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People on Focus

12/10/2010 11:47

1950 / 35mm / 88 min / B & W / Produced by Daiei (Tokyo)



Based on a novel by: Ryunosuke Akutagawa                  Photography: Kazuo Miyagawa
Directed by: Akira Kurosawa                                         Art Director: Takashi Matsuyama
Screenplay by: Akira Kurosawa & Shinobu Hashimoto    Music: Fumio Hayasaka
Tajomaru (robber): Toshiro Mifune                        
Kanazawa Takeshiro (samurai): Masayuki Mori               Masago (Takeshiro’s wife): Machiko Kyo


©1950 Kadokawa Pictures, Inc.


Grand Prix at Venice Film Festival (1951)
Best Foreign Film Award at American Academy Award (1951)

In the 10th century, a samurai travelling through the countryside is found stabbed to death in the shrubs in Yamashina. Court proceedings dealing with a robber suspect TAJOMARU, the suspect claims, "I was attracted by the beauty of the wife of the dead samurai and fooled the samurai into being tied up with ropes and went on to rape his wife; but his wife pleaded with me to duel with her husband and I won in a fair fight. His wife fled during this duel." But the wife MASAGO states. "I was raped and wished to die. I requested my husband to put me to death, but he only laughed at me. I was so enraged that I used a dagger to stab my husband and attempt to stab myself to death also but failed. The robber stole my husband's sword and fled from the scene." The soul of the deceased samurai, KANAZAWA TAKEHIRO, called out by a miko (spiritualistic medium) states, "The robber invited my wife whom he had raped to flee with him and my wife consented but urged the robber to stab me. While I was arguing with the robber, my wife fled from the scene. The robber cut the ropes that bound me and left, so I stabbed myself to death with my wife's dagger." All these statements were made to defend the honor and dignity of the persons testifying and no one can judge which is the truth. In the shadow of the Rashomon Gate, a travelling Buddhist priest and his servant sheltering themselves from the rain, are talking about the rumors on the samurai's death. A woodcutter passing by tells them what he has witnessed, but no one can believe any of their stories.



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