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
Most of the outdoor Yokohama shots were filmed on location, with a few exceptions, mostly due to the cold winter that was setting in. The scene where Gondo unknowingly meets the kidnapper on the street had to be filmed indoors. 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 »
Even at nearly two and a half hours, this movie can rivet even casual movie-watchers. High and Low was adapted from the novel "King's Ransom" by Ed McBain, and though I haven't read the novel, the film stands up surprisingly in a completely different setting (Japan, as opposed to America). The script is great, the cinematography is outstanding, and if you're watching the Criterion print available on DVD you'll find yourself wondering if it was really made in 1963. This film scores an easy 10 with me. I can't think of a crime film that I enjoyed more than this one.
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