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High and Low (1963)

Tengoku to jigoku (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 26 November 1963 (USA)
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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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kyôko Kagawa ...
Reiko Gondo
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
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


142 Screenful Minutes of Thrills and Suspense! See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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)


| (Eastmancolor) (inserts only)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The last section of the movie originally had a great deal of dialogue, but Akira Kurosawa decided to omit all of it. See more »


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


Remade as Inkaar (1977) See more »


The Magic Begins
Performed by Yumi Shirakawa
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User Reviews

Best crime film of 1960s, among the best all time
18 June 2000 | by (Lansdale, PA) – See all my reviews

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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