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I'm probably in the minority, but I slightly prefer The Hidden Fortress.
They're both equally good, but Ran loses due to its lack of Toshiro Mifune. It should've known better.
But Ran has Tatsuya Nakadai . . . The next best thing. Ha ha.
I'm on The Hidden Fortress train...
Of the eight works of Kurosawa I have seen, The Hidden Fortress seems like the weakest link. Still a great adventure film, but that's what it is---adventure, entertainment, escapism. Ran on the other hand strikes me as a landmark Kurosawa, a real masterwork, perhaps only outmatched by Seven Samurai for me personally. What a terrific film it is, and how visually gorgeous!