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2,862 Ratings

High and Low

Tengoku to jigoku

Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Japan, 1963
Drama, Crime, Mystery


In the midst of an attempt to take over his company, a powerhouse executive is hit with a huge ransom demand when his servants son is kidnapped. An adaption of Ed McBain’s detective novel King’s Ransom.

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High and Low Directed by Akira Kurosawa
The dimensions of story and image converge in the film’s exceptional application of the cartographic principle. Almost every moment of High and Low turns upon continuity of vision, or the question of what can be seen from where.
March 03, 2015
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High And Low rarely gets mentioned when cinephiles talk about the medium’s most masterful formal achievements. Even among Akira Kurosawa’s films, Seven Samurai, Throne Of Blood, and Ran are more likely to be cited for purely visual mastery, if only because they’re all more superficially dynamic. But few movies have ever been as subtly, methodically composed as High And Low, in which every shot reflects, to some degree, the dichotomy presented by its title.
February 20, 2014
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In High and Low, the honor of the samurai code evolves into something far more complex and rich. Kurosawa finds this essence by filling the widescreen frame with as many bodies as possible, allowing the social subtext to rise above and become a new form of verbalized swordsmanship.
July 27, 2011
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