Throne of Blood (1957)
"Kumonosu-jô" (original title)

Unrated  |   |  Drama  |  22 November 1961 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 27,899 users  
Reviews: 112 user | 117 critic

A war-hardened general, egged on by his ambitious wife, works to fulfill a prophecy that he would become lord of Spider's Web Castle.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Isuzu Yamada ...
Akira Kubo ...
Hiroshi Tachikawa ...
Kunimaru Tsuzuki (as Yôichi Tachikawa)
Minoru Chiaki ...
Takamaru Sasaki ...
Kuniharu Tsuzuki
Gen Shimizu
Kokuten Kôdô ...
Military Commander
Kichijirô Ueda ...
Washizu's workman
Eiko Miyoshi ...
Old Woman at castle
Chieko Naniwa ...
Nakajirô Tomita ...
Second Military Commander
Yû Fujiki ...
Washizu samurai
Sachio Sakai ...
Washizu samurai


After securing a major victory on the battlefield, Taketoti Washizu and one of his commanders, Yoshiaki Miki, find themselves lost in the maze-like Spider's Web forest. They come across a spirit-like seer who tells them of their future: both have been promoted because of their victory that day; Washizu will someday be the Great Lord of the Spider's Web castle while Miki's son will someday rule as Great Lord as well. When they arrive at the castle, they learn that the first part of the prophecy is correct. Washizu has no desire to become Great Lord but his ambitious wife urges him to reconsider. When the current Great Lord makes a surprise visit to his garrison outpost, Washizu is again promoted to commander of his vanguard but his wife reminds him of the danger that comes with the position. As pressure mounts, Wahizu takes action leading to its inevitable conclusion. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

22 November 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Throne of Blood  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)| (Perspecta Sound encoding)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


'Throne of Blood' was shown in London as the inaugural film show of the National Film Theater. See more »


After Macbeth and Banquo come to the forest clearing where the spirit dwells, as they get down from their horses, all of Macbeth's arrows fall out of his quiver. In the next shot however, the quiver is full of arrows again. See more »


Old Ghost Woman: [singing] ambition is false fame and will fall, death will reign, man falls in vain
See more »


Version of Macbeth I: The Politics of Power (1964) See more »

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User Reviews

Another haunting movie masterpiece from Kurosawa.
8 July 2003 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

In my opinion 'Throne Of Blood' is almost as brilliant as Kurosawa's more celebrated 'Rashomon'. It's almost impossible to fault this brilliant adaptation of Shakespeare's 'Macbeth'. It's the most compelling version of the story I have seen, even better than Polanski's outstanding film of the early 1970s, which until seeing 'Throne Of Blood' was my favourite. Kurosawa is without doubt one of the greatest film makers of all time, and watching this movie is experiencing a master at work. Toshiro Mifune gives another brilliant performance and Isuzu Yamada, who plays his wife (the equivalent of the Lady Macbeth character) is absolutely chilling. The stylized acting combined with the superb cinematography gives this movie a frightening nightmarish feel, yet the characters are always human. This makes it a very powerful and haunting movie. I don't seem to see 'Throne Of Blood' mentioned a lot as one of Kurosawa's best, but I was incredibly impressed by it, and it comes with my highest recommendation. This is a brilliant movie and to call it a masterpiece is no exaggeration.

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