An elder ronin samurai arrives at a feudal lord's home and requests an honorable place to commit suicide. But when the ronin inquires about a younger samurai who arrived before him things take an unexpected turn.
The mother of a feudal lord's only heir is kidnapped away from her husband by the lord. The husband and his samurai father must decide whether to accept the unjust decision, or risk death to get her back.
Apu is a jobless ex-student dreaming vaguely of a future as a writer. An old college friend talks him into a visit up-country to a village wedding. This changes his life, for when the ... See full summary »
A young woman, Karin, has recently returned to the family island after spending some time in a mental hospital. On the island with her is her lonely brother and kind, but increasingly ... See full summary »
Max von Sydow
A troupe of travelling players arrive at a small seaport in the south of Japan. Komajuro Arashi, the aging master of the troupe, goes to visit his old flame Oyoshi and their son Kiyoshi, ... See full summary »
A transposition of Shakespeare's 'Macbeth' to medieval Japan. After a great military victory, Lords Washizu and Miki are lost in the dense Cobweb Forest, where they meet a mysterious old woman who predicts great things for Washizu and even greater things for Miki's descendants. Once out of the forest, Washizu and Miki are immediately promoted by the Emperor. Washizu, encouraged by his ambitious wife, plots to make even more of the prophecy come true, even if it means killing the Emperor... Written by
Michael Brooke <email@example.com>
The famous arrow scene near the end was in fact done with real arrows. That is, the arrows hitting the wooden planks were not done with special effects, but rather choreographed with archers. Mifune waves his arms to brush away the arrows sticking from the planks, indicating to them that he wanted to go in that particular direction. The real arrows were included to get Mifune's facial expressions of real-life fear, which is exceptionally hard to imitate. Of course, the arrows that hit the Mifune character were bamboo fakes. See more »
After Mifune and his friend come to the forest clearing where the spirit dwells, as they get down from their horses, all of Mifune's arrows fall out of his quiver. In the next shot however, the quiver is full of arrows again. See more »
Kurosawa's masterful retelling of Shakespeare's Macbeth
Akira Kurosawa would end up using Shakespearean influence on two of his films. Throne of Blood is Kurosawa's adaptation of Shakespeare's play, Macbeth, but in a feudal Japanese setting.
The film begins with Taketoki Washizu (Toshiro Mifune) and Yoshaki Miki (Minoru Chiaki) winning a fierce battle for their lord. Afterwards, they are invited to the lord's castle. On their way there, they come across a spirit in the forest. the spirit tells Washizu that he will soon become in command of a castle but that he will not rule long, and Yoshaki's son will soon takeover. Washizu is soon convinced that these predictions will come true, and becomes consumed with greed and evil in order to make sure that they do indeed come true.
In this film Kurosawa uses a more still and quiet filming style than was used in his previous films (with the exception of Ikiru). A style that he continued to use for the rest of his career. The Shakespearean influence is obviously there, not only in story, but the film itself has a very theatre-esque feeling to it.
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