I've only seen a few Kurosawa films, but I can see why he receives such accolades. Only Ran, which I just don't understand too well, didn't impress on first viewing. Rashoman is the retelling of a murder on a country road from four different perspectives: the bandit caught and being tried for the killing, the wife of the murdered, the murdered man (through a medium), and from a bystander. The cinematography is incredible given the equipment they had in 1950. I loved the moving shots through the forest road. The pouring rain during the retelling of the testimony. Story wise, even the innocent bystander has a reason to lie. 4 stars.
I decided to pick this one up because I want to see more of Sidney Poitier's early work besides In the Heat of the Night. Overall, this is a pretty flat movie. Very definitely a movie of the week kind of thing. I attribute this mostly to the direction of James Clavell and the subject matter, not due to the acting. THe plot is Mark Thackeray can't find a job as an engineer, so he takes a job as a teacher to make money until he can find one. He works at a rough London high school where the worst students have been dumped. Through respect, he manages to reach the kids. 3 stars.
The interesting thing is that James Clavell directed this movie. I had no idea he directed it when I rented it. I didn't even know Clavell directed anything. I knew he had done some screenplays. And the key thing to this revelation is that his book, King Rat is my favorite book and my namesake. You would think I would know everything public about the author of my favorite book. Guess not.