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Throne of Blood (1957)

Kumonosu-jô (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, History | 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 »
Reviews
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 ... Washizu's workman
Eiko Miyoshi ... Old Woman at castle
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 | History

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 »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,942, 28 July 2002

Gross USA:

$46,808

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$46,808
See more on IMDbPro »

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

Michael Fassbender, who played Macbeth in Macbeth (2015), stated that 'Throne of Blood' is his favorite Macbeth adaptation. See more »

Goofs

In 01:24:36 you can clearly see the crew's car behind the tree. See more »

Quotes

Taketori Washizu: His Lordship trust me more than anyone else. And that is why he has given me the honor of leading the attack.
Lady Asaji Washizu: Where arrows will find you not only from the front but from the rear.
See more »

Connections

Version of Macbeth I: The Politics of Power (1964) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Timeless action, drama and war epic
16 June 2019 | by klusebaSee all my reviews

Throne of Blood is an epic historical drama by renowned director Kurosawa Akira and with charismatic lead actor Mifune Toshiro. The plot revolves around betrayal, conspiracy, greed, honour and megalomania. It is inspired by William Shakespeare's Macbeth intertwined with stylistic elements from Japanese Noh which is a visually appealing but physically static type of traditional musical drama.

The movie tells the story of friends and generals Washizu and Miki who are foretold a bright future by a mysterious spirit in a misty forest. Initially skeptical, the prophecies of the spirit happen to be true when Washizu is named Lord of the Northern Garrison and Miki Commander of the First Fortress. However, Washizu's cold-blooded wife Asaji manipulates her husband into forcing his luck instead of waiting for it to fall into his hands. They plot to assassinate Lord Tsuzuki and then kill Miki but their gloomy plans soon backfire and spiral out of control.

The movie convinces with gorgeous settings such as gigantic Spider's Web Castle. The acting performances are really intense and especially Yamada Isuzu convinces as sinister femme fatale. The plot is filled with interesting conspiracies, intrigues and twists. The film's pace is relatively steady after a slow but necessary introduction. The final quarter of the movie is particularly intense and ends in a brutal tragedy. The movie has aged rather well thanks to its timeless plot.

This movie isn't among Kurosawa Akira's greatest films like Seven Samurai and The Hidden Fortress but is still in the upper middle section of his impressive works. This dynamic historical drama is a clever take on William Shakespeare's timeless Macbeth and convinces thanks to stunning settings, gloomy atmosphere and intense acting performances. If you like elegant action films, intense dramas or epic war movies, you will certainly appreciate Throne of Blood. This entertaining movie has aged quite well and would serve as an appropriate introduction to the works of both Kurosawa Akira and Mifune Toshiro.


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