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.
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
Originally, Akira Kurosawa was planning on building merely a facade castle for the film, but this proved to be an impractical step, prompting the building of full-on castle sections to use in shooting. These were built with the help of United States Marines who were based in the area. See more »
When the witch runs in the forest she can briefly be seen wearing sneakers. See more »
Directors don't come much better than Kurosawa, writers don't come much better than Shakespeare, and movies don't come much better than this excellent combination of the two. Add Mifune's acting, plus a good supporting cast (including a really good performance by Isuzu Yamada), and you have a top-quality, classic film. In retelling the story of "Macbeth" with characters from medieval Japan, Kurosawa does honor to the original and creates a fine achievement in its own right.
Much of the time, when Shakespeare plots are transferred to different settings, what results is only a shadow of the original, because too many directors have only a limited grasp of what Shakespeare's deep masterpieces are all about. That is not at all the case here - Kurosawa shows a great appreciation for the themes and potential of the Macbeth story, and adds plenty of masterful touches of his own, creating a distinctive, memorable atmosphere and characters that come to life in their own right in addition to serving as worthy parallels to the Macbeth characters. There are many fine details that enhance both the medieval Japanese setting and also the important themes of the story itself.
Whether you like Shakespeare, Kurosawa, or both, "Throne of Blood" is an excellent movie that should not disappoint.
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