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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   14,498 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Hideo Oguni (screenplay) &
Ryûzô Kikushima (screenplay) ...
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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:
If you like ransom/police storiesmysteries, and have interest in Kurosawa &/or Mifune, check it out at least once See more (73 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)
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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
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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:
Most of the train sequence was shot live, on the Kodama Super Express. Most of the extras are passengers.See more »
Quotes:
Reiko Gondo:[to her husband, about their son Jun] He takes after you. He likes violent games.See more »
Soundtrack:
Die ForelleSee more »

FAQ

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30 out of 34 people found the following review useful.
If you like ransom/police storiesmysteries, and have interest in Kurosawa &/or Mifune, check it out at least once, 30 August 2004
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States

High and Low, like Yojimbo and Throne of Blood, combines elements to create something special while seeming rather routine- while Yojimbo seems like a bad-ass samurai flick, it has the ingredients of a western and satire, and Throne of Blood is a rather faithful, strange adaptation of Macbeth in the guise of a warlord/samurai tale, High and Low does a similar method. Akira Kurosawa, a filmmaker who gets film buff's ears lit up at the mere mention of him, can usually be counted on to keep a film interesting even if it may not be entertaining to some of the crowd that likes a section of his movies or another (there's usually a split between his samurai/medieval tales and epics, and his dramas about the tragedies of ordinary people).

Here he finds a middle ground- the story is taken from a hard-boiled detective novel, the kind you could probably buy for a quarter or fifty cents in the old days- as he tells of two stories interconnected at the hip, both with detail a commercial Hollywood director would brush off. The first is of businessman Gondo (Toshiro Mifune, with his usual bravura presence, but with enough nuanced and quiet moments for two movies), who is about to close a deal to get the shoe company he's worked for for years, when he gets a phone call. There's been a kidnapping- not his son, but his chauffeur's by default. Backed into a corner without options, he gets together 30 million he really can't afford, and gives it to the kidnapper(s). The police, meanwhile, are not about to give up, and start digging for clues with an in-depth investigation that goes to probe every possibility: the chauffeur's son used as a partial witness with drawings; a car; a trolly car; all this leads to nothing and everything, leading to a third act that's as riveting as the first two.

Although the acting by everyone involved, cop characters included (Tatsuya Nakadai and Yutaka Sada are surprisingly good, the later even with limited screen time), Kurosawa keeps the film deliberately paced. Another director (more modern perhaps, but maybe not) might cut to the chase quicker, cutting past most of the investigation details, and even the emotional high-points in the first act. But Kurosawa is as interested in the nature and details of what the police do as he is with the compositions, which are constructed and framed as only an artist would do. The film creates a superb juxtaposition as well- Mifune's Gondo is enraged about what will happen with his money, but his morals stand above everything in his business affairs. Meanwhile, the cops here aren't cruel and unforgiving, but professionals trying to crack a case that the audience can hang onto. And then when the "seedy" underbelly of the city comes into view, it's looked on with at least some compassion by Kurosawa, and it's not too over-the-top.

If all your looking for is thrill after thrill, like in Sanjuro or even Hidden Fortress, look elsewhere- the violence, by the way, is kept to a low level for this one (it'd even be quite suitable for kids, if they don't mind the subtitles and quintessential intensity in the Japanese style of film acting). But for tight, often gripping suspense in the IL' 'whodunit' mystery tale, this is a keeper. Manipulative, perhaps, yet in the hands of a master it's an exemplary deal. And, in the end, it even provides a sad, existential kind of conclusion as good and evil become blurred as the kidnapper looks through glass at the disillusioned Gondo. It's one of the great endings in world cinema. A+

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