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Throne of Blood Movie Poster

CAST
TOSHIRO MIFUNE
MINORU CHIAKI
AKIRA KUBO
TAKASHI SHIMURA
HIROSHI TACHIKAWA
ISUZU YAMADA

BASED ON THE PLAY “MACBETH” BY
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

SCREENPLAY BY
SHINOBU HASHIMOTO
RYUZO KIKUSHIMA
AKIRA KUROSAWA
HIDEO OGUNI

PRODUCED BY
AKIRA KUROSAWA
SOJIRO MOTOKI

DIRECTED BY
AKIRA KUROSAWA

GENRE
DRAMA
FANTASY
THRILLER

RATED
AUSTRALIA:PG
UK:12
USA:UNRATED

RUNNING TIME
105 MIN

TRAILER

THRONE OF BLOOD (1957)

Applauded Japanese director Kurosawa Akira takes on William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, in Throne of Blood, and whilst doing so he gives his smoke machine a run for its money, provides plenty of machismo posturing and gruff yelling, and provides an engrossing film heavy on tragedy.

The film beings with two brave commanders and childhood friends Washizu (a mighty Toshiro Mifune) and Miki (Akira Kubo) successfully staving off a mutinies army from invading the Spider’s Web castle.

Summoned by their Great Lord, they find themselves lost in the forest surrounding the castle where they meet (in a genuinely creepy scene) an evil spirit who prophecies’ their future, which leads to a treacherous and bloody battle to the throne, as Washizu slowly becomes mad with power, spurned on by his wife Asaji, played by Isuzu Yamada with powerful restraint and cunning ferociousness.      

Kurosawa successfully adapts Shakespeare to medieval Japan, adding chilling supernatural overtones to a story wrought with betrayal.

Director of photography Asakazu Nakai’s provides eerie imagery, with characters appearing in and out of thick fog and unforgivable darkness, as Sato Masaru’s moody score heightens the cold atmosphere. The films spectacularly outlandish costumes – especially in regards to the various warrior garbs – were designed by Yoshiro Muraki.  

Kuroawa’s use of silence is deafening in its emotional context, yet it is Mifune’s ripping death scene featuring a large number of (real life) arrows which will always be remembered, and would not be matched until Al Pacino’s death via vast gunfire in Scarface.

Throne of Blood is a powerful film which successfully plays tribute to the writings of Shakespeare while also creating a clear identity of its own.

****

 

 
 

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