Buy Tickets

High and Low (1968)

An executive of a Yokohama shoe company becomes a victim of extortion when his chauffeur's son is kidnapped by mistake and held for ransom. (NR, 143 min.)


Thursday, June 15, 2023

7:00 PM

Toshiro Mifune is unforgettable as Kingo Gondo, a wealthy industrialist whose family becomes the target of a cold-blooded kidnapper in High and Low (Tengoku to jigoku), the highly influential domestic drama and police procedural from director Akira Kurosawa. Adapting Ed McBain's detective novel King's Ransom, Kurosawa moves effortlessly from compelling race-against-time thriller to exacting social commentary, creating a diabolical treatise on contemporary Japanese society.

Starring: Toshirô Mifune, Yutaka Sada, Tatsuya Nakadai
Director: Akira Kurosawa
Language: Japanese
Genre(s): Crime, Drama, Mystery

Watch Trailer

"One of the best detective thrillers ever filmed."

— A.O. Scott, New York Times

"High and Low illuminates its world with a wholeness and complexity you rarely see in film."

— Paul Attanasio, Washington Post

"Miraculously, High And Low turns the mundane follow-through of police work into the stuff of white-knuckle suspense."

— Scott Tobias, The A.V. Club

"As well as being a skilfully developed thriller and a study in moral dilemma, High and Low is a precise and devastating anatomy of postwar Japanese society."

— Philip French, The Observer (UK)

"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."

— Mike D'Angelo, The Dissolve

"It is possibly Kurosawa's most underrated masterpiece, rich in characterization and structure, yet lost in the shuffle among such classics as 'Rashomon' and 'Seven Samurai.'"

— G. Allen Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle

"High and Low is a masterful cinematic elevator connecting two warring social perspectives, finding a common ground between them in the pressurized corners of the classic crime drama."

— Glenn Heath Jr., Slant Magazine

"I would nominate this authoritative 1962 adaptation of Ed McBain’s novel The King’s Ransom as Akira Kurosawa’s best nonperiod picture, though Ikiru and Rhapsody in August are tough competitors."

— Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

"The most tension-filled ransom exchange sequence ever filmed works perfectly as the midpoint break between the two halves, which eventually begin to converge as a potent study on the psychological effects of income inequality disguised as a straight genre piece."

— Oktay Ege Kozak, Paste Magazine