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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.


Akira Kurosawa


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 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
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


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


From the creator of "Rashomon" and "Ikiru"




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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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


Sound Mix:

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

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Akira Kurosawa stated he had an admiration forShakespeare's Macbeth for a long time, and envisioned making a film based on it. He hoped to make one after Rashômon (1950), but opted to wait when he learned that Orson Welles was releasing Macbeth (1948). See more »


When the witch runs in the forest she can briefly be seen wearing sneakers. See more »


Taketori Washizu: I am terribly drunk...
See more »


Version of Was ihr wollt (1954) See more »

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User Reviews

A warlord consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife murders enemies and takes the rule for himself
14 October 2018 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Prestigious recounting marked by evocative production design , unflinching violence, intense drama and fatalistic atmosphere . It is an incredibly detailed vision in its own right . Akira Kurosawa masterful retelling of Macbeth transports the tale to Medieval Japan and the world of Samurai . As it is so steeped in Japanese style that it bears little resemblance to the Shakespearean Macbeth original . It deals with two war-hardened generals Washizu , Toshiro Mifune , and Miki , Chiaki, who after securing an important victory on the battlefield return home, they are to rewarded by their overlord after having put down a rebellion , as they are promoted because of their breathtaking victory. Then they come across a spirit-alike seer and tell them of their future . But they find themselves lost on woods on their way to their castle . Then they meet at a maze-like the mysterious old woman, a spirit-like who prophesizes that Mifune will soon rule , but his realm will be short . The witch is missed as crazy but her prophesies come to pass . The tough general egged by his scheming as well as ambitious wife lady Adaji , Yamada , works to fullfill a prophecy that he would become lord of spider's cobweb castle but with unexpected consequences . As Washizu takes action winding up to its inevitable result .

Big budgeted production , with lavish setting , lots of mood , impressive battles , sad atmosphere, though it holds limited likeness to the Shakespearean play , due to Samurai and Japan style . Classic tragedy is performed with a celebrated lead acting by Toshiro Mifune, he is the tragic lord as a demonic leader of a feudal society who is prophecised to have a short reign . Mifune gives an extraordinary acting as the angry lord who receives a prophecy by a witch , as he one day will become the main ruler, while Miki'son will someday govern as Great Lord as well . It contains stunning fight scenes , fine performances, overwhelming sets , intense drama in which all of the fire , ambition, and doom of the Shakespearean text come brilliantly to life.

The motion picture titled Cobweb castle or The castle of the Spider's web was stunningly directed by Akita Kurosawa . He was a master filmmaker who made a lot of masterpieces . He realized several films about Samurai world such as Ran , Kagemusha , Yojimbo , 7 Samurai , The hidden fortress , Rashomon . And influenced in American and European cinema . As Rashomon inspired The outrage by Martin Ritt , Basic by John MacTiernan and Yojimbo inspired Sergio Leone's For a fisful of dollars . And he directed other versions based on Dostowieski's The Idiot, and Ran based on Shakespeare's King Lear. Other notorious films by Kurosawa were Doden Kaden , High and low, Sanjuro, The bad sleep well, Red beard, Scandal , A quiet duel , On wonderful Sunday, The lower depths, I live in fear, Ikuru . With the help of admirers Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas, he made the samurai tale Kagemusha (1980), which Kurosawa described as a dry run for Ran (1985), an epic adaptation of Shakespeare's "King Lear" . His last films were a larger-scale Russian co-production Dersu Uzala (1975) , it is an epic tale and nature ode as well as adventure in turn-of-the-century Siberia , the colorful : Dreams in which plays Martin Scorsese , and finally , Rapsody in August 1991 about Hiroshima atomic bombings .

Other films based on Macbeth are the followings : Macbeth 1948 starred and directed by Orson Welles with Daniel O'Herlihy , Roddy McDowall, Jeanette Nolan , Macbeth 1971 by Roman Polanski with John Finch, Francesca Annis , Martin Shaw, Macbeth 1976 with Eric Porter, Janet Suzman , Macbeth 1990 with Michael Jayston, Leigh Hunt , Macbeth 2015 by Justin Kurzel with Michael Fassbinder, Marion Cotillard, Paddy Considine , Sean Harris.

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