|Genre: Thriller, Drama, Kidnapping, Police, Mistaken Identity, Prison, Murder, Disturbing, Urban, Detectives, Suspense, Marriage, Experimental, Drugs, Hostage, Blackmail|
Plot: Based on KING'S RANSOM, a crime novel by Ed McBain, HIGH AND LOW stars Toshirō Mifune as Kingo Gondo, a wealthy, hardworking businessman. As Gondo plans a coup that will secure his position as the head of his Yokohama shoe company, he is contacted by a criminal who informs him that he's kidnapped his son. The crook demands a huge ransom for the boy's return--an amount that has taken Gondo 30 years of labor to amass. As the worried industrialist prepares to pay the ransom, he discovers that his son is safe at home--the kidnapper has mistakenly snatched his chauffeur's son. The question quickly becomes: Does Gondo abandon his plans to pay off the criminal, or does he do the honorable thing and help save his driver's child? This moral dilemma drives Akira Kurosawa's intelligent, detailed thriller that features Mifune in a thoughtful, nuanced performance as a man forced to make a startlingly difficult decision.
The first half of Kurosawa's film takes place high upon Gondo's hilltop home, in scenes shot almost entirely in his spacious living room. The second half, however, is largely set in the lowly, cramped confines of the city where the kidnapper hides from the police investigation led by the determined Inspector Tokura (Tatsuya Nakadai). The film's excellent cast also includes
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