An elder ronin samurai arrives at a feudal lord's home and requests an honorable place to commit suicide. But when the ronin inquires about a younger samurai who arrived before him things take an unexpected turn.
In Medieval Japan, an elderly warlord retires, handing over his empire to his three sons. However, he vastly underestimates how the new-found power will corrupt them and cause them to turn on each other...and him.
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
The original Japanese title for the film was "Heaven and Hell." See more »
When the police is reviewing the footage from the train (where the kidnappers retrieve the briefcase), the camera rotates 180 degrees backwards and, despite it having been recorded from the cabin, the view is never blocked. See more »
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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