MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 4,952 this week

High and Low (1963)
"Tengoku to jigoku" (original title)

8.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.3/10 from 14,018 users  
Reviews: 72 user | 85 critic

An executive of a shoe company becomes a victim of extortion when his chauffeur's son is kidnapped and held for ransom.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 39 titles
created 09 Apr 2012
 
a list of 31 titles
created 30 Dec 2012
 
a list of 44 titles
created 01 Jan 2013
 
a list of 28 titles
created 3 months ago
 
a list of 44 titles
created 2 months ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: High and Low (1963)

High and Low (1963) on IMDb 8.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of High and Low.
3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Stray Dog (1949)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

During a sweltering summer, a rookie homicide detective tries to track down his stolen Colt pistol.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Awaji
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A vengeful young man marries the daughter of a corrupt industrialist in order to seek justice for his father's suicide.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Masayuki Mori, Kyôko Kagawa
Le Trou (1960)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

In prison four long-sentence inmates planning an elaborate escape cautiously induct a new inmate to join in their scheme which leads to distrust and uncertainty.

Director: Jacques Becker
Stars: André Bervil, Jean Keraudy, Michel Constantin
Blood Simple. (1984)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A rich but jealous man hires a private investigator to kill his cheating wife and her new man. But, when blood is involved, nothing is simple.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Stars: John Getz, Frances McDormand, Dan Hedaya
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Tom Regan, an advisor to a Prohibition-era crime boss, tries to keep the peace between warring mobs but gets caught in divided loyalties.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Stars: Gabriel Byrne, Albert Finney, John Turturro
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.1/10 X  

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.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A recently laid off factory worker kidnaps his former boss' daughter, hoping to use the ransom money to pay for his sister's kidney transplant.

Director: Chan-wook Park
Stars: Kang-ho Song, Ha-kyun Shin, Doona Bae
Pickpocket (1959)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Michel is released from jail after serving a sentence for thievery. His mother dies and he resorts to pickpocketing as a means of survival.

Director: Robert Bresson
Stars: Martin LaSalle, Marika Green, Jean Pélégri
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Three men attempt to make a living in Prohibitionist America after returning home from fighting together in World War I.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Priscilla Lane
Goodfellas (1990)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

Henry Hill and his friends work their way up through the mob hierarchy.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An African American mafia hit man who models himself after the samurai of old finds himself targeted for death by the mob.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Forest Whitaker, Henry Silva, John Tormey
Jackie Brown (1997)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A flight attendant becomes a key figure in a plot between the police and an arms dealer.

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Stars: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Kyôko Kagawa ...
Reiko Gondo
Tatsuya Mihashi ...
Kawanishi - Gondo's Secretary
Isao Kimura ...
Detective Arai
Kenjirô Ishiyama ...
Chief Detective 'Bos'n' Taguchi
Takeshi Katô ...
Detective Nakao
...
Jun Tazaki ...
Kamiya, National Shoes Publicity Director
Nobuo Nakamura ...
Ishimaru, National Shoes Design Department Director
Yûnosuke Itô ...
Baba - National Shoes Executive
Tsutomu Yamazaki ...
Ginjirô Takeuchi - Medical Intern
Minoru Chiaki ...
First Reporter
Eijirô Tôno ...
Factory Worker
Masao Shimizu ...
Prison Warden
Edit

Storyline

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 levin <levin@world.std.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ransom | shoe | chauffeur | police | train | See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 November 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

High and Low  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

| (Eastmancolor) (inserts only)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Most of the train sequence was shot live, on the Kodama Super Express. Most of the extras are passengers. See more »

Quotes

Reiko Gondo: [to her husband, about their son Jun] He takes after you. He likes violent games.
See more »

Connections

Remade as Bong ga (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

The Magic Begins
(uncredited)
Performed by Yumi Shirakawa
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Kurosawa at his best and most subtle
1 August 2004 | by (Los Angeles, Ca.) – See all my reviews

This is one of those rare movies I had to watch twice to catch all the meaning and beauty of its construction, that is how sleek and polished this film is. The storyline is deceptively simple -- a businessman named Gondo is about to take control of the company he's worked in for years when he's told his son's been kidnapped. It turns out the kidnappers got his chauffeur's son by mistake, but they still want him to pay the ransom. If he does, he will be financially ruined. If he doesn't, he will be reviled. Which will he choose? This makes up the first half of the movie, culminating in a breathtaking scene on one of Japan's bullet trains. The second half is the police search for the kidnapper/murderer and how a case is built that will take him to the gallows.

Now this sounds like your typical cop thriller, the type Hollywood churns out with one hand tied behind its back, but Kurosawa makes it into a meditation on honor and decency, and on how one's choices can lead one to Heaven or to Hell in little steps that seem to be taking you nowhere. Gondo is an honorable man who worked hard to built himself a life of wealth and power. This is no small feat, considering Japan is not known as a society where one can easily change one's station in life, so this adds to his dilemma; he will not only lose his fortune, he will also lose his hard-gained power and respect in the business community, all for a child that is not even his. And not only will he lose but his own wife and son will, as well. But to NOT pay the ransom means he will lose everything in him that is human and decent, and his wife and son will suffer from that, too.

This is a big deal -- not just in Japanese society but in the world as a whole. It doesn't matter if you live in Nepal or Kenya or Argentina or New York City, when faced with the choice of losing your position in your society or losing your soul, which would you choose? And would you still make that choice knowing that even if the cops catch the bad guy, it will make no difference in your own circumstances? Just a glance at some of the recent stock scandals gives you a good idea of where most people fall in their choices. And even Ed McBain, upon whose novel this movie is based, knew how hard it would be to give up your world for your spirit; his businessman refuses to pay the ransom.

To me, this movie is Kurosawa at his best and most subtle. Every shot is composed and measured and done just right. Not all films have to have bombs exploding and chase scenes and people going "Boo!" to affect you; sometimes just a man riding on a train en route to what he knows will be a catastrophe to him and his world is enough to make you thank the heavens for a story well told.


57 of 62 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Three reasons I had a hard time keeping a straight face shaggy61
Are movie execs rating this movie a 1? chamelion7
Remake in the Works Xuesheng
A Criterion reissue dchozenwan
hollywood remake!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ! chezchez99
M? mothboy88
Discuss High and Low (1963) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?