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Ran (1985)

R  |   |  Action, Drama, War  |  1 June 1985 (Japan)
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 71,758 users   Metascore: 90/100
Reviews: 230 user | 124 critic | 11 from Metacritic.com

An elderly lord abdicates to his three sons, and the two corrupt ones turn against him.



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Top Rated Movies #130 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 25 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Akira Terao ...
Jinpachi Nezu ...
Daisuke Ryû ...
Yoshiko Miyazaki ...
Hisashi Igawa ...
Pîtâ ...
Masayuki Yui ...
Kazuo Katô ...
Norio Matsui ...
Shumenosuke Ogura
Toshiya Ito ...
Mondo Naganuma
Kenji Kodama ...
Samon Shirane
Takashi Watanabe
Mansai Nomura ...
Tsurumaru (as Takeshi Nomura)


Japanese warlord Hidetori Ichimonji decides the time has come to retire and divide his fiefdom among his three sons. His eldest and middle sons - Taro and Jiro - agree with his decision and promise to support him for his remaining days. The youngest son Saburo disagrees with all of them arguing that there is little likelihood the three brothers will remain united. Insulted by his son's brashness, the warlord banishes Saburo. As the warlord begins his retirement, he quickly realizes that his two eldest sons selfish and have no intention of keeping their promises. It leads to war and only banished Saburo c an possibly save him. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

power | greed | blood | revenge | castle | See All (217) »


Action | Drama | War


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

1 June 1985 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Ran  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$11,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,567 (USA) (30 June 2000)


$3,522,421 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The castle destroyed in the middle of the movie was specially constructed on the slopes of Mount Fuji for the film and then burned down. No miniatures were used for that segment, although an optical of another castle being burned at the end was used. See more »


During the battle at the third castle, there is a sequence where Hidetora emerges from the castle at the top of a flight of stairs and confronts enemy soldiers ascending the stairs. When he retreats, his bodyguards suddenly appear and retreat with him, even though they were not present moments earlier. See more »


Kyoami: Are there no gods... no Buddha? If you exist, hear me. You are mischievous and cruel! Are you so bored up there you must crush us like ants? Is it such fun to see men weep?
Tango: Enough! Do not blaspheme! It is the gods who weep. They see us killing each other over and over since time began. They can't save us from ourselves.
See more »


Version of King Lear (1983) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Jester and Warlord
3 November 2005 | by (Berlin, GER) – See all my reviews

'Ran' is the Japanese word for chaos, riot, dissension. Akira Kurosawa's masterpiece is indeed a feast of destruction and perdition, charged with symbols and powerful in pictures like it is found very rarely in today's cinema.

The dusky story is based on Shakespeare's 'King Lear'. In the film a Japanese warlord celebrates his own downfall. Kurosawa devised this with a radical film language which works with certain imageries of colors, rapid cut sequences and a sophisticated sound design. When the colorful flags of the different armies get intermixed in a battle, when the peacefully quiet wind (which carries the soundtrack) swells to a raving storm or when long wide shots suddenly segue into shots of details that follow hot on each other's heels then you realize Kurosawa's incredible style which deeply influenced the cinema worldwide.

The drawings of the characters are equally terrific. Hidetora's jester is for a certain reason always at the side of the warlord. Their relationship alters as the film continues: Jester and warlord change their roles which makes it hard to distinguish both. Just as the sky turns from blue to grey with dark clouds, the violent past of Hidetora is catching up the aging lord. His trail of murder and predation is not forgotten, the brutally conquered land still carries the old scarves of war and exploitation which now burst out again.

The viewer can take this monumental work as a warning to the destructive power of war, which is even decades later at present and beset those who seed the violence.

66 of 81 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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