- 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:
- Studio: Paramount Home Video
- Release Date: April 15 2003
- Run Time: 162 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 145 customer reviews
- ASIN: B00008973Q
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #30,938 in Movies & TV Shows (See Top 100 in Movies & TV Shows)
Ran (The Masterworks Edition)
Frequently bought together
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
As critic Roger Ebert observed in his original review of Ran, this epic tragedy might have been attempted by a younger director, but only the Japanese master Akira Kurosawa, who made the film at age 75, could bring the requisite experience and maturity to this stunning interpretation of Shakespeare's King Lear. It's a film for the ages--one of the few genuine screen masterpieces--and arguably serves as an artistic summation of the great director's career. In this version of the Shakespeare tragedy, the king is a 16th-century warlord (Tatsuya Nakadai as Lord Hidetora) who decides to retire and divide his kingdom evenly among his three sons. When one son defiantly objects out of loyalty to his father and warns of inevitable sibling rivalry, he is banished and the kingdom is awarded to his compliant siblings. The loyal son's fears are valid: a duplicitous power struggle ensues and the aging warlord witnesses a maelstrom of horrifying death and destruction. Although the film is slow to establish its story, it's clear that Kurosawa, who planned and painstakingly designed the production for 10 years before filming began, was charting a meticulous and tightly formalized dramatic strategy. As familial tensions rise and betrayal sends Lord Hidetora into the throes of escalating madness, Ran (the title is the Japanese character for "chaos" or "rebellion") reaches a fever pitch through epic battles and a fortress assault that is simply one of the most amazing sequences on film. Although this awesome epic is best viewed on a big theatrical screen, the DVD presents the widescreen film with a higher quality of image and sound than was ever previously available in any home-video format. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Akira Kurosawa's 1985 masterpiece was remastered for its Masterworks release, a clear improvement over the notoriously disappointing Fox Lorber DVD. The transfer is now vividly colorful and crisply detailed, presented in anamorphic widescreen with optional yellow subtitles that are easier to read (though the earlier release probably wasn't as bad as the "old" image used in the restoration demo). The 5.1-channel sound option allows deeper immersion in Kurosawa's painstakingly crafted soundtrack, and film historian Stephen Price's superlative, feature-length commentary track provides engaging and scholarly perspective on Kurosawa's development of theme through composition, camera placement, editing, and highly stylized direction of actors. Another comparatively sparse commentary track by Japanese cultural expert Peter Grilli is worthwhile for its insider's view of Kurosawa's personality and methods. --Jeff Shannon
Customers who bought this item also bought
Top Customer Reviews
What is weaker about the transfer, however, is the audio. Studio's canal's 5.1 (Japanese) audio track sounds quite clear overall. Again, in comparing Criterion's Kagemusha, this audio is decent at best. Studio Canal's Ran has audio which never "pops" as it should during the battle scenes, with clear, loud sound effects for the gunshots, and neither is the music projected as loudly and clearly as it should. The audio on the Criterion DVD of Ran may in fact be stronger than it is on this blu ray. Audio - 3/5
Studio Canal's Ran is still a must-buy for those who love the film. Because it's a blu ray, it's a step above the Ran Criterion transfer. It's a great shame that Criterion lost the rights to releasing Ran on blu ray just a month before they were going to release it, but Studio Canal's version isn't a bad compromise either for those who want to own Ran on blu ray.
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. She harbored revenge in her heart ever since and now urges her husband to fight his brother, Jiro. Hidetora's court jester creates a mocking song about Taro being like a gourd, spinning this way and spinning that way, implying he can not make a sound decision and stick with it. At a family gathering Taro hears the song and is outraged ... In a surprise move, Hidetora and his guards leave to visit Jiro. Hidetora discovers he is not welcome there either, not at all what he expected. He left abruptly ...
The treachery to gain power and control over the lands and castles by the two older brothers consumes them. As predicted by Subaru, the younger brother, war is inevitable. Local chieftains must decide where their loyalties lie, which brother to support. Hidetora goes into hiding. Eventually he goes mad. His only guard and caregiver, the jester, does not leave his side. This film contains very strong battle scenes. The desire for control and power is the true motivator for both older brothers. Loosely based on Shakespeare's King Lear, this Japanese version is astonishing in scope and grandeur. The costumes and scenery are fabulous. In the film, there are tender moments between the jester and Hidetora. There are moving scenes where Jiro's wife escapes to find her brother who was blinded in a past conquest and lives alone in a cottage ... The producers and directors create a phenomenal ending and conclusion. At some point, Hidetora reawakens from his madness long enough to recognize the impact of his decision on his family and the near destruction of the kingdom he once ruled. The ending is climactic and leaves a major impression on the viewer. The film is spectacular.
Erika Borsos (erikab93
Despite the absence of the incredible Toshiro Mifune, I highly recommend this DVD.
Want to see more reviews on this item?
Most recent customer reviews
for world cinema and beyond,this is the sort of movie that would make you go,okay hold...Read more
Look for similar items by category
- Movies & TV > Action & Adventure
- Movies & TV > Art House & International > By Country > France
- Movies & TV > Art House & International > By Country > Japan > Drama
- Movies & TV > Art House & International > By Country > Japan > Samurai Films
- Movies & TV > Art House & International > By Director > Akira Kurosawa
- Movies & TV > Art House & International > By Genre > Action & Adventure
- Movies & TV > Art House & International > By Genre > Drama
- Movies & TV > Art House & International > By Original Language > Japanese
- Movies & TV > Drama > Period Piece
- Movies & TV > En français