Rashomon (1950) - full transcript

The rape of a bride and the murder of her samurai husband are recalled from the perspectives of a bandit, the bride, the samurai's ghost and a woodcutter.

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Based on "In a Grove"
by Ryunosuke Akutagawa

Screenplay by Akira Kurosawa
and Shinobu Hashimoto

by Kazuo Miyagawa


Toshiro Mifune

Machiko Kyo

Takashi Shimura

Masayuki Mori

Minoru Chiaki

Directed by Akira Kurosawa

I don't understand...
I just don't understand.

I don't understand it at all.

I just don't understand.

What's wrong?

What don't you understand?

I've never heard
such a strange story.

Why don't you tell me about it?

We happen to have
a wise priest in our midst.

No, not even the renowned,
wise priest from Kiyomizu Temple

has heard a story
as strange as this.

So you know something
about this strange story?

This man and I have just seen it
and heard it ourselves.

- Where?
- In the courthouse garden.

The courthouse?

A man was murdered.

Just one? So what?

On top of this gate, you'll find
at least five or six unclaimed bodies.

You're right.

War, earthquake, winds,

fire, famine, the plague...

Year after year,
it's been nothing but disasters.

And bandits descend upon us
every night.

I've seen so many men
getting killed like insects,

but even I have never heard
a story as horrible as this.

Yes. So horrible.

This time, I may finally lose
my faith in the human soul.

It's worse than bandits,
the plague,

famine, fire, or war.

Look here, priest.

Enough with the sermon.

It sounded interesting,
at least while I kept out of the rain.

But if it's a sermon,
I'd sooner listen to the rain.

Hear me out. Maybe you can
tell me what it means.

I don't understand
any of those three.

- Which three?
- Well...

I'll tell you about them.

Calm down and tell me slowly.

The rain's not going to stop
any time soon.


It was three days ago.

I went into the mountains
to get wood.

I ran as fast as I could
to tell the police.

Then, three days later-- today--
I was called to testify.

Yes. That's right.

I was the one
who first found the body.

What? Did I see a sword
or something?

No, nothing at all.

Just a woman's hat
caught on a branch,

and the cap of a samurai
that had been trampled on.

There was a cut-up piece of rope
near the body,

and further along in the leaves,
a shiny amulet case with red lining.


That was all I found, yes.


I met the murdered man
before his death.

It was three days ago,
in the afternoon.

On the road

from Sekiyama to Yamashina.

The woman had a veil,
so I couldn't see her face.

Little did I expect
that he would meet such a fate.

A human life is truly as frail
and fleeting as the morning dew.

What a shame
that his should end this way.

I'm sorry.

This man I caught is Tajomaru.

Yes, the notorious bandit
everyone speaks of.

The last time I almost caught him,
he looked the same

and he carried that same sword.

It was two days ago at dusk,
by the banks of the Katsura...

What's wrong?

There were 17 arrows
with eagle feathers,

a leather bow, and a horse.

All these belonged
to the dead man, yes.

The irony of Tajomaru being
thrown off his stolen horse,

this had to be fateful retribution.

I fell off the horse?
You fool!

On that day...

I was riding that horse
and I was suddenly very thirsty.

So around Osaka,
I drank from a spring.

There must have been
a dead poisonous snake upstream.

After a while, I got
an incredible stomachache.

By the time I came to the river,
I couldn't hold it any longer.

So I got off the horse
and crouched in the field.

I fell off?

Obviously, a fool can think only
foolish thoughts.

I know sooner or later
you'll have my neck,

so I'm not going to hide anything.

It was this Tajomaru
who killed that man.

I saw that couple three days ago.
It was a hot afternoon.

Suddenly a cool breeze
rustled the leaves.

If it hadn't been for that wind,
I wouldn't have killed him.

I caught a glimpse
and then she was gone.

Maybe that's why.

I thought I saw a goddess.

At that moment I decided to capture her,
even if I had to kill her man.

But if I could have her
without killing, all the better.

My intention then was to take her
without killing the man.

But I couldn't do it
on that road to Yamashina.

What do you want?

What do you want?

What is it?

Don't be suspicious.

See? Isn't this nice?

Take a good look at it.

There are some ruins over there.

When I dug up the mound, I found
a heap of swords and mirrors.

I buried them in a grove behind the mountain
so no one else would find them.

If you're interested,
I'll sell them to you cheap.

It's over there.

Walk ahead of me.

It's here. Beyond those pines.

Your husband
has taken sick.

Her face turned pale.
She stared at me with frozen eyes,

her expression intense like a child's.

When I saw that, I envied the man
and I suddenly hated him.

I wanted to show her how pathetic
he looked tied to that pine tree.

These thoughts that weren't there
before filled my head.

I had never seen
such fierceness in a woman.

And so I had succeeded in having her
without killing her husband.

I still had no intention
of killing him.

But then...



Either you die or my husband dies.

One of you must die.

To have my shame known to two men
is worse than dying.

I will go with the survivor.

So I had to kill him,
but I wanted to do it honorably.

He fought very well.
We crossed swords 23 times.

I remember this
because I'm still impressed.

No one had ever crossed swords
with me more than 20 times.

What? The woman?

I don't know.

When the man died,
I turned to her. She was gone.

The fighting must have scared her
and she ran away.

I ran out to the mountain road.

All I found was her horse
grazing calmly.

I was attracted to her fierce spirit,

but, after all, she was just
like other women.

I didn't even look for her.

What? His sword?

I exchanged it in town for liquor.

What? Her dagger?

It had pearl inlay.
Looked very valuable.

I totally forgot about it.
That was foolish.

The biggest mistake I ever made!

Even amongst the bandits,
Tajomaru is famous for being a womanizer.

Why, last fall, a young wife went
to the temple and she and her maid

were found dead in the mountains.
That must have been him too.

Who knows what really happened
to that woman who left her horse?


that woman showed up
at the courthouse.

She was hiding in the temple
when the police found her.

It's a lie.

It's all a lie.
Tajomaru's story and the woman's.

It's human to lie.

Most of the time we can't even
be honest with ourselves.

That may be.

But it's because men are weak
that they lie, even to themselves.

Not another sermon.

I don't care if it's a lie,
as long as it's entertaining.

What story did the woman
come up with?

Well, it's completely different
from Tajomaru's story.

So different that her face didn't even
show the fierceness he spoke of.

She was so docile,
she was almost pitiful.

That man in the blue kimono,

after forcing me to yield to him,

proudly announced that
he was the infamous Tajomaru,

and laughed mockingly at my husband
who was tied up.

How horrified my husband
must have been.

The more he struggled,

the tighter the ropes dug in.

I ran to his side. Or rather, I tried to.

Even now, when I think of his eyes,

my blood turns cold in my veins.

What I saw in them was neither anger,

nor sorrow,

but a cold light, a look of loathing.


Don't look at me like that.

It's too cruel.

Beat me,

kill me, but don't look at me like that.
Please, stop.

Now kill me.

Kill me at once.



Please don't.

I must have fainted after that.

When I came to
and looked around...

Imagine my shock.

I saw my dagger
in my dead husband's chest.

I was in shock

and I don't remember
how I left the woods.

But when I came to,

I was standing by the pond,

at the foot of the hill.

I threw myself into the pond.

I tried many different things.

But I failed to kill myself.

What should a poor,
helpless woman like me do?

I see. The more I hear,
the more confused I get.

But women use their tears
to fool everyone.

They even fool themselves.

So you have to beware
of the woman's story.

When you hear
the dead man's story--

He's dead.
How can he tell his story?

He spoke through a medium.

Lies. His story was also lies.

But dead men don't lie.

Why is that?

I refuse to believe
that man would be so sinful.

Suit yourself.

But is there anyone who's
really good?

Maybe goodness is just make-believe.

What a frightening--

Man just wants to forget
the bad stuff

and believe in the made-up
good stuff.

- It's easier that way.
- Ridiculous.


Let's hear the dead man's story.

I am in darkness now.

I am suffering in the dark.

Cursed be those who cast me
into this dark hell.

After the bandit attacked my wife,
he tried to console her.

She sat on the leaves,
staring down at her knees.

The bandit was cunning.

Now that her virtue was stained,

she could no longer be
with her husband.

Leave the husband
and why not marry him instead?

He said he only attacked her
out of his love for her.

When she heard that, my wife
raised her face as if in a trance.

She had never looked so beautiful.

And what was my beautiful wife's
response to the bandit

in front of her helpless husband?


Take me wherever you want.

That's what she said.

But that wasn't her only sin

or I wouldn't be suffering
in the dark like this.

Please kill him.

While he's alive,
I cannot go with you.

Kill him!

Those words were like a wind that

threatened to blow me
into the depths of darkness.

Has such a hateful thing
ever been uttered by a human before?

Even the bandit turned pale
at those words.

Please kill him.

What do you want me
to do with her?

Kill her or save her?
You only have to nod.

For these words alone,
I was ready to pardon his crime.

Kill her or let her go?

I don't know
how many hours passed.

She got away. Now I'll have
to worry about my own fate.

Everything was silent.

I heard someone crying.

Someone is crying.

Who is that?

Everything was silent.

How quiet it was.

Suddenly the sun went away.

I was enveloped in deep silence.

I lay there in the stillness.

Then someone quietly approached me.

That someone gently withdrew
the dagger from my heart.

It's not true!

There was no dagger.
He was killed by a sword.

Now it's getting interesting.

It seems you saw the whole thing.

So why didn't you tell the court?

I didn't want to get involved.

You can talk about it here, right?

Tell me, then.

Your story seems to be
the most interesting.

I don't want to hear it.
No more horror stories.

They are common stories
these days.

I even heard that the demon living
here in Rashomon

fled in fear of the ferocity of man.

Come on.
How much do you know?

I found the woman's hat
in the mountains.

You already said that.

About 20 yards further,
I heard a woman crying.

From behind a bush,
I saw a man tied up,

a woman crying and Tajomaru.

So you lied

when you said
you found the body.

I didn't want to get involved.

All right, then.

Go on.
What was Tajomaru doing?

He was down on his knees,
begging the woman for forgiveness.

Until now, whenever I wanted
to do something bad, I did it.

That way I suffered less.

But today, it's different.

I already had you, but I only
want you more. It's very hard.

I beg you to be my wife.

The notorious bandit Tajomaru
is begging you on his hands and knees.

If you wish, I'll even stop
being a bandit.

I have enough stashed away
to give you a lavish life.

And if you don't want my dirty money,
I'll even work.

I'll stoop to selling odds and ends
on the street to support you.

I'll do anything
if you come with me.

Marry me, please.

If you say no,
I have no choice but to kill you.

Please, say yes.

Stop crying and answer me.

Tell me you'll be my wife!

Say it!

It's impossible.

How could I, a woman,
say anything?

I get it. You mean
it's up to us men to decide.

Hold it!

I refuse to risk my life
for such a woman.

You've been with two men.
Why don't you kill yourself?


I don't want this shameless whore.
You can have her.

At this stage, I'd rather lose her
instead of the horse.

- Wait!
- Don't follow me!

Stop crying.
It's not going to work anymore.

Stop it. Don't bully her.

Women are weak by nature.

It's you who are weak.

If you are my husband,

why don't you kill this man?

Then you can tell me to kill myself.
That's a real man.

You're not a real man either.

When I heard you were Tajomaru,
I stopped crying.

I was sick of this tiresome daily farce.

I thought, "Tajomaru might
get me out of this."

If he'd only save me,
I'd do anything for him.

I thought to myself.

But you were just as petty
as my husband.

Just remember: A woman loves a man
who loves passionately.

A man has to make a woman his
by his sword.

I don't want to die!

So that's the real story.

I don't tell lies.
I saw it with my own eyes.

I doubt it.

It's true. I don't lie.

No one lies after he says
he's going to do so.

It's horrifying.

If men don't trust each other,
this earth might as well be hell.

That's right. This world is hell.

No, I believe in men.

I don't want this place to be hell.

Shouting doesn't help.

Think about it. Out of these three,
whose story is believable?

No idea.

No idea.

In the end, you cannot understand
the things men do.

What are you doing?

What's it to you?

- That's terrible!
- Terrible?

Someone else would have taken
the kimono. Why shouldn't I?

- It's evil.
- Evil?

What about this kid's parents?

They had their fun and then they
throw out the kid? They're evil.

No, you're wrong.

Look at the amulet on the kimono.
It was left to protect the baby.

Think about what they went through
to abandon this baby.

I don't have time to mind
everyone's feelings.

- You selfish...
- What's wrong with that?

Dogs are better off in this world.

If you're not selfish,
you can't survive.

Damn it.

Everyone is selfish and dishonest.

Making excuses.

The bandit, the woman,
the man and you!

And you aren't? That's funny.

You may have fooled the court,
but not me.

So what did you do
with the dagger?

The valuable one
with the pearl inlay

that Tajomaru was talking about?

What happened to it?
Did it disappear in the grass?

If you didn't, who stole it?

It seems I'm right.

A bandit calling another a bandit.
Now that's selfish.

Do you have anything else to say?

If not, I'll be going.

What are you doing?
Taking what little it has left?

I have six kids of my own.

Another one
wouldn't make a difference.

I am ashamed of what I said.

It's inevitable to be suspicious of others
on a day like this.

I'm the one
who should be ashamed.

I don't understand my own soul.

No, I'm grateful to you.

Thanks to you,

I think I can keep
my faith in man.

Don't mention it.