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Throne of Blood


Price: CDN$ 22.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Toshirô Mifune, Minoru Chiaki, Isuzu Yamada, Takashi Shimura, Akira Kubo
  • Directors: Akira Kurosawa
  • Writers: Akira Kurosawa, Hideo Oguni, Ryûzô Kikushima, Shinobu Hashimoto, William Shakespeare
  • Producers: Akira Kurosawa, Sôjirô Motoki
  • Format: Black & White, Dolby, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Release Date: Sept. 15 2009
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002E01MBA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #14,971 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Product Description

Essential Art House: Throne Of Blood

Amazon.ca

A champion of illumination and experimental shading, Kurosawa brings his unerring eye for indelible images to Shakespeare in this 1957 adaptation of Macbeth. By changing the locale from Birnam Wood to 16th-century Japan, Kurosawa makes an oddball argument for the trans-historicity of Shakespeare's narrative; and indeed, stripped to the bare mechanics of the plot, the tale of cut-throat ambition rewarded (and thwarted) feels infinitely adaptable. What's lost in the translation, of course, is the force and beauty of the language--much of the script of Throne of Blood is maddeningly repetitive or superfluous--but striking visual images (including the surreal Cobweb Forest and some extremely artful gore) replace the sublime poetry. Toshiro Mifune is theatrically intense as Washizu, the samurai fated to betray his friend and master in exchange for the prestige of nobility; he portrays the ill-fated warrior with a passion bordering on violence, and a barely concealed conviviality. Somewhat less successful is Isuzu Yamada as Washizu's scheming wife; her poise and creepy impassivity, chilling at first, soon grows tedious. Kurosawa himself is the star of the show, though, and his masterful use of black-and-white contrast--not to mention his steady, dramatic hand with a battle scene--keeps the proceedings thrilling. A must-see for fans of Japanese cinema, as well as all you devotees of samurai weapons and armour. --Miles Bethany --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Vincent on April 28 2004
Format: DVD
After reading Macbeth in Lit class, I wanted to watch a movie adaptation and I happened to run into this one, I had heard on amazon.com that this was a Japanese adaptation of Macbeth and I picked it up, I really enjoyed it, much more than I expected to. Akira Kurosawa did a great job in this, it is old and the technology is limited but I loved it, I showed it to my friends who had not read the book but they loved the film as well, especially the ending, if you have seen it, you'll know what I mean, I do not wish to ruin it for anyone, anyway, the DVD price is quite high but if you are thinking of buying it, I suggest trying to rent it somewhere or obtain it temporarily from somewhere or someone and then decide to buy it or not, good movie, enjoy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By steven on Jan. 4 2004
Format: VHS Tape
I am, just like 50 others that have strenuously written customer reviews for this classic Kurosawa Akira masterpiece, from Nagoya International School. My class has worked on Shakespeare's MacBeth, and has watched four different versions of the play on video. It was my favorite. Of the four, this was the only version in which the setting was completely removed from the original (Scotland) setting and was in Japan. "Japan? MacBeth?" you might think. Even though a lot of the valuable Shakespearian English quotes have inevitably been replaced by those that are Japanese, the main themes of loyalties and ambitions are nevertheless shown very well. They are not necessarily shown in a similar fashion, but they are shown. You will probably know what I mean if you watch the movie. It is suprising; Japan is on the opposite side of the world if you are in Scotland. But the unique feudal system of Japan, with its own distinct classes of nobility, allow the main storyline of MacBeth to flow smoothly in a pre-Tokugawa era Japanese setting. And don't forget: Mr. Kurosawa created this classic film. He does not remain in filmmaking history for nothing. From interesting camera angles (looking up at the characters from the dirt?) to rapidly changing, exciting horse-riding scenes, Kurosawa makes the black and white characters come alive in times of tension. Just remember: if you have no good movies around and you have nothing to do, and you suddenly stumble upon The Throne of Blood, pick it up and watch it. Yes, its 42 years old. But does it really make a difference if its interesting?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Atheen on April 18 2000
Format: VHS Tape
The very best I've seen. Shakespeare's MacBeth has been my favorite classic tragedy since I first encountered it at nine years old when my father brought home records of Shakespearian plays to use in teaching his high school English literature class. It had everything: ghosts, witches, spookie atmosphere, villians and heroes. Since that time I've seen the play performed many times, but this is my favorite cinematic presentation. Unlike the Welles version, which seems to be considered such a classic but which is so dark it's almost opaque, this film creates the brooding emotional environment with the eye of a painter or better yet that of a brilliant black and white photographer. It is a cinematic visual masterwork. The Japanese setting and historic period seem entirely appropriate; Shakespeare himself would have approved. The approaching doom and ultimate death of the fallen MacBeth is not to be forgotten.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Jan. 2 2004
Format: DVD
Shakespeare's 'MacBeth' is made into Japanese film history through Kurosawa's magical touch. The two warlords Washizu (Toshirô Mifune) and Miki are loyal to their ruler and on their way to display their loyalty they get lost in the Cobweb Forest. Bewildered and lost in the impenetrable forest they follow the laughter of an evil spirit that foretells the future of the two men. When the two men exit the woods they are promoted by their leader and once at home Washizu tells his wife about the encounter with the evil spirit. His gritty wife sways Washizu to take action and help the prophesy fulfill itself. Throne of Blood is a remarkable tragedy that keeps the audience gasping for air as greed, betrayal, guilt, and punishment are taking form on the screen.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nigel on Dec 24 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Image Macbeth as a samurai lord. That's what this film does. Its an interesting blend of an old Scottish story as filtered through Shakespeare and then transported into medieval Japan. It works brilliantly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. Albin on Dec 25 2003
Format: DVD
This is a fascinating film. This is not really, as commonly assumed, a Japanese version of MacBeth. Kurosawa and his co-workers used the plot of MacBeth as a point of departure to make a superb film about ambition and betrayal. Set in Medieval Japan during a period of constant turmoil, Throne of Blood uses much of the plot of MacBeth. There is no effort to use the great language of Shakespeare, rather Kurosawa and his team reimagined MacBeth in a very specific Japanese context. To substitute for the power and poetry of Shakespeare's writing, Kurosawa uses his distinctive and striking visual style and acting techniques borrowed from Noh theatre. Use of the latter is particularly appropriate as Noh first became popular and matured as an art form during this period of Japanese history. Kurosawa also gives this film a undercurrent of Buddhist disdain for superficial aspects of life. This film is visually striking, gripping in plot, and features wonderful performances, particularly those of Toshiro Mifune and Izusu Yamada as the MacBeth and Lady MacBeth equivalents. One of Kurosawa's best films.
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