Rashomon (1950)

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Movie Info & Cast

Synopsis

Set in feudal Japan, this film presents an intriguing tale of violent crime in the woods, told from the perspective of four different characters -- a bandit, a woman, her husband and a woodcutter. Only two things about the incident seem to be clear -- the woman was raped and her husband is now dead. However, the other elements radically differ as the four participants and/or witnesses relate their own stories (with the dead man, eerily enough, speaking through a medium). As each account is revealed, what seemed black-and-white turns to various hues of gray, leading to surprising -- and confounding -- revelations.

Cast

  • Toshirô Mifune
  • Machiko Kyô
  • Masayuki Mori
  • Takashi Shimura
  • Minoru Chiaki
  • Kichijirô Ueda
  • Noriko Honma
  • Daisuke Katô
  • Anthony La Penna

Did You Know?

Trivia

  • This film is often given credit for the first time a camera was pointed directly at the sun. In Akira Kurosawa's biography, he gives credit to his cinematographer for "inventing" it and himself for using it, but years later, during commentary that preceded the TV showing of the film, the head of the studio claimed credit. Kurosawa bitterly denied this claim.
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Quotes

    • Commoner: No one tells a lie after he's said he's going to tell one.
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Atom User Reviews

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Metacritic

100

A penetrating study of the subjectivity of truth and perception, changed cinema forever and inspired the phrase the Rashomon effect.

Metacritic review by G. Allen Johnson
G. Allen Johnson
San Francisco Chronicle
100

Today, nearly fifty years after it was made, Rashomon has lost none of its fascination or power. It's still a marvelous piece of cinema that asks unanswerable questions of great import.

Metacritic review by James Berardinelli
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
100

The wonder of Rashomon is that while the shadowplay of truth and memory is going on, we are absorbed by what we trust is an unfolding story.

Metacritic review by Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
RogerEbert.com