Throne of Blood

Throne of Blood

Throne of Blood

Akira Kurosawa transposes the plot of Shakespeare's Macbeth from Medieval Scotland to feudal Japan. Stars Toshiro Mifune and Isuzu Yamada and was nominated for the Golden Lion at the 1957 Venice Film Festival.

Miki (Kubo) and Washizu (Mifune) are the commanders of the 1st and 2nd Fortress under a local lord, who reigns in the Spiders' Web Castle. After defeating the lord's enemies in battle, they visit the fortress. But when Washizu, driven by his wife (Yamada), conspires and murders the lord to rule the castle, his evil deeds come back to haunt him.

1957Rating: M, Violence & horror110 minsJapanJapanese with English subtitles
DramaWorld Cinema

Reviews & comments

Total Film

Total Film

press

Throne Of Blood captures the spirit of Shakespeare's writing, as the driving rain, swirling fog and screeching animals lend metaphorical weight to this tale of murderous human ambition.

4.0
Time Out

Time Out

press

It's visually ravishing, as you would expect, employing compositional tableaux from the Noh drama, high contrast photography, and extraordinary images of rain, galloping horses, the birds fleeing from the forest.

Time Magazine

Time Magazine

press

No doubt about it now: Japan's Akira Kurosawa must be numbered with Sergei Eisenstein and D. W. Griffith among the supreme creators of cinema.

The New Yorker

The New Yorker

press

No stage production could match Kurosawa's Birnam Wood, and, in his final framing of the hero - a human hedgehog, stuck with arrows - he conjures a tragedy not laden with grandeur but pierced, like a dream, by the absurd.

The New York Times

The New York Times

press

We label it amusing because lightly is the only way to take this substantially serio-comic rendering of the story of an ambitious Scot into a form that combines characteristics of the Japanese No theatre and the American Western film.

The Guardian

The Guardian

press

Throne Of Blood defeats categorisation. It remains a landmark of visual strength, permeated by a particularly Japanese sensibility, and is possibly the finest Shakespearean adaptation ever committed to the screen.

BBC

BBC

press

Throne of Blood spectacularly transforms the source play - turning it into a terrifying journey through darkness, evil, and despair.

5.0
Total Film

Total Film

press

Throne Of Blood captures the spirit of Shakespeare's writing, as the driving rain, swirling fog and screeching animals lend metaphorical weight to this tale of murderous human ambition.

4.0
Time Out

Time Out

press

It's visually ravishing, as you would expect, employing compositional tableaux from the Noh drama, high contrast photography, and extraordinary images of rain, galloping horses, the birds fleeing from the forest.

Time Magazine

Time Magazine

press

No doubt about it now: Japan's Akira Kurosawa must be numbered with Sergei Eisenstein and D. W. Griffith among the supreme creators of cinema.

The New Yorker

The New Yorker

press

No stage production could match Kurosawa's Birnam Wood, and, in his final framing of the hero - a human hedgehog, stuck with arrows - he conjures a tragedy not laden with grandeur but pierced, like a dream, by the absurd.

The New York Times

The New York Times

press

We label it amusing because lightly is the only way to take this substantially serio-comic rendering of the story of an ambitious Scot into a form that combines characteristics of the Japanese No theatre and the American Western film.

The Guardian

The Guardian

press

Throne Of Blood defeats categorisation. It remains a landmark of visual strength, permeated by a particularly Japanese sensibility, and is possibly the finest Shakespearean adaptation ever committed to the screen.

BBC

BBC

press

Throne of Blood spectacularly transforms the source play - turning it into a terrifying journey through darkness, evil, and despair.

5.0

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