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

Not Rated  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  26 November 1963 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 16,976 users  
Reviews: 85 user | 92 critic

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



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


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


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

26 November 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

High and Low  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


| (Eastmancolor) (inserts only)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


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


Ginjirô Takeuchi, medical intern: I'd rather be told the cruel truth than be fed gentle lies.
See more »


Referenced in Last Action Hero (1993) See more »


It's Now or Never
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

Intense and Highly Entertaining
10 October 2001 | by (Oakhurst,CA) – See all my reviews

"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.

28 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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