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Rashomon (Criterion Collection)

4.6 out of 5 stars 96 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Rashomon  (Criterion Collection)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Toshirô Mifune, Machiko Kyô, Masayuki Mori, Takashi Shimura, Minoru Chiaki
  • Directors: Akira Kurosawa
  • Writers: Akira Kurosawa, Ryûnosuke Akutagawa, Shinobu Hashimoto
  • Producers: Masaichi Nagata, Minoru Jingo
  • Format: Black & White, DVD-Video, Special Edition, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Release Date: Oct. 1 2002
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 96 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00003CXC6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #35,938 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

Brimming with action while incisively examining the nature of truth, Rashomon is perhaps the finest film ever to investigate the philosophy of justice. Through an ingenious use of camera and flashbacks, Kurosawa reveals the complexities of human nature as four people recount different versions of the story of a man's murder and the rape of his wife. Toshiro Mifune gives another commanding performance in the eloquent masterwork that revolutionized film language and introduced Japanese cinema to the world.


This 1950 film by Akira Kurosawa is more than a classic: it's a cinematic archetype that has served as a template for many a film since. (Its most direct influence was on a Western remake, The Outrage, starring Paul Newman and directed by Martin Ritt.) In essence, the facts surrounding a rape and murder are told from four different and contradictory points of view, suggesting the nature of truth is something less than absolute. The cast, headed by Kurosawa's favorite actor, Toshiro Mifune, is superb. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I usually watch many kinds of different movies, but I wasn't a fan of old Asian movies, at least not until a friend lent me this beautiful classic, directed by Akira Kurosawa. Now I know what I was missing...

"Rashomon" (1950), shot in black and white, is nothing short of stunning. The first scenes show us a priest and a woodcutter taking refuge in an old temple, in order to escape from the heavy rain. A third man shows up, and they start talking about a recent crime that troubles them. Despite the fact that these men were at the trial in which those involved were judged, they don't have a clue regarding what happened, due to the fact that they hear very different versions of the events that took place that fateful day. Will the truth ever be found out? And is there such a thing as truth, or an objective point of view?

This is the first film by Kurosawa I have watched, but it won't be my last. Highly recommended ! And... thanks, Rubén :)

- Belen Alcat, June 2007 -
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By James Yee TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 28 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Like most people, I was first introduced to Akira Kurosawa with his 1954 film "Seven Samurai" and was just blown away by that cinematic masterpiece. The next film I saw was "Kagemusha" and I thoroughly enjoyed the stunning visuals and story-telling in that film too. I have seen many Kurosawa films over the years but "Rashomon" was the one film that I never seemed to have an opportunity to watch. For some reason or another, this film has always eluded me. By chance, I saw this dvd being offered by Amazon - brand new - for an outstanding price of $12(!) and didn't hesitate to purchase it.

I'm glad I did.

The premise to Rashomon intrigued me not to mention that the film stars Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura and Minoru Chiaki who would later appear in "Seven Samurai" as samurai protagonists Kikuchiyo, Kambei and Heihachi. Rashomon is a beautifully done film and the recent criterion version is masterfully restored. Although some scenes appear fuzzy, they are few and far between and the overall audio and video is quite clean. The included booklet includes the two Ryūnosuke Akutagawa novellas that are the basis for this film: "Rashomon" and "In a Grove" which are definitely worth reading.

Without a doubt, I am quite pleased with this purchase and the fact that I only paid $12 for it makes it even more sweeter. Rashomon is a must-see film.
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Format: DVD
This was a difficult movie to rate because the concept was excellent and well-presented but I felt the movie lacked a little to maintain the interest of the viewer from start to finish. As such, I found myself looking and thinking ahead rather than focussing on the current scene on the screen.
This is an older movie which should be appreciated for what a masterful work it was in its' time. It hasn't lost much during its' tenure but the texture of this black and white movie has seen better days. The acting is very good and, to better appreciate it, I watched it in Japanese with sub-titles. The DVD has other options for viewing including English dubbing. I will probably look at that option the next time I view it.
The story is simple yet complex. There is a rape and murder in the countryside. The story of what happened is related by four witnesses including, in a very impressive use of make-up, the deceased himself. Everyone's story is slanted towards their role in the events. The participants tend to see themselves as victims and so the truth looks different depending on who is telling the story. This is the magnificence of the movie.
There are three persons who serve as a sort of narration and editorial team which helps give the movie greater impact. The story begins in a poring rain with the story-line just as dismal. It ends with the sun shinning and we are given a note of hope to finish up with.
In my line of work, I have become accustomed to hearing many a complaint. I have learned (the hard way) not to pass judgement until I hear the other side (or in some cases "sides") of the story. Sometimes I get lied to but often the differences come from individual's perspectives of how they are affected by the events in question.
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By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Jan. 10 2004
Format: DVD
A man is dead, a woman was raped, and that's all that can be definitely said. Somebody has committed murder, but nobody knows whodunnit. Genius filmmaker Akira Kurosawa's "Rashomon" is a classic for its skillful direction, suspense and wonderful acting. It's one of those movies you think must be vastly overrated until you see it, and are blown away by it.
At the Rashomon Gate in eleventh-century Japan, a man (Kichijiro Ueda) takes shelter with a priest (Minoru Chiaki) and a woodcutter (Takashi Shimura) during a rainstorm. The woodcutter is depressed and the priest is horrified, over a recent crime: the vicious bandit Tajômaru (Toshirô Mifune) was arrested for murdering a man named Takehiro (Masayuki Mori) and raping his wife Masako (Machiko Kyô). But when taken before the police, Tajômaru claims that he has his fun with the woman and killed her husband honorably in a fight.
But Masako begs to differ; she claims to be the victim first of the sadistic bandit, then of her cold-hearted husband. And when a medium calls up the spirit of Takehiro, he claims that Masako was unfaithful, asking the bandit to murder him, then spurned by Tajômaru. Her actions drove Takehiro to suicide. And the woodcutter himself claims to have seen the altercation -- and his version is wildly different from them all.
During the filming of "Rashomon," director Akira Kurosawa stated that the film is a reflection of life, which doesn't always have clear meanings. The same could be said of truth. Questions are raised by the events of "Rashomon," but given no easy answers -- sometimes no answers at all (my biggest question was how Masako's gown stays so white if she's always weeping on the ground).
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