IMDb > High and Low (1963)
Tengoku to jigoku
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High and Low (1963) More at IMDbPro »Tengoku to jigoku (original title)

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High and Low -- Toshirô Mifune is unforgettable as Kingo Gondo, a wealthy industrialist whose family becomes the target of a cold-blooded kidnapper in Akira Kurosawa’s highly influential High and Low (Tengoku to jigoku).

Overview

User Rating:
8.3/10   14,643 votes »
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Up 68% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Hideo Oguni (screenplay) &
Ryûzô Kikushima (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for High and Low on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
26 November 1963 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
An executive of a shoe company becomes a victim of extortion when his chauffeur's son is kidnapped and held for ransom. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
3 wins & 3 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(120 articles)
User Reviews:
The film "Ransom" could have been. See more (75 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Toshirô Mifune ... Kingo Gondo

Tatsuya Nakadai ... Chief Detective Tokura
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

Takashi Shimura ... Chief of Investigation Section
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
Yutaka Sada ... Aoki - the Chauffeur
Masahiko Shimazu ... Shinichi Aoki
Toshio Egi ... Jun Gondo
Kôji Mitsui ... Second Reporter
Kyû Sazanka ... First Creditor
Susumu Fujita ... Chief of First Investigating Section
Kamatari Fujiwara ... Junkyard Cook
Yoshio Tsuchiya ... Detective Murata
Kazuo Kitamura ... Third Reporter
Gen Shimizu ... Chief Physician
Akira Nagoya ... Detective Yamamoto
Jun Hamamura ... Second Creditor
Masao Oda ... First Executor at Tax Office (as Masao Orita)
Kô Nishimura ... Third Creditor
Yoshifumi Tajima ... Chief Prison Officer
Kôji Kiyomura ... Fish Market Office Worker
Hiroshi Unayama ... Detective Shimada
Yoshisuke Makino ... Detective Takahashi
Jun Kondô ... Identification Center Worker
Satoshi Suzuki ... Detective Koike
Senkichi Ômura ... Messenger Passing Note to Intern
Kazuo Katô ... Identification Center Worker
Ikio Sawamura ... Yokohama Station Trolley Man
Kin Sugai ... Female Drug Addict
Keiko Tomita ... Murder Victim
Isao Onoda ... Male Drug Addict
Seiichi Taguchi ... Detective Nakamura
Takeo Matsushita ... Second Executor at Tax Office
Kiyoshi Yamamoto ... Detective Ueno
Kenji Kodama ... Detective Hara
Minoru Itô ... Detective
Haruo Suzuki ... Undercover Detective 'Drug Addict'
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kôzô Nomura ... Detective (uncredited)

Directed by
Akira Kurosawa 
 
Writing credits
Hideo Oguni (screenplay) &
Ryûzô Kikushima (screenplay) &
Eijirô Hisaita (screenplay) &
Akira Kurosawa (screenplay)

Evan Hunter (novel "Kingu no minoshirokin") (as Edo Makubein)

Produced by
Ryûzô Kikushima .... producer
Akira Kurosawa .... associate producer
Tomoyuki Tanaka .... producer
 
Original Music by
Masaru Satô 
 
Cinematography by
Asakazu Nakai 
Takao Saitô 
 
Production Design by
Yoshirô Muraki 
 
Costume Design by
Miyuki Suzuki 
 
Production Management
Hiroshi Nezu .... production supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Masanobu Deme .... assistant director
Yôichi Matsue .... assistant director
Shirô Moritani .... chief assistant director
Kenjirô Ohmori .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Jun Sakuma .... assistant art director
 
Sound Department
Ichirô Minawa .... sound effects editor
Jin Sashida .... sound assistant
Hisashi Shimonaga .... sound mixer
Fumio Yanoguchi .... sound
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Fukahirô Akike .... assistant lighting technician
Masao Fukuda .... still photographer
Kazutami Hara .... assistant camera
Ichirô Inohara .... lighting technician
Katsuhiro Kato .... assistant camera
Hiromitsu Mori .... lighting technician
 
Editorial Department
Reiko Kaneko .... assistant editor
 
Transportation Department
Ginzo Osumi .... transportation coordinator
 
Other crew
Shigeru Kishima .... production assistant
Teruyo Nogami .... script supervisor
Yûichi Yoshitake .... acting office
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Tengoku to jigoku" - Japan (original title)
"Heaven and Hell" - International (English title) (literal title)
See more »
Runtime:
USA:143 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Black and White | Color (Eastmancolor) (inserts only)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)
Certification:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The film made its American debut in November 1963, the week that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.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 »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
The Magic BeginsSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
43 out of 46 people found the following review useful.
The film "Ransom" could have been., 27 July 2004
Author: kmscb-1 from Los Angeles

"High and Low" is one of those deceptive detective-thrillers that sneak in under your radar and grab you from behind with their storytelling magic. It's proof positive of Kurosawa's mastery of film and all its imagery.

The story was adapted from an Ed McBain "87th Precinct" novel, "King's Ransom", and is really very simple. A successful businessman (Mr. Gondo) in the middle of a major deal is told his son has been kidnapped. All concerns about money fly out the window...until Gondo learns it was actually his chauffeur's son who was taken by mistake. Doesn't matter; the kidnapper still wants him to pay the ransom, even though it will bankrupt him. Will Gondo destroy his standing in the business world to save the life of a child that is not even his? Or will he just leave it to the police and fate to determine whether the child lives or dies? This makes up the first half of the film.

The second half deals with the search for the kidnapper and his accomplices, and it does not shy away from showing how dull and grueling good police work is. Step by step, the cops narrow their field of suspects and build their evidence to link their prey to murder as well as the kidnapping, meaning he would face execution. This makes up the second half of the film.

It helps to know that in the original story, the businessman refuses to pay the ransom but does help the police track down the kidnappers. It also helps to understand that in Japan, working your way up from making shoes and satchels by hand to being in a position where you could wind up owning the company is a HUGE accomplishment in a caste driven society. It means he is due additional respect, and this is what Gondo faces losing if he pays the ransom, which is far more important than the fact that he will be driven into bankruptcy.

From the first scene through an amazingly exciting section on a bullet train to the ending moments between Gondo and the kidnapper, Kurosawa shows exactly why he is a master of cinema. To take what is basically an episode of "Law and Order" and make it into a meditation on the meaning of life and evil is not something just any film school twit could do.

To me, the best moment on a human level comes when Gondo descends the stairs the morning after the kidnapping to explain to the police why he cannot pay the ransom for a child not even his. You can see the man realizing he is allowing himself go to hell in order to protect his family and station in life, and Toshiro Mifune underplays it beautifully...and Kurosawa lets it just simply happen. Wonderful.

THIS is the movie Mel Gibson's "Ransom" wishes it had been. something real and human and meaningful instead of merely kick-ass.

Ten out of ten stars.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (75 total) »

Message Boards

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After seeing this I said to myself ivn0716
'High and Low' and 'Gojira' lwalsh
Locations: Photos showing then and now. whorepresents
Influences on Scorsese lakesrussell
Movie could've been better if... AdrianD2
One thing that disappointed me... merbermaniac123
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