Directed By: Akira Kurosawa Starring: Toshirô Mifune

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Product Overview

Through an ingenious use of cmaera and flashbacks, kurosawa reveals the complexities of human nature as 4 people recount different versions of the story of a man's murder and the rape of his wife.


Studio Home Vision/Public Media
SKU 40164833
UPC 037429161821
UPC 14 00037429161821
Format DVD
Release Date 3/19/2002
Essential Cinema
Period Piece
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note Akira Kurosawa's highly acclaimed film, set in feudal Japan, presents an intriguing tale of violent crime in the woods, told from the perspective of four different characters--a bandit (Toshirô Mifune), a woman (Machiko Kyô), her husband (Masayuki Mori), and a woodcutter (Takashi Shimura). 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--relevations.^A landmark of international cinema, RASHOMON won the prestigious Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1951, bringing both Kurosawa--and Japanese film in general--to the attention of Western audiences. From the rain-soaked opening sequence to its moving conclusion, the film is a stunning examination of truth and human nature. The entire cast is pitch-perfect, with regular Kurosawa lead actors Mifune and Shimura giving typically outstanding performances. While critics and cinephiles debate over exactly how many masterpieces Kurosawa directed, RASHOMON stands as one of the revered filmmaker's indisputably brilliant motion pictures. In fact, the film's influence is so pervasive that it has inspired everything from a high profile Hollywood remake (THE OUTRAGE starring Paul Newman) to numerous tributes in movies such as COURAGE UNDER FIRE and THE USUAL SUSPECTS.
Sight and Sound "...What really gives the film its impact is less the multi-layered narrative than the dynamic direction and powerhouse performance from Toshiro Mifune..." 01/01/2002 p.60
Premiere "A look at RASHOMON's exquisite visuals makes it apparent that Sergio Leone's westerns were inspired by more than just Akira Kurosawa's plots." 12/01/2003 p.C5
Empire 5 stars out of 5 -- "[A] taut study of the subjectivity of truth....RASHOMON's intricate moves have been borrowed by a legion of Hollywood imitators, from THE USUAL SUSPECTS to VANTAGE POINT." 10/01/2008 p.172
Total Film 4 stars out of 5 -- "Audiences were captivated by the lyrical beauty of Kurosawa's direction and the dynamic power of his editing, zipping the narrative along with hard-edged horizontal wipes." 11/01/2008 p.145
Chicago Sun-Times "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." 05/26/2002
Washington Post "Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa's 1950 RASHOMON has had such a profound cultural influence that there is even a psychosociological phenomenon named after it." 11/13/2009
Akira Kurosawa
Toshirô Mifune
Cast & Crew
Daisuke Kato - Actor
Fumiko Honma - Actor
Masayuki Mori - Actor
Minoru Chiaki - Actor
Takashi Shimura - Actor
Toshiro Mifune - Actor
Kichijiro Ueda - Actor
Machiko Kyo - Actor
Ryunosuke Akutagawa - Based On Stories By
Kazuo Miyagawa - Costume Designer
Akira Kurosawa - Director
Masaichi Nagata - Executive Producer
Takashi Matsuyama - Musical Score
Jingo Minoura - Producer
Shinobu Hashimoto - Writer
Akira Kurosawa - Writer
Technical Info
Original Release Date 1950
Catalog ID 040
UPC 00037429161821
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 88 minutes
Color B&W
Original Language Japanese
Available Subtitles English
Available Audio Tracks English Dubbed, Japanese
Aspect Ratio
Oscar (1953) Takashi Matsuyama, H. Motsumoto, Nominee, Best Black-And White Art Direction, Set Decoration
Venice Film Festival (1951) Akira Kurosawa, Winner, Golden Lion
ReviewSource James Berardinelli's ReelViews
Review ...Today, nearly fifty years after it was made, Rashomon has lost none of its fascination or power... In every sense of the word, this is a true classic. It's hard to find a more rewarding way to spend ninety minutes.
ReviewRating 10
ReviewSource TV Guide Online
Review One of the most brilliantly constructed films of all time, Rashomon is a monument to Akira Kurosawa's greatness, combining his well-known humanism with a narrative style that has become a hallmark of film history... Rashomon also contains some of the most amazing performances you are likely to find anywhere...
ReviewRating 10
Halliwell's Film Guide Indescribably vivid...
Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide ...superlative study of truth and human nature.
VideoHound's Golden Movie Retriever Fine performances...visually beautiful and rhythmic
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Format: DVD
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