After the film was released, kidnappings were on the rise in Japan. Kurosawa himself had received threats for the kidnapping of his own daughter, Kazuko. She quoted him as once saying to her "With High and Low, I wanted to inspire tougher sentences on kidnappers. Instead, I was criticized for their increase."
For the scenes in Gondo's house, an outside miniature set of Yokohama was built, complete with bridges and a moving train, and with lights for all the night time shots. For most day shots, they filmed in a studio living room set with the actual city of Yokohama outside.
The original ending of Ed McBain's novel shows King Gondo with his recovered money buying out his stock deal and taking over National Shoes; a much different ending than Kurosawa envisioned and eventually filmed.
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.
In 1999, Martin Scorsese announced that he would be directing a remake with David Mamet writing. In 2008, Scorsese announced that he would now just produce with Mike Nichols helming but this is still in development hell.
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
There is one shot of the movie that is in color - the scene of the colored smoke rising from the incinerator. Some television prints botch this and have the scene in black and white instead, diluting its impact.