1985 Drama

Ran is Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa's reinterpretation of William Shakespeare's +King Lear. The Lear counterpart is an elderly 16th-century warlord (Tatsuya Nakadai), who announces that he's about to divide his kingdom equally among his three sons. In his dotage, he falls prey to the false flattery of his treacherous sons (Akira Terao and Jinpachi Nezu), while banishing his youngest son (Daisuke Ryu), the only member of the family who loves him enough to tell him the unvarnished truth. Thanks to his foolish pride, his domain collapses under its own weight as the sons battle each other over total control. Kurosawa's first film in five years, Ran had been in the planning stages for twice that long; Kurosawa had storyboarded the project with a series of vivid color paintings that have since been published in book form in England. The battle scenes are staged with such brutal vigor that it's hard to imagine that the director was 75 years old at the time. This 160-minute historical epic won several international awards, but it was not a hit in Japan, and it would be five more years before Kurosawa would be able to finance another picture. more..

Director: Akira Kurosawa

Starring: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao, Jinpachi Nezu, Daisuke Ryu, Mieko Harada


  • As close to perfect as filmmaking gets.

    Bob Graham - The San Francisco Chronicle

    27 April 2013

  • Stands separate from the rest, in a pantheon, a true cinematic masterwork of sight, sound, intelligence, and most importantly--passion.

    Frank Lovece - TV Guide

    27 April 2013

  • One of the 10 best films ever made, period.

    Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle

    27 April 2013

  • The adaptation of "King Lear" to feudal Japan is an extraordinary spectacle.

    Shawn Levy - Portland Oregonian

    27 April 2013

  • A dazzlingly successful addition to his (Kurosawa's) distinguished career.

    - Variety

    27 April 2013


  • Best Costume Design

    Academy Awards (1986)

  • Best Foreign Feature Film (Årets utenlandske spillefilm)

    Amanda Awards, Norway (1986)

  • Best Art Direction

    Awards of the Japanese Academy (1986)

  • Best Foreign Language Film

    BAFTA Awards (1987)

  • Best Film

    Blue Ribbon Awards (1986)