8.4/10
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94 user 103 critic

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:

From Akira Kurosawa, director of "Yojimbo" and "Sanjuro" comes a tense, taut film of a modern "perfect crime" with more excitement than even Hitchcock could create. 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

The last section of the movie originally had a great deal of dialogue, but Akira Kurosawa decided to omit all of it. 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: Taking the wrong boy was a lucky break. Did you know Mr. Gondo that it's only extortion when you threaten a person or his kin? In other words, this doesn't count. But you have to pay anyway. You're a fool to pay, but pay you must.
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

 
I was enthralled from start to finish.
25 September 2004 | by marstokyoSee all my reviews

This movie was incredible!! They called it Film Noir but, my God, it's so much better than THAT-- This film out-Hitchcocks Hitchcock! And I'm a Hitchcock devotee. The issues Kurosawa wrestles with in this, and his other films; the ethic responsibility we have as humans, humanity vs. greed, crime and punishment are universally understood. Nothing he presents in black and white(except literally in the film stock)-- but every shade of grey is reflected on. The story unfolds slowly but contains many twists and turns as the viewer questions the motives of each character. It's not just the force of good against evil--but a question of what is morally right and morally wrong. The title itself clues the viewer in to the ambiguities of class, greed, and moral ethic.


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