Throne of Blood  

From the creator of "Rashomon" and "Ikiru"

Throne of Blood (1957)

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Returning to their lord's castle, samurai warriors Washizu and Miki are waylaid by a spirit who predicts their futures. When the first part of the spirit's prophecy comes true, Washizu's scheming wife, Asaji, presses him to speed up the rest of the spirit's prophecy by murdering his lord and usurping his place. Director Akira Kurosawa's resetting of William Shakespeare's "Macbeth" in feudal Japan is one of his most acclaimed films.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Writers: Shinobu Hashimoto, Ryûzô Kikushima, Akira Kurosawa, Hideo Oguni.

Release Date: 1957-01-15
Status: Released
Run time: 108 min / 1:48
Production Company : Toho Company, Ltd.
Production Country: Japan
Release Date: 1957-01-15
Status: Released
Run time: 108 min / 1:48

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Toshirō Mifune
as Taketori Washizu
Isuzu Yamada
as Lady Asaji Washizu
Akira Kubo
as Yoshiteru Miki
Takashi Shimura
as Noriyasu Odagura
Minoru Chiaki
as Yoshiaki Miki
Hiroshi Tachikawa
as Kunimaru Tsuzuki
Takamaru Sasaki
as Kuniharu Tsuzuki
Gen Shimizu
Kokuten Kôdô
as Military Commander
Kichijirô Ueda
as Washizu's workman
Eiko Miyoshi
as Old Woman at castle
Chieko Naniwa
as Old Ghost Woman
Yû Fujiki
as Washizu samurai
Yoshio Tsuchiya
as Washizu samurai
Yutaka Sada
as Washizu samurai
Yoshio Inaba
as Military Commander #3
Takeshi Katô
as Guard killed by Washizu
Hitoshi Takagi
as Tsuzuki guard
Isao Kimura
as Phantom samurai
Seiji Miyaguchi
as Phantom samurai
Nobuo Nakamura
as Phantom samurai
Nakajirô Tomita
as Military Commander #2
Sachio Sakai
as Washizu samurai
Shin Ôtomo
as Washizu samurai
Seijirô Onda
as Washizu samurai
Senkichi Ômura
as Washizu samurai
Akira Tani
as Washizu soldier
Ikio Sawamura
as Washizu soldier
Takeo Oikawa
as Miki party member
Seijirô Onda
as Miki party member #2
Shinpei Takagi
as Commander
Masao Masuda
as Commander
Shirô Tsuchiya
as Commander
Takeo Matsushita
as Commander
Jun Ôtomo
as Commander
Michiya Higuchi
as Tsuki guard
Shôbun Inoue
as Servant
Gorô Sakurai
as Servant
Kamayuki Tsubono
as Servant
Fuminori Ôhashi
as Samurai


Directing Akira Kurosawa Director
Writing Shinobu Hashimoto Screenplay
Writing Ryûzô Kikushima Screenplay
Writing Akira Kurosawa Screenplay
Writing Hideo Oguni Screenplay
Production Akira Kurosawa Producer
Production Sôjirô Motoki Producer
Sound Masaru Satô Original Music Composer
Camera Asakazu Nakai Director of Photography
Editing Akira Kurosawa Editor
Costume & Make-Up Yoshirô Muraki Costume Design
Writing William Shakespeare Writer
Sound Ichirô Minawa Sound Designer
Art Yoshirô Muraki Production Design
Costume & Make-Up Masanori Kobayashi Makeup Artist
Costume & Make-Up Yoshiko Matsumoto Hairstylist
Costume & Make-Up Junjirô Yamada Hairstylist
Sound Fumio Yanoguchi Sound Recordist
Sound Masanao Uehara Assistant Sound Editor
Crew Eiji Tsuburaya Special Effects

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  • Audience Reviews for Throne of Blood. Isuzu Yamads is great as the Lady Macbeth counterpart, and whoever played the forest spirit is effectively creepy and forboding. There's a great sense of style and mood here, and the battles are quite thrilling (both the fighting kind and the emotional/mental).

  • Throne of Blood is, in fact, ambitious as a film as well as in its meaning. It suggests that ambition, when based on whimsical motivation, can sometimes lead to the destruction of very close relationships, and even one's own ruination.

  • An exhaustive retrospective of Kurosawa’s work will play at the National Film Theatre throughout January and February, before a judicious selection tours the rest of the U.K.. Two films, however, have been singled out for extended runs — The Hidden Fortress (next month) and his 1957 reworking of Macbeth, Throne Of Blood.

  • Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take. Absolutely gorgeous and riveting, Akira Kurosawa's 'Throne of Blood' is a brilliant masterpiece that's as perfect a motion picture as could ever be conceived. Visually stunning and enthralling, especially the first half, the film is all the more impressive as a reimaging of Shakespeare's Macbeth,...

  • Throne of Blood is definitely worth having in your collection if you’re a fan of Shakespeare adaptations, Kurosawa, or good drama films in general.

  • Throne of Blood is a study of a warlord (played by Toshiro Mifune) led by fate in form of a prophesy, straight to his doom. Is it the prophesy or the characters lack of trust in each other that leads them to their doom? The film has a supernatural element: a spirit who, early in the movie, utters a prophesy.

  • It's a memorable film made all the better by terrific performances, a deliberate pace and plenty of scenes that might make your skin crawl. Simply put, Throne of Blood offers plenty of proof that the most successful book-to-film adaptations don't necessarily have to follow source material to the letter.

  • Reviews. Throne of Blood ... Akira Kurosawa’s 1957 samurai adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth is titled not Throne of Blood, ... The emperor, Asaji reminds her husband, achieved the throne by ...

  • Akira Kurosawa: Throne of Blood. Each of these is a masterwork,and there are others. But my choice remains 1957's Throne Of Blood, an adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth that turned 'the Scottish play' into a ravishingly visual exploration of the warrior traditions of Japanese myth. It was, for what it's worth, TS Eliot's favourite film.

  • Throne of Blood. Throne of Blood (蜘蛛巣城 Kumonosu-jō, "Spider Web Castle") is a 1957 Japanese samurai film co-written and directed by Akira Kurosawa. The film transposes the plot of William Shakespeare 's play Macbeth from Medieval Scotland to feudal Japan, with stylistic elements drawn from Noh drama.