In Medieval Japan, an elderly warlord retires, handing over his empire to his three sons. However, he vastly underestimates how the new-found power will corrupt them and cause them to turn on each other...and him.
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 castle sections to use in shooting. These were built with the help of United States Marines who were based in the area. See more »
After Washizu and Miki come to the forest clearing where the spirit dwells, as they get down from their horses, all of Washizu's arrows fall out of his quiver. In the next shot however, the quiver is full of arrows again. See more »
Macbeth's Version in Japanese Fields - Another Masterpiece of Akira Kurosawa
In the Sixteenth Century in Japan, the brave generals Taketori Washizu (Toshirô Mifune) and Yoshiaki Miki (Minoru Chiaki) are invited to visit their lord in his castle after a battle wined by them against a traitor general. In the way to the castle, they meet in the forest an evil spirit that foresees their future from the bottom of their hearts, with Washizu being the lord of an important mansion in the fields of their lord, Miki the commander of the First Fortress and Miki's son the successor of Washizu. When they meet their master, the first part of the prophecy comes true for Washizu and Miki. However, the wife of Washizu poisons his heart with calumnies and malicious feelings against the lord and Miki. Washizu kills them both, becoming the new lord of the Spider's Web Castle, but tormented by his guilty and afraid of his future.
"Kumonosu Jô" is another masterpiece of Akira Kurosawa, indeed a version of Shakespeare's Macbeth play brilliantly transposed to the scenario of the feudalistic Japan of the Sixteenth Century. The shootings and the cinematography are very impressive even in the present days, and the performances are outstanding, highlighting Toshirô Mifune in the role of a strong warrior in the battlefields, but weak in front of his venomous and ambitious wife. The sequence with the arrows in the end of the story is amazingly perfect. My vote is ten.
Title (Brazil): "Trono Manchado de Sangue" ("Throne Stained by Blood")
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