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Throne of Blood (1957) More at IMDbPro »Kumonosu-jô (original title)

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Hideo Oguni (screenplay) &
Shinobu Hashimoto (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Throne of Blood on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
22 November 1961 (USA) See more »
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
3 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Best Shakespeare on Film See more (112 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Toshirô Mifune ... Taketoki Washizu
Isuzu Yamada ... Lady Asaji Washizu

Takashi Shimura ... Noriyasu Odagura
Akira Kubo ... Yoshiteru Miki
Hiroshi Tachikawa ... Kunimaru Tsuzuki (as Yôichi Tachikawa)
Minoru Chiaki ... Yoshiaki Miki
Takamaru Sasaki ... Kuniharu Tsuzuki
Gen Shimizu
Kokuten Kôdô ... Military Commander
Kichijirô Ueda ... Washizu's workman
Eiko Miyoshi ... Old Woman at castle
Chieko Naniwa ... Old Ghost Woman
Nakajirô Tomita ... Second Military Commander
Yû Fujiki ... Washizu samurai
Sachio Sakai ... Washizu samurai
Shin Ôtomo ... Washizu samurai
Yoshio Tsuchiya ... Washizu samurai
Yoshio Inaba ... Third Military Commander
Takeo Oikawa ... Miki party member
Akira Tani ... Washizu soldier
Ikio Sawamura ... Washizu soldier
Yutaka Sada ... Washizu samurai
Seijirô Onda ... Second Miki party member
Shinpei Takagi ... Commander
Masao Masuda ... Commander
Mitsuo Asano
Shôbun Inoue ... Servant
Asao Koike
Takeshi Katô ... Guard killed by Washizu
Hitoshi Takagi ... Tsuzuki guard
Michiya Higuchi ... Tsuki guard
Senkichi Ômura ... Washizu samurai
Gorô Sakurai ... Servant
Shirô Tsuchiya ... Commander
Takeo Matsushita ... Commander
Jun Ôtomo ... Commander
Kamayuki Tsubono ... Servant
Fuminori Ôhashi ... Samurai
Isao Kimura ... Phantom samurai
Seiji Miyaguchi ... Phantom samurai

Nobuo Nakamura ... Phantom samurai

Directed by
Akira Kurosawa 
Writing credits
Hideo Oguni (screenplay) &
Shinobu Hashimoto (screenplay) &
Ryûzô Kikushima (screenplay) &
Akira Kurosawa (screenplay)

William Shakespeare  play "Macbeth" (uncredited)

Produced by
Akira Kurosawa .... producer
Sôjirô Motoki .... producer
Original Music by
Masaru Satô 
Cinematography by
Asakazu Nakai 
Production Design by
Yoshirô Muraki 
Makeup Department
Masanori Kobayashi .... makeup artist (as M. Kobayashi)
Yoshiko Matsumoto .... hair stylist
Junjirô Yamada .... hair stylist
Production Management
Hiroshi Nezu .... production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Yoshimitsu Banno .... assistant director (as Yoshimitsu Sakano)
Hiromichi Horikawa .... chief assistant director
Mimachi Norase .... chief assistant director
Ken Sano .... assistant director
Shoya Shimizu .... assistant director
Yasuyoshi Tajitsu .... assistant director
Michio Yamamoto .... assistant director
Art Department
Kôhei Ezaki .... art supervisor
Kôichi Hamamura .... property master
Yoshifumi Honda .... assistant art director
Kaneko .... props
Sound Department
Ichirô Minawa .... sound effects editor
Masanao Uehara .... assistant sound
Fumio Yanoguchi .... sound recordist
Special Effects by
Eiji Tsuburaya .... special effects (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Masao Fukuda .... still photographer
Shozo Hada .... assistant lighting technician
Kuichirô Kishida .... lighting director
Takao Saitô .... assistant camera
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Taiki Mori .... costumer
Editorial Department
Chozo Obata .... negative cutter
Other crew
Fabrice Arduini .... french adaptation: original version with subtitles
Shigeru Endo .... horseback riding instructor
Ikemichi Hashimoto .... accountant
Ienori Kaneko .... horseback riding instructor
Teruyo Nogami .... script supervisor
Keiko Tsubai .... french adaptation: original version with subtitles
Pascal Vincent .... press attache: France (re-release: 2001 )
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies
  • C.D.C.  Italian post-synchronized version made by
  • Fono Roma  post-synchronization: Italian dubbed version
  • Toho Studios  sound stages

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Kumonosu-jô" - Japan (original title)
See more »
110 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording) | Mono (Perspecta Sound encoding)
Argentina:16 | Australia:PG | Canada:G (Quebec) | Finland:K-15 (new rating: 2001) | Finland:K-16 (original rating) | Germany:12 | Netherlands:12 | Portugal:M/12 | Singapore:PG | South Africa:PG | Sweden:15 | Switzerland:14 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:12 (re-rating) (2001) | UK:PG (video rating) (1991) | USA:Unrated | USA:TV-MA (cable rating)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

'Throne of Blood' was shown in London as the inaugural film show of the National Film Theater.See more »
Continuity: 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 »
Lady Asaji Washizu:I am... with child.See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002) (TV)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
72 out of 82 people found the following review useful.
Best Shakespeare on Film, 22 January 2004
Author: Prof_Lostiswitz from Cyberia

As most people know, this is Shakespeare's Macbeth rendered by Kurosawa into Noh format for cinema. Not for nothing is Akira Kurosawa regarded as Japan's greatest director, for this is the best cinematic version of any Shakespeare play (and also one of Kurosawa's best films). Kurosawa had the advantage of working in a different language (Japanese), so he didn't have to agonize over the usual dilemma - whether to use Shakespeare's rotund oratory and blank verse (which is glorious, but goes badly on screen). Kurosawa essentially translates Shakespeare's poetry into visual images, while keeping dialogue to a minimum. He also had the good fortune of accessing two great cultures - European literature and Japanese visual art (he was originally a painter before entering cinema as a set-designer). There are many painterly images reminiscent of Ukiyo-e (e.g. Washizu full of arrows).

The Noh style of acting (like Kabuki, but more refined) seems stilted and exaggerated for the first few minutes; then you realize that is ideally suited to a story like this - more natural acting would seem out of place, as other Macbeth-movies go to prove.

The Japanese title of this film translates as "Cobweb Castle" (or Spider City) and this really should have been the title in English. The film is full of the notion of spiders spinning webs (and plots) in secret. It is worth noting that the witch (or "monster") is first seen with a ghostly spinning-wheel. This symbolizes the thread of fate, but also reflects the cobweb theme.

The story is sometimes slow-moving, but you have to realize that this is a story of insidious slow rot (hence the references to spiders and cobwebs). The decay is punctured by occasional bursts of violent action, as befits the story. The black-and-white picture adds to the creepiness, and the atmosphere is so thick that the movie works more effectively than "Ran" (Kurosawa's more polished Shakespeare-adaptation).

Macbeth is the great-granddaddy of the entire horror genre, and Kurosawa is a worthy descendant.

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