Watch: 天国と地獄 1963 123movies, Full Movie Online – A wealthy businessman is told his son has been kidnapped and he will have to pay a very large sum for him to be returned safely. It is then discovered that his son is safe at home: the kidnapper took his chauffeur’s son by accident. The kidnapper says this makes no difference: pay up or the child dies. This leaves him with a moral dilemma, as he really needs the money to conclude a very important business deal..
Plot: An executive of a shoe company becomes a victim of extortion when his chauffeur’s son is kidnapped and held for ransom.
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About the best police procedural you’re ever likely to see
Toshiro Mifune is a businessman in a Japan that is on the brink of the Economic Miracle of the Sixties. He is an honest man who loves his job as a shoe factory exec and is in a battle for corporate control against a pack of hyenas. He has mortgaged and borrowed and scraped to raise the money for a surprise coup when his son is kidnapped. But there is a major plot twist: it is not HIS son that was taken but his son’s playmate, the chauffeur’s kid and the ransom demanded is astronomical. If he pays he will lose everything he has worked so hard for, but can he just sacrifice the chauffeur’s child because it is not his? From here on High and Low (perhaps better translated as Heaven and Hell) is a police procedural based on an Ed McBain 87th precinct story.
Watching this film I had a rare, almost unique, experience. I saw it on a fairly screen tv, letterboxed, in a darkened room. All the preceding conditions helped contribute to put me into an objective/subjective middle ground where I had the feeling of looking through a special visor that allowed me to see the world by means of an almost perfect film as if through the eyes of a cinematic genius who is in total command of his artistic means and in total command of his subject matter. I think the key to this experience is that while High and Low is interesting as human drama, it is yet peculiarly uninvolving emotionally but very involving cinematically. These distances are important in Kurosawa’s films (he is high on my list of top ten directors but after Welles). In IKIRU you probably could not be more deeply involved emotionally, while in RAN there is nothing but relentless distance.
I think a good companion film to watch with this would be Kurosawa’s earlier, looser, but much more individually tense, police film STRAY DOG (this time Mifune is the cop)
Great drama and police procedural
Kingo Gondo is an executive at the National Shoe Company. He mortgages everything to buy up shares and gain control. Just as he achieves what he wants, he gets a call that his son has been kidnapped. It soon dawns on everybody including the kidnappers that it’s the chauffeur’s kid that had been kidnapped. They threaten to kill the boy anyways, and Gondo pays them off in a high speed train money drop. The police go into a large scale investigation to find the culprits.
From the legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, it’s very tight police crime drama based on Evan Hunter’s novel “King’s Ransom”. It starts off as a kidnapping drama. The twist of the wrong kid is brilliant. After that, it turns into a very effect police crime procedural.
Original Language ja
Runtime 2 hr 23 min (143 min), 1 hr 48 min (108 min) (Italy)
Rated Not Rated
Genre Crime, Drama, Mystery
Director Akira Kurosawa
Writer Hideo Oguni, Ryûzô Kikushima, Eijirô Hisaita
Actors Toshirô Mifune, Yutaka Sada, Tatsuya Nakadai
Awards 3 wins & 3 nominations
Production Company N/A
Sound Mix 4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)
Aspect Ratio 2.35 : 1
Film Length 3,924 m (10 reels), 3,925 m (Sweden)
Negative Format 35 mm
Cinematographic Process Tohoscope (anamorphic)
Printed Film Format 35 mm