Year: 1950 (Japan), 1951 (US)
Length: 88 minutes
Director: Akira Kurosawa
Writers: Akira Kurosawa & Shinobu Hashimoto, based on stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa
Starring: Toshirô Mifune, Machiko Kyô, Masayuki Mori, Takashi Shimura
Music: Fumio Hayasaka
Distinctions: honorary Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film (1952); Oscar nomination for Best Art Direction/Set Decoration (black-and-white) (1953); currently #86 on IMDb’s Top 250
Synopsis: courtroom witnesses tell conflicting stories
How I saw it: on video (rented from Netflix), today
Special effects/design: Indifferent.
Subjective Rating: 7/10 (Good). It demands to be watched multiple times, if you’re the sort of person who wants to figure out What Really Happened (or at least decide what you’d like to think really happened), but I’m not sure I’d like to see it again any time soon. It’s very interesting, and it has quite a few entertaining moments (like Mifune jumping around like a monkey), but sometimes it seems more like an academic exercise than a movie (although it’s much better than most movies I might say that about).
Objective Rating: 3.3/4 (Very good).