Akira Kurosawa

High and Low

High and Low

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.

Film Info

  • Akira Kurosawa
  • Japan
  • 1963
  • 143 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 2.35:1
  • Japanese
  • Spine #24

Special Features

  • Restored high-definition digital transfer, with original four-track surround sound, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary by Akira Kurosawa scholar Stephen Prince
  • A thirty-seven-minute documentary on the making of High and Low, created as part of the Toho Masterworks series Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create
  • Rare interview with actor Toshiro Mifune from 1984
  • Interview with actor Tsutomu Yamazaki
  • Theatrical trailers from Japan and the U.S.
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien and (Blu-ray only) an on-set account by Japanese film-scholar Donald Richie

Cover by Lucien S. Y. Yang

Purchase Options

Collector's Sets

Collector's Set

AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa

AK 100: 25 Films by Kurosawa

DVD Box Set

25 Discs

$319.00

Out Of Print

Special Features

  • Restored high-definition digital transfer, with original four-track surround sound, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary by Akira Kurosawa scholar Stephen Prince
  • A thirty-seven-minute documentary on the making of High and Low, created as part of the Toho Masterworks series Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create
  • Rare interview with actor Toshiro Mifune from 1984
  • Interview with actor Tsutomu Yamazaki
  • Theatrical trailers from Japan and the U.S.
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien and (Blu-ray only) an on-set account by Japanese film-scholar Donald Richie

Cover by Lucien S. Y. Yang

High and Low
Cast
Toshiro Mifune
Kingo Gondo
Kyoko Kagawa
Reiko
Tatsuya Mihashi
Kawanishi
Tatsuya Nakadai
Inspector Tokuro
Yutaka Sada
Aoki
Takashi Shimura
Director
Susumu Fujita
Commissioner
Kenjiro Ishiyama
Detective Taguchi
Isao Kimura
Detective Arai
Takeshi Kato
Detective Nakao
Credits
Director
Akira Kurosawa
Producer
Tomoyuki Tanaka
Producer
Ryuzo Kikushima
Screenplay
Ryuzo Kikushima
Screenplay
Hideo Oguni
Screenplay
Akira Kurosawa
Cinematography
Asakazu Nakai
Production design
Yoshiro Muraki
Lighting
Ichiro Inohara
Sound
Hisahi Shimonaga
Music
Masaru Sato
Screenplay
Eijiro Hisaita
Cinematography
Takao Saito

From The Current

High and Low
High and Low
Are there cultural purists still remaining who would argue that the “Westernized” title of Akira Kurosawa’s 1963 masterpiece—High and Low—throws polluted water on the cosmological fire of its given name: Tengoku to jigoku—literally, Heave…

By Chuck Stephens

Who’s That Man? Mifune at 100
Who’s That Man? Mifune at 100

An actor of extraordinary physical presence and kinetic energy, Toshiro Mifune was the most widely recognized and transformative superstar in postwar Japanese cinema.

By Moeko Fujii

Without Motive: The Last Scene in High and Low

One Scene

Without Motive: The Last Scene in High and Low

The director of Audition and First Love dives into the haunting moral ambiguity of Akira Kurosawa’s crime masterpiece.

By Takashi Miike

Karyn Kusama’s Top 10
Karyn Kusama’s Top 10

For her list of favorite Criterion titles, the director of Girlfight and Destroyer celebrates the Hollywood classics, cult pleasures, and art-house masterpieces that inspire her, pairing movies that resonate with each other in style and theme.

Connor Jessup’s Top 10
Connor Jessup’s Top 10

Canadian actor and filmmaker Connor Jessup’s third short film, Lira’s Forest, is an official selection at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.

Christopher Radcliff and Lauren Wolkstein’s Top 10
Christopher Radcliff and Lauren Wolkstein’s Top 10

Christopher Radcliff and Lauren Wolkstein are New York City–based filmmakers.

Explore

Akira Kurosawa

Writer, Director

Akira Kurosawa
Akira Kurosawa

Arguably the most celebrated Japanese filmmaker of all time, Akira Kurosawa had a career that spanned from the Second World War to the early nineties and that stands as a monument of artistic, entertainment, and personal achievement. His best-known films remain his samurai epics Seven Samurai and Yojimbo, but his intimate dramas, such as Ikiru and High and Low, are just as searing. The first serious phase of Kurosawa’s career came during the postwar era, with Drunken Angel and Stray Dog, gritty dramas about people on the margins of society that featured the first notable appearances by Toshiro Mifune, the director’s longtime leading man. Kurosawa would subsequently gain international fame with Rashomon, a breakthrough in nonlinear narrative and sumptuous visuals. Following a personal breakdown in the late sixties, Kurosawa rebounded by expanding his dark brand of humanism into new stylistic territory, with films such as Kagemusha and Ran, visionary, color, epic ruminations on modern man and nature.