8.4/10
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High and Low (1963)

Tengoku to jigoku (original title)
An executive of a shoe company becomes a victim of extortion when his chauffeur's son is kidnapped and held for ransom.

Director:

Akira Kurosawa

Writers:

Hideo Oguni (screenplay), Ryûzô Kikushima (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Toshirô Mifune ... Kingo Gondo
Tatsuya Nakadai ... Chief Detective Tokura
Kyôko Kagawa ... Reiko Gondo
Tatsuya Mihashi ... Kawanishi - Gondo's Secretary
Isao Kimura Isao Kimura ... Detective Arai
Kenjirô Ishiyama Kenjirô Ishiyama ... Chief Detective 'Bos'n' Taguchi
Takeshi Katô Takeshi Katô ... Detective Nakao
Takashi Shimura ... Chief of Investigation Section
Jun Tazaki Jun Tazaki ... Kamiya, National Shoes Publicity Director
Nobuo Nakamura Nobuo Nakamura ... Ishimaru, National Shoes Design Department Director
Yûnosuke Itô Yûnosuke Itô ... Baba - National Shoes Executive
Tsutomu Yamazaki ... Ginjirô Takeuchi - Medical Intern
Minoru Chiaki ... First Reporter
Eijirô Tôno ... Factory Worker
Masao Shimizu Masao Shimizu ... Prison Warden
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Storyline

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 levin <levin@world.std.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

142 Screenful Minutes of Thrills and Suspense! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

26 November 1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

High and Low See more »

Filming Locations:

Enoshima, Kanagawa, Japan See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Black and White | Color (Eastmancolor) (inserts only)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Ginjirô Takeuchi, medical intern: ...Besides, it's amusing to make fortunate men taste the same misery as the unfortunate.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Last Action Hero (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Forellenquintett (Trout Quintet), 4th movement
(uncredited)
Written by Franz Schubert
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The masterpiece of the "police procedural" genre
14 February 2001 | by ross_dSee all my reviews

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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