Title

Adapting Female Agency: Rape in The Outrage and Rashōmon

Publication Date

Winter 12-2016

Journal

Adaptation

Volume

9

Issue

3

First Page

284

Last Page

306

Abstract

Martin Ritt remade Kurosawa Akira’s iconic Rashōmon (1950) as The Outrage (1964), a western set in the post-Civil War southwest. Although both films strive to silence the figure of the wife, privileging the death of her husband and rendering the crime of rape against her little more than a device to propel the plot, they differ markedly in the degree to which they succeed. In the context of the Civil Rights Movement nearing its apogee and the nascent second-wave feminism in the United States, the adaptation into the western genre provided a more robust opportunity for the wife to speak her rape precisely because of a genre mismatch between the source and the remake. Consequently, although The Outrage cannot be said to have significantly furthered the cause of gender equality, it does offer greater hope than its more famous originary film in this regard and adumbrates a greater voice for women.

DOI

doi:10.1093/adaptation/apw024

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