8.2/10
113,435
298 user 165 critic

Ran (1985)

R | | Action, Drama, War | 1 June 1985 (Japan)
Trailer
2:04 | Trailer
In Medieval Japan, an elderly warlord retires, handing over his empire to his three sons. However, he vastly underestimates how the new-found power will corrupt them and cause them to turn on each other...and him.

Director:

Akira Kurosawa

Writers:

Akira Kurosawa (screenplay), Hideo Oguni (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
2,522 ( 457)
Top Rated Movies #134 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 29 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tatsuya Nakadai ... Lord Hidetora Ichimonji
Akira Terao Akira Terao ... Taro Takatora Ichimonji
Jinpachi Nezu ... Jiro Masatora Ichimonji
Daisuke Ryû ... Saburo Naotora Ichimonji
Mieko Harada ... Lady Kaede
Yoshiko Miyazaki ... Lady Sue
Hisashi Igawa ... Shuri Kurogane
Pîtâ ... Kyoami (as Peter)
Masayuki Yui ... Tango Hirayama
Kazuo Katô Kazuo Katô ... Kageyu Ikoma
Norio Matsui Norio Matsui ... Shumenosuke Ogura
Toshiya Ito Toshiya Ito ... Mondo Naganuma
Kenji Kodama ... Samon Shirane
Takashi Watanabe Takashi Watanabe ... Fujimaki Clan general
Mansai Nomura ... Tsurumaru (as Takeshi Nomura)
Edit

Storyline

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 can possibly save him. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Because actor Tatsuya Nakadai was decades younger than Hidetora, he wore full-face makeup that took about four hours to apply. See more »

Goofs

During the siege on the third castle, the corpse of one of Hidetora's guards suddenly shuts his eyes just before a volley of arrows flies past him. See more »

Quotes

Kyoami: Man is born crying. When he has cried enough, he dies.
See more »

Connections

Version of Gran teatro: El Rey Lear (1964) See more »

User Reviews

 
The Greatest Shakespeare Film
31 March 2004 | by Elendil87See all my reviews

Throughout his career Kurosawa strove to achieve what he called "real cinema", proclaiming that "in all [his] films, there's [only] three or four minutes" of such quality. Many would argue that he was his greatest critic. For if not in "Seven Samurai", then definitely in "Ikiru" and if not in "High and Low", then definitely in "Rashomon" he must have achieved this plateau of greatness. Well, if not in any of his other films, then definitely in "Ran" Kurosawa finally came to the apex of cinematic artistry. With the both lyrical and grandiose tone of its craft, its beautifully spare imagery, its haunting score by Toru Takemitsu, and its lead Tatsuya Nakadai's masterful understated performance, "Ran" is perhaps the most fully realized epic ever made.

The tale, which is an adaptation of Shakespeare's "King Lear", begins as Lord Hidetora Ichimonji and his court are out hunting. During a break in the hunt, Hidetora proclaims his adbication from the hight seat of the Great Lord and bestows his lands unto his three sons, dividing them up equally. He declares his oldest to be his successor in power. When his youngest son and one of his faithful nobles, express their concerns on this idea, Hidetora foolishly banishes them both, mistaking their advice as insolence. With this opening scene, the peaces are aligned and soon 'chaos' as the film is aptly named will break out throughout the land. From here, we see the downfall of Hidetora and all those who surround him. The film retains all the themes of the original play, but also thanks to Kurosawa's own input addresses a slew of even more varied ideas. Like Shakespeare, Kurosawa is greatly interested in the responsibility of the leader and the hypocrisies and ironies of an autocratic system. The most obvious though not the central theme in the whole film is war, and Kurosawa explores this theme to its full extent throughout the film. In perhaps the most grandiose battle scene every filmed, he demonstrates the destructive consequences and the paradoxical beauty of conflict.

Here, Kurosawa implements the camera with masterful skill not once employing the editing/photography tricks and gimmicks so often seen in films (even the good ones) today. This director has an awareness of the past and the history of film, but also the creative spontaneity of a true genius. In "Ran", he focuses on the more methodically simple yet artistically complex montage of Eisenstein, and on the strict compositions of Ozu. He employs the most basic and yet most artistic of techniques. Each shot is planned to precision, and each cut is made for a purpose. The coreagraphy and blocking of each scene is simple and powerful, and Kurosawa allows the actors to play out these scenes without the intrusion of the camera or the editor. Thus, the director prevents the style from eclipsing the already powerful material he has to work with. Simply put, "Ran" is a masterpiece that flows and develops like an opera, from its forebodingly peaceful ouverture to its bloody Shakespearean heart until its final, quietly subdued, and sorrowful denouement.


146 of 175 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 298 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

Japan | France

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

1 June 1985 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Ran See more »

Filming Locations:

Aso, Kumamoto, Japan See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$11,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,567, 2 July 2000

Gross USA:

$4,135,750

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,164,283
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed