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.
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
After the film was released, kidnappings were on the rise in Japan. Akira Kurosawa himself had received threats for the kidnapping of his own daughter, Kazuko Kurosawa. 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." 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 »
This is one of the outstanding detective films. For me, the most remarkable feature of this film is its architecture - the beginning is a long, static set piece taking place in one room. however, about a third of the way through the movie, it erupts into action, showing the resourcefulness of a largely blue collar police force tracking a lone sociopathic criminal.
The film is a fascinating portrait of '60's Japan, but at the same time reveals its roots in Ed McBain's _King's Ransom_, from which it was taken.
This is one of those films which doesn't seem to age after several viewings. Especially affecting are the police detectives, whose proletarian roots contrast sharply with the cold insensitivity of the powerful corporate executives. But the police find a hero in Gondo, the rebellious general manager who stakes his entire fortune to rescue his chauffeur's son. The admiration that the police detectives feel for him is one of the key emotions in the film.
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