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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Epic Thriller
Kurosawa's modern dress movies are generally less well-known than his samurai masterpieces, but critically "Ikiru" (aka "Living") has long been regarded as one of his finest films, and the same is sometimes said of this intricate police thriller.

"High and Low" is really two films in one. The first an enclosed, philosophical drama in which Toshiru Mifune gives...
Published on 10 Aug 2006 by Sordel

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Video quality
5 start movie, just a shame that the quality isn't there.
5 start movie, just a shame that the quality isn't there.
Published 21 months ago by Sagacity


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Epic Thriller, 10 Aug 2006
By 
Sordel (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: High and Low [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
Kurosawa's modern dress movies are generally less well-known than his samurai masterpieces, but critically "Ikiru" (aka "Living") has long been regarded as one of his finest films, and the same is sometimes said of this intricate police thriller.

"High and Low" is really two films in one. The first an enclosed, philosophical drama in which Toshiru Mifune gives a restrained but powerful performance as the wealthy man being blackmailed. Stagey, slightly Bergmanesque, it will not suit all contemporary viewers but it sets up the second movie: a gripping police thriller that follows the dragnet tightening on the blackmailer.

Taken as a whole the film is epic in two senses: not only is it long, at 143 minutes, but also it has a grand vision. Japanese society from the top to the bottom is the subject, and although the source material (an American thriller) remains visible, it is the director's observations of his own country that work best and stick in the mind.

This film is not ultimately as humane as "Seven Samurai" or "Hidden Fortress", but fans, for example, of the morally serious thrillers of Sidney Lumet will want to add this DVD to their collection.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an extraordinarily fine film, 4 Jun 2007
By 
C. O. DeRiemer (San Antonio, Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: High and Low [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
I watched this a few days ago for about the fifth time and have been thinking about it ever since. I think it probably is my favorite Kurosawa film.

Toshiro Mifune plays a top executive in a shoe company who is secretly planning to take over the company. He wants to keep making quality shoes and gradually expand the market. The other executives want to make cheaper shoes and take advantage of the company's reputation. Mifune has raised every yen he can, including using his house, for the buyout, but his son is kidnapped. For the ransome he'll need all the money he's raised. He's prepared to do this for the sake of his son.

Then he finds out that the kidnappers made a mistake. They kidnapped his driver's son, who is the same age as his own. What a terrible moral dilemma. Would you or I give up every bit of money we had to save a neighbor's or an employee's son? Mifune does, and this act has a great effect on the police and the public.

The first half of the movie takes place in his house on a hill while all this unfolds. The second half is the chase to find the boy before he's killed and to capture the kidnapper. We move from the intensity of the dilemma unfolding in Mifune's home to the gritty business of the search which takes us into some of the lowest parts of the Japanese underworld.

Mifune is powerful in the role of the father, at first torn by the decision he has to make, then commited to finding his driver's son. Tatsuya Nakadai plays the detective, handsome, smooth, professional, and ultimately deeply touched by Mifune's integrity. Years later Nakadai played the leads in Kurosawa's Kagemusha and Ran. And it was good to see Mifune out of samurai costume.

High and Low is the work of a master.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE DETECTIVE THRILLER LIKE NO OTHER, 23 Jan 2002
By A Customer
This film is so huge and is executed with such depth and precision that you just cannot fault kurosawa.
His direction of this film is split, the first half of the film is shot looking up at the characters to suggest their power and life-style.
The second half looks down on the city and slums, as they seek the kidnapper and his or her associates. Mifune is flawless as is the whole film, its just brilliant, dynamic, tense, thrilling. This is the detective film by which all detective thrillers should be measured.
A real treat, enjoy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece from Kurasawa, 7 May 2011
By 
Mr. A. Campbell-walter (Hoath, Kent UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: High and Low [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
Nothing quite prepares you for this carefully researched, tightly scripted, superbly acted and very unusual Japanese crime thriller. It shows all of the stage managed filming for which Kurasawa and other Japanese directors were so famous and which so many Western films lack and I feel this is the films strength. Mifune plays out of type as a hard ambitious businessman who sees all of his dreams collapsing before him. The cops are simply brilliant and the strict social stereotyping of Japanese society is laid bare. A must for Mifune fans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "High And Low" on BLU RAY - Compatibility Issues For UK and European Buyers..., 25 Feb 2014
By 
Mark Barry (UK) - See all my reviews
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At present this 1963 obscurity is only available on BLU RAY in the States. But therein lies a problem for UK and European buyers…

The desirable US Criterion issue is REGION-A LOCKED - so it WILL NOT PLAY on most UK Blu Ray players unless they're chipped to play 'all' regions (which the vast majority aren't).
Don’t confuse BLU RAY players that have multi-region capability on the 'DVD' front – that won’t help.

Until such time as "High And Low" is given a Region B release by someone else – check your BLU RAY player has the capacity to play REGION A - before you buy the pricey Criterion issue…
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting idea, 19 Sep 2011
By 
Paul Morris "Unclemo" (Ventnor ,England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: High and Low [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
I liked this movie and the way it was constructed.The idea of looking at all the protagonists perspectives was well executed.
The film was certainly ahead of its time and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Philosophical and thrilling film, 3 May 2010
This review is from: High and Low [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
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.

Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb timeless piece, 28 Mar 2014
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This review is from: High and Low [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
Wicked
: The Fox Inn F.C was founded in 2012 by Richard Cooper and Luke Fernandez-Lago. After enduring a difficult opening season, the team has turned their fortunes around, epitomised by this cup final and can hopefully kick on with continued success going forwards.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great film!, 20 Mar 2014
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D. Mcmullin "dmc" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: High and Low [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
A really good piece of entertainment. The film has left a big impression on me. A first part of the film takes place in the home of the main character and it felt like watching a play on stage. The second part of the film deals with more action and leads to a tragic climax. It will be one of my favourite film memories.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Favourite Director, 25 Feb 2013
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This review is from: High and Low [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
I love Akira Kurosawa. As the "Lost in Translation" commercial director might say, this is "more intensity" You'll love it!
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Criterion Coll: High & Low [DVD] [1967] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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