1950. dir. Akira Kurosawa, starring Toshirô Mifune, Machiko Kyô, Masayuki Mori, Takashi Shimura. Japanese with subtitles.
Seen it before? No.
The story itself is interesting. A body is found in a field near a straw hat belonging to a woman and an overall suspicious circumstance. Four narrators (one who comes to a psychic as a spirit) tell the story to a priest. All accounts have two things in common, a woman being taken advantage of and a man's death...but how it all happened is up to the viewer to decide because there is no clear conclusion.
I found the general theme to be that all the characters showed weaknesses. In other words they were human. I think that is why this movie is on the list. The woman might not have been strong enough to leave her husband. The husband might not have been strong enough to deal with a 'damaged' woman. The bandit might not have been strong enough to leave the man alive. The fourth story teller might not have been strong enough to resist temptation and become a thief.
I probably won't see it again but I don't discount that it was probably a really terrific movie when it came out in 1950.
Most annoying character: the bandit...watch it and you'll hear why.
2/21/2010 - I meant to write this earlier but I was too much into finishing these posts that I forgot...while watching this film all I kept hearing was "Like Kurosawa I make mad films, 'kay I don't make films, but if I did they'd have a samurai!" thank you VERY much Barenaked Ladies!