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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
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

'Throne of Blood' was shown in London as the inaugural film show of the National Film Theater. 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

Lady Asaji Washizu: I am... with child.
See more »

Connections

Version of Ledi Makbet Mtsenskogo uezda (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent Combination of Shakespeare & Kurosawa
25 April 2002 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

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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