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Throne of Blood (1957)

Kumonosu-jô (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 22 November 1961 (USA)
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.

Director:

Akira Kurosawa

Writers:

Hideo Oguni (screenplay), Shinobu Hashimoto (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Toshirô Mifune ... Taketoki Washizu
Isuzu Yamada ... Lady Asaji Washizu
Takashi Shimura ... Noriyasu Odagura
Akira Kubo Akira Kubo ... Yoshiteru Miki
Hiroshi Tachikawa Hiroshi Tachikawa ... Kunimaru Tsuzuki (as Yôichi Tachikawa)
Minoru Chiaki ... Yoshiaki Miki
Takamaru Sasaki Takamaru Sasaki ... Kuniharu Tsuzuki
Gen Shimizu Gen Shimizu ... Washizu samurai
Kokuten Kôdô ... Military Commander
Kichijirô Ueda Kichijirô Ueda ... Washizu's workman
Eiko Miyoshi Eiko Miyoshi ... Old Woman at castle
Chieko Naniwa Chieko Naniwa ... Old Ghost Woman
Nakajirô Tomita Nakajirô Tomita ... Second Military Commander
Yû Fujiki Yû Fujiki ... Washizu samurai
Sachio Sakai Sachio Sakai ... Washizu samurai
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

From the creator of "Rashomon" and "Ikiru"

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

22 November 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Throne of Blood See more »

Filming Locations:

Gotemba, Shizuoka, Japan See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)| Mono (Perspecta Sound encoding)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Old Ghost Woman: If you would make a mountain of the dead, pile it so it reaches the sky.
See more »

Connections

Version of Twelfth Night (1910) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Kurosawa's masterful retelling of Shakespeare's Macbeth
26 December 1998 | by PureCinemaSee all my reviews

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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