In the film, the great Toshiro Mifune (Rashomon) stars as Kingo Gondo, a wealthy industrialist whose family becomes the target of a cold-blooded kidnapper.
Adapting Ed McBain’s detective novel King’s Ransom, Kurosawa moves effortlessly from compelling race-against-time thriller to exacting social commentary in High and Low. A tense masterpiece, the movie wholly deserves its reputation as both a highly influential domestic drama and a trend-setting police procedural.
Presented in Japanese with English subtitles, High and Low was last issued on DVD by Criterion in 2008. That version is still available.
The Blu-ray, which carries a list price of $39.95, features a high-definition digital restoration, with the original four-track surround sound presented in DTS-HD Master Audio. The disc also has the following special features, all of which originally appeared on the Criterion DVD:
- audio commentary by Akira Kurosawa scholar Stephen Prince
- documentary on the making of High and Low, created as part of the Toho Masterworks series Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create
- rare video interview with actor Toshiro Mifune
- video interview with actor Tsutomu Yamazaki, who plays the kidnapper
- theatrical trailers from Japan and the U.S.
- booklet featuring an essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien and a reprinted on-set account by Japanese film scholar Donald Richie
Buy or Rent High and Low