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Ran (The Masterworks Edition)


Price: CDN$ 81.66
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Product Details

  • Actors: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao, Jinpachi Nezu, Daisuke Ryû, Mieko Harada
  • Directors: Akira Kurosawa
  • Writers: Akira Kurosawa, Hideo Oguni, Masato Ide, William Shakespeare
  • Producers: Hisao Kurosawa, Katsumi Furukawa, Masato Hara
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, 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: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Paradox
  • Release Date: April 22 2003
  • Run Time: 162 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008973Q
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #14,785 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)


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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Aug. 20 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I am reviewing the Masterworks Edition of Akira Kurosawa's "Ran". First, "Ran" is obviously an epic masterpiece and it is a must own item for any serious collector of world cinema. As a collector, I don't mind paying top prices for an excellent transfer or restoration of a classic film. However, I do mind paying a premium price and receiving a DVD that has the aspect ratio incorrect. The Masterworks Edition costs about the same as many Criterion Collection releases, yet they have delivered a butchered version of the film. In the opening credits, most of the cast and crew's last names have 3 or 4 letters chopped right off the end. In other words, the entire 160 minute movie is presented to the viewer with sections on both sides of the screen sliced off. It is a crying shame to see a film as historically important an "Ran" given such amateur treatment. However, the colour transfer is a vast improvement over the cheaper Fox Lorber DVD of "Ran". But, at least Fox Lorber got the aspect ration correct! So you have two inferior choices of this classic film to currently select from: (1) the cheaper Fox Lorber with the poor colour transfer but correct widescreen presentation or the (2) the more expensive Masterworks edition with excellent colour tranfer but incorrect widescreen presentation. I wish Criterion would get the rights to "Ran" and release a 2 disc edition with proper restoration of the film and plenty of additonal features - "Ran" deserves to be treated with respect and Criterion wouldn't mess the job up like Fox Lorber or Masterworks.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jenny J.J.I. TOP 500 REVIEWER on Aug. 16 2007
Format: DVD
"Ran" is the first film I've watched by Akira Kurosawa. Now I'm a huge fan of his work thanks to my Amazonian friends who had already seen it. When a legend like Kurosawa, does a King Lear adaptation at the tender age of 75, one would expect a small-scale film concentrating on the human elements of the story. That he produced an epic of such proportions makes a further evaluation of the great man's contribution to cinema necessary.

"Ran" is set in medieval Japan and follows the basic King Lear narrative closely. Lord Hidetora is an aging warlord and, wanting a peaceful retirement, decides to divide his kingdom up amongst his three sons. After banishing the youngest, Saburo, for pouring scorn on the idea, Hidetora finds himself an unwanted obstacle to the older two. After repeated humiliations, pride forces Hidetora into vain wanderings on the open plain, his state of mind declining as rapidly as his entourage.

The film sets itself the unenviable task of trying to explain the precarious position man holds within the universe. Man is seen to be elevating himself to such a level that he dreams of challenging the very laws of nature. Hidetora has achieved his status through deception, callousness and violence; his notion to wash away the blood he has spilt in happy retirement is scornfully thrown back by the elements. The speed and manner in which he is forced to lie in the bed he has made for himself should serve as a warning to all.

The films large set pieces, particularly two quite stunning battle sequences, are staged magnificently, but 'Ran' is no empty epic. The characters and their motivations are fully explored and the tension built up by the dialogue fully compliments the action.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Erika Borsos on June 15 2006
Format: DVD
The story line is superb ... the scenery is stunning and gorgeous, vast mountains and green valleys, walled castles and fortresses. Hidetora, the aging warlord, holds a conference with his three sons and local chieftains on a mountainside. He announces his decision to relinquish the leadership of his kingdom to the eldest of his three sons. Only one son, the youngest, dares to speak up and state that during his lifetime he has known only war and fighting, he predicts the same after the transfer of power. He believes there will be power struggles between his two older brothers due to jealousy. The youngest brother personally has no desire to be warlord. Hidetora planned to leave one castle to each of his three sons. He has each son hold an arrow and asks them to break it in half, which they easily do. He gives them in succession, three arrows bundled together, representing the unity of the family, none can break the bundle. This is Hidetora's example of how the family will remain strong if they remain unified. He envisions the House of Ichimanji to be powerful and his eldest son to be overlord of the kingdoms attained during Hidetora's own reign of power. In his anger, Hidetora banishes the youngest son accusing him of defying his wishes ... Yet Subarua, the youngest, holds his father in esteem and respect throughout the predicted battles which come to pass.

Hidetora visits Taro's castle after the power transfer and finds his concubines have to bow and kneel to Taro's wife, Sue'. They are forced to move out. Hidetora discovers after the transfer of power, he is no longer respected. Sue' married into the family to consolidate land holdings and property attained as the spoils of war, a war in which her parents were murdered.
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