Rashomon Trailers

3/5 2.5/5.0

Original title 羅生門
Category Crime, Drama, Mystery
UK Release Date
Production year 1950
Production Country
Directors Akira Kurosawa
Cast Toshirō Mifune, Machiko Kyō, Masayuki Mori, Takashi Shimura, Minoru Chiaki, Kichijirô Ueda, Daisuke Katô, Noriko Honma
Distributor British Film Institute (BFI)


Famously, Rashomon – which won both the Golden Lion in Venice and the Oscar for Foreign-Language Film – introduced Western audiences to Japanese cinema in general and to the thrilling artistry of Akira Kurosawa in particular. Likewise well-known is the fact that its story of rape and murder in 12th century Kyoto is related in four conflicting versions, each reflecting the experience – or, more troublingly, desire for sympathy – of one of those present at the crime: a bandit (a memorably bestial Toshiro Mifune), a samurai and his wife, and a woodcutter. But the film, with its ingeniously framed flashbacks, is considerably subtler and richer than most subsequent films demonstrating the relativity of 'truth'; it also succeeds as a caustic study of human weakness. Fast-paced, endlessly inventive (one of the flashbacks represents the viewpoint of a dead man!) and visually superb, this philosophical action-movie also boasts great performances from a first-rate team of Kurosawa regulars.