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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:
8.4/10   15,084 votes »
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Down 9% 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 »
User Reviews:
Kurosawa at his best and most subtle See more (77 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:
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 »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
The Magic BeginsSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
59 out of 64 people found the following review useful.
Kurosawa at his best and most subtle, 1 August 2004
Author: jemmytee from Los Angeles, Ca.

This is one of those rare movies I had to watch twice to catch all the meaning and beauty of its construction, that is how sleek and polished this film is. The storyline is deceptively simple -- a businessman named Gondo is about to take control of the company he's worked in for years when he's told his son's been kidnapped. It turns out the kidnappers got his chauffeur's son by mistake, but they still want him to pay the ransom. If he does, he will be financially ruined. If he doesn't, he will be reviled. Which will he choose? This makes up the first half of the movie, culminating in a breathtaking scene on one of Japan's bullet trains. The second half is the police search for the kidnapper/murderer and how a case is built that will take him to the gallows.

Now this sounds like your typical cop thriller, the type Hollywood churns out with one hand tied behind its back, but Kurosawa makes it into a meditation on honor and decency, and on how one's choices can lead one to Heaven or to Hell in little steps that seem to be taking you nowhere. Gondo is an honorable man who worked hard to built himself a life of wealth and power. This is no small feat, considering Japan is not known as a society where one can easily change one's station in life, so this adds to his dilemma; he will not only lose his fortune, he will also lose his hard-gained power and respect in the business community, all for a child that is not even his. And not only will he lose but his own wife and son will, as well. But to NOT pay the ransom means he will lose everything in him that is human and decent, and his wife and son will suffer from that, too.

This is a big deal -- not just in Japanese society but in the world as a whole. It doesn't matter if you live in Nepal or Kenya or Argentina or New York City, when faced with the choice of losing your position in your society or losing your soul, which would you choose? And would you still make that choice knowing that even if the cops catch the bad guy, it will make no difference in your own circumstances? Just a glance at some of the recent stock scandals gives you a good idea of where most people fall in their choices. And even Ed McBain, upon whose novel this movie is based, knew how hard it would be to give up your world for your spirit; his businessman refuses to pay the ransom.

To me, this movie is Kurosawa at his best and most subtle. Every shot is composed and measured and done just right. Not all films have to have bombs exploding and chase scenes and people going "Boo!" to affect you; sometimes just a man riding on a train en route to what he knows will be a catastrophe to him and his world is enough to make you thank the heavens for a story well told.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (77 total) »

Message Boards

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