "To" means "east". So, with this in mind, Kyoto means the great capital, while Tokyo means the eastern capital. 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!
[...] 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 »
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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