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

8.3
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 14,648 users  
Reviews: 75 user | 88 critic

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

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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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


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original ending of Ed McBain's novel shows King Gondo with his recovered money buying out his stock deal and taking over National Shoes; a much different ending than Kurosawa envisioned and eventually filmed. See more »

Quotes

Kingo Gondo: Why should you and I hate each other?
Ginjirô Takeuchi, medical intern: I don't know. I'm not interested in self-analysis. I do know my room was so cold in winter and so hot in summer I couldn't sleep. Your house looked like heaven, high up there. That's how I began to hate you.
See more »

Connections

References The H-Man (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

It's Now or Never
(uncredited)
from "O Sole Mio" by Eduardo Di Capua and Alfredo Mazzucchi
Adapted by Wally Gold and Aaron Schröder
See more »

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User Reviews

Great suspenceful crime story. Fine performances early in the careers of future stars.
19 February 1999 | by (Oita,Japan) – See all my reviews

A child of a chauffeur is mistakenly kidnapped in the place of a businessman's son. The businessman, involved in a high-stakes takeover of his company from his erring bosses, chooses to risk losing his shirt to pay the ransom for a child not his own. While the clock is ticking on both the businessman's fortune and the child's life, the police decide that they want a sure conviction rather than a quick arrest.

A suspenseful crime story based on a novel by Evan Hunter (aka Ed McBain) transported to 1960's Japan. The soon to be famous "Economic miracle" is in full swing as Japan rebuilds its war-ravaged landscape. The mix of optimism and despair of the people in the thick of this economic transformation is palpable beneath the multiple story lines of scrappy cops following their hunches, the inventive kidnapper and the businessman.

Toshiro Mifune shines as the businessman while Tatuya Nakadai makes a fine appearance as Inspector Tokura. Tsutomu Yamazaki as the kidnapper debuts into a glorious career. Many of the bit players who appear only briefly eventually became big stars notably Eijiro Tono as the worker in a shoe factory and Nekohachi Edoya as the charming engineer who identifies a train, gesturing with chopsticks, by merely listening to recorded sounds.


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