Throne of Blood
Throne of Blood (1957)

This moody and violent drama is the Japanese version of Shakespeare's "Macbeth." Even translated into the Japanese language, the timeless story of political intrigue, murder, greed and revenge remains a classic.

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: January 1, 1957
DVD Release Date: May 27, 2003
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Available Online

Critic Score: 98% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: A career high point for Akira Kurosawa -- and one of the best film adaptations of a Shakespeare play.

TIME Magazine

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.

Full review…
Time Out

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.

Full review…
Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing

One of the best Shakespearean adaptations ever made, and that director Akira Kurosawa topped himself by helming the brilliant King Lear-inspired Ran 28 years later only cements the fact that he will always be heralded as one of the greats.

Full review…
Anthony Lane
New Yorker

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.

Full review…
Glenn Abel
Hollywood Reporter

Widely regarded as one of the most successful film adaptations of a Bard play.

Matthew Sorrento
Film International

Kurosawa grounds this downward spiral through the presence of Toshiro Mifune, who personalizes the Macbeth role while making it greater than his historical moment.

Full review…
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

Akira Kurosawa's remarkable 1957 restaging of Macbeth in samurai and expressionist terms is unquestionably one of his finest works -- charged with energy, imagination, and, in keeping with the subject, sheer horror.

Full review…
Bosley Crowther
New York Times

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.

Full review…
Christopher Long
Movie Metropolis

These most powerful of men are just puppets or, more aptly, fools embracing the illusion that they are masters of a world that views them as ... a punchline to the cosmic joke

Full review…
More reviews for Throne of Blood

Flixster Audience Score: 93% Flixster User Reviews
Alex roy
Akira Kuroswa crafts yet again another stunning, bold; epic that is Throne of Blood. Brilliantly acted and directed, the film features an intense atmosphere… More
Keiko Aya
Akira Kurosawa film adaptations of a Shakespeare play? And without a doubt the best thing ever done on Macbeth easy. Just add my country --Japan-- and you have… More
Bruce Bruce
From the Criterion Collection Spine Number 190. Throne of Blood is a masterpiece by one of the world's greatest film makers at the height of his powers.… More
Wildaly M
Watching this Japanese version was strange for me and I wasn't exactly sure what to think of it as I watched. Some parts were different but great (the… More
Chris Weber
Throne of Blood is basically William Shakespeare's Macbeth, only set in Feudal Japan. The setting is quite fitting given the subject matter, and in the… More
Aj V
Having already seen Macbeth in more traditional forms, I could see where the Shakespeare tale fit into this movie, and I wasn't very surprised by anything… More