Throne of Blood (1957)
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|One of the most celebrated screen adaptations of Shakespeare, Akira Kurosawa's Throne of Blood reimagines Macbeth in feudal Japan. Starring Kurosawa's longtime collaborator Toshiro Mifune and the legendary Isuzu Yamada as his ruthless wife, the film tells the tale of a valiant warrior's savage rise to power and his ignominious fall. With Throne of Blood, Kurosawa fuses one of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies with the formal elements of Japanese Noh Theater to make a Macbeth that is all its own-a classic tale of ambition and duplicity set against a ghostly landscape of fog and inescapable doom.|
Editor's NoteAkira Kurosawa's stunning reconception of Shakespeare's MACBETH is a dark samurai drama, set in feudal Japan. As the film begins, two soldiers--Washizu (Toshirô Mifune) and Miki (Minoru Chiaki)--find themselves lost in a dense forest during a powerful thunderstorm. Seemingly unable to leave the woods, they encounter a ghostly old woman who predicts that Washizu will soon rise to power. At the goading of his ruthless wife, Asaji (Isuzu Yamada), Washizu embarks on a murderously ambitious path and quickly fulfills the prophecy. However, his ascension is cursed by his brutal actions and soon opposition arises to challenge his blood-stained rule.One of the finest Shakespeare adaptations to appear in any medium, Kurosawa's THRONE OF BLOOD is covered in an entrancingly macabre web. The always-amazing Mifune gives one of his greatest performances as the haunted yet unrelenting Lord Washizu, while Yamada portrays the eeriest version of Lady Macbeth to ever grace the screen or stage. A master of reinterpretation, Kurosawa incorporates strong elements of Japanese Noh drama into the film, and the result adds to the somber and chilling mood. The film's highlight, however, is the tense and skillfully paced finale, which features Washizu literally up against the wall as he faces an army of vengeful archers.
Cast & Crew
|William Shakespeare - Based On Play By|
|Asakazu Nakai - Cinematographer|
|Akira Kurosawa - Director|
|Akira Kurosawa - Editor|
|Akira Kurosawa - Producer|
|Sojiro Motoki - Producer|
|Akira Kurosawa, et al. - Writer|