Title   Cast   Director   Year Shown  Other Info    Country  Notes 


Japan, 1957, 108 min

Shown in 1957 / 1997


Akira Kurosawa
Akira Kurosawa, Sojiro Motoki
Hideo Oguni, Shinobu Hashimoto, Ryuzo Kikushima
Asaichi Nakai
Akira Kurosawa
Masaru Sató
Toshiro Mifune, Isuzu Yamada, Takashi Shimura, Minoru Chiaki, Akira Kubo, Takamaru Sasaki, Yoichi Tachikawa, Chieko Naniwa


prod co
Toho Company LTD; Toho
Films Inc., 5547 Noah Ravenswood Avenue, Chicago, IL 60640. FAX: 312-878-8648


First shown December 11, 1957. Selected by Carroll Ballard to be screened in the Indelible Images program in 1997.
Throne of Blood

Japanese director Akira Kurosawa has long been revered—and for many reasons. One is certainly his refusal to stay boxed into a predictable set of story lines. His 1957 retelling of Macbeth (he returned to Shakespeare 28 years later for Ran, his version of King Lear) retains much of the original's power and momentum, and to this he adds his own brand of sweeping action, moody images and grand gestures. Delivered in the classic Kabuki tradition, this adaptation of the Bard's epic tale of feudal intrigue is said to have been T.S. Eliot's favorite film. It's easy to see why: Film critic Pauline Kael called Throne of Blood a virtuoso exercise and extolled Kurosawa's expert use of violence, decor, pageantry and costume. The story focuses on two warriors—Takitoki Washizu and Yoshaki Miki—who are called to the main castle for an audience with the sovereign after putting down a mutinous rebellion for their warlord. While riding through the dense, foggy forest, they encounter an eerie old woman who prophesies that Takitoki will take command of the castle, but that his reign will be brief and his throne soon will be occupied by Yoshaki's son. The warriors laugh at the old woman's words, but the prophesy soon unfolds, aided, of course, by no small amount of scheming, conniving and assassination. A truly remarkable film in which beauty, terror and mood are brought forth with haunting power.

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