In Medieval Japan, an elderly warlord retires, handing over his empire to his three sons. However, he vastly underestimates how the new-found power will corrupt them and cause them to turn on each other...and him.
An elder ronin samurai arrives at a feudal lord's home and requests an honorable place to commit suicide. But when the ronin inquires about a younger samurai who arrived before him things take an unexpected turn.
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
After the film was released, kidnappings were on the rise in Japan. Kurosawa himself had received threats for the kidnapping of his own daughter, Kazuko. She quoted him as once saying to her "With High and Low, I wanted to inspire tougher sentences on kidnappers. Instead, I was criticized for their increase." See more »
When the police is reviewing the footage from the train (where the kidnappers retrieve the briefcase), the camera rotates 180 degrees backwards and, despite it having been recorded from the cabin, the view is never blocked. See more »
This movie was incredible!! They called it Film Noir but, my God, it's so much better than THAT-- This film out-Hitchcocks Hitchcock! And I'm a Hitchcock devotee. The issues Kurosawa wrestles with in this, and his other films; the ethic responsibility we have as humans, humanity vs. greed, crime and punishment are universally understood. Nothing he presents in black and white(except literally in the film stock)-- but every shade of grey is reflected on. The story unfolds slowly but contains many twists and turns as the viewer questions the motives of each character. It's not just the force of good against evil--but a question of what is morally right and morally wrong. The title itself clues the viewer in to the ambiguities of class, greed, and moral ethic.
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