High and Low (Tengoku to jigoku) (1963)

High and Low (Tengoku to jigoku) (1963)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

High and Low (Tengoku to jigoku) Photos

Movie Info

Toshirô Mifune is unforgettable as Kingo Gondo, a wealthy industrialist whose family becomes the target of a cold-blooded kidnapper in Akira Kurosawa's highly influential High and Low (Tengoku to jigoku).
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Criterion Collection

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Toshiro Mifune
as Kingo Gondo
Tatsuya Nakadai
as Chief Detective Tokura
Kyoko Kagawa
as Reiko Gondo
Tatsuya Mihashi
as Kawanishi
Kenjiro Ishiyama
as Detective Taguchi
Tsutomu Yamazaki
as Ginji Takeuchi
Takashi Shimura
as Director
Susumu Fujita
as Commissioner
Ko Kimura
as Detective Arai
Takeshi Katô
as Detective Nakao
Yoshio Tsuchiya
as Detective Murata
Hiroshi Unayama
as Detective Shimada
Koji Mitsui
as Newspaperman
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Critic Reviews for High and Low (Tengoku to jigoku)

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (3)

One of the best detective thrillers ever filmed.

May 8, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

While not a masterpiece on par with Kurosawa's best work, High And Low is a fine example of his craft, and further proof that it's not a few masterpieces but the overall scope of a career that defines a great director.

June 13, 2002
AV Club
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Washington Post
Top Critic

Gondo may not be wielding a sword, but he is as much a warrior as any of Mifune's samurai characters, and he really hates to lose.

Full Review… | August 9, 2016

One of the all-time-great 'procedurals'...the devilish fun is in the details for Kurosawa. [Blu-ray]

Full Review… | August 1, 2011
Groucho Reviews

The images populate the widescreen frame like a pressure cooker that is ready to blow up. And in High and Low, blow up they do.

Full Review… | February 18, 2009

Audience Reviews for High and Low (Tengoku to jigoku)

Have to admit to some eye rolling when this was put on for me to watch. Initially looked like a very old movie and borefest, but I quickly had to eat my words! Very thought provoking and engrossing thriller. Is 143 minutes long, yet doesn't drag. Goes off in many directions and keeps you guessing. Fantastic.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

A botched kidnapping can make for a taut thriller as Kurosawa proves in this fluid tale, years and years before CSI or any number of police procedurals (seemly broadcast hourly of late). The chase is the thing here, and Mifune's role, though central, is not the only game in town by any means. Very enjoyable watching the Toyko police go after their man.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Managed to hit the lows more than highs for me. The storyline wasn't gripping or interesting enough, although its main flaw being that for most of the time, it seemed as if the actors were supposed to look their part/character more rather than acting one. I'm no Kurosowa fan, but did enjoy Rashomon and had fair expectations from this one owing to that experience. Obviously being a Kurosowa flick didn't help any in sitting through this 140+ minutes long dramatic thriller.

familiar stranger
familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

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