Kurosawa's body of work is, to my mind, pretty much flawless.
High and Low is one of my favourites directed by him. It's one of his contemporary films (well, to when it was made anyway - modern is probably a better word) and though he's probably better known for his period dramas, this is as deserving of praise as anything else made by him (or anyone else, for that matter).
The film follows a wealthy shoe manufacturer, who is in the process of a risky take-over attempt of the company he is a major shareholder in, through his dilemma as a kidnapping takes place. The kidnapper mistakenly kidnaps his driver's son, instead of his, in attempt to blackmail him for a huge sum of money.
Initially, he believes that it was his son that was kidnapped, when the mistake is revealed, he then has to decide whether he wants to risk the boy's life or pay the ransom and ruin himself and his son financially.
This sets up the film for a good while (it's a long film, clocking in at over 140 minutes) before we move into the more thrilling sections of the film - which is a taut police-chase thriller.
As with everything that Kurosawa directed, this looks superb (in fact, I think it may have been the first film that he did in Tohoscope?) and, as ever, Toshirô Mifune gives a superb performance as the businessman.