The early life and career of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York is portrayed while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on his crime syndicate stretching from Lake Tahoe, Nevada to pre-revolution 1958 Cuba.
An executive mortgages all he owns to stage a coup and gain control of the National Shoe Company, with the intent of keeping the company out of the hands of incompetent and greedy executives. He needs the same money, though, to pay the ransom that will possibly save a child's life. His resolution of that dilemma -- the certain loss of the company vs. the probable loss of the child -- makes for one distinct drama, and an ensuing elaborate police procedure makes for a second. Written by
"High and Low" could be considered two movies. The first, "High" takes place in Kingo Gondo's (Mifune's) hilltop mansion. The crime occurs and what follows in the next hour is one of the most meticulous and brilliantly constructed film segments I have ever seen! The first half of the film could almost be considered theatre. It is static and deceptively simple but.....so intense! The ensemble acting is superb with Mifune a stand out as usual! Connecting these two movies is the train sequence. After the calculated intensity of the first part this scene comes at you like a sledgehammer! These four or five minutes are magnificent! So very exciting and so very quick it leaves you drained when it ends! "Low" begins with the hunt for the criminal. Only "Stray Dog" comes closer to capturing the cop's decent into hell. This last part of the film is fast and furious. We are no longer an observer. We have become part of the chase. First, we know who the criminal is. The police do not know and what follows is a fascinating puzzle being put together before our eyes! The last scene in the film is unexpected, deeply disturbing and left me numb and staring at the TV screen after the film had ended. Like Gondo we are left with the answers that we did not want to hear.
24 of 28 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?