Combustible Celluloid
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With: Toshiro Mifune, Yutaka Sada, Tatsuya Nakadai, Kenjiro Ishiyama, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Kyoko Kagawa, Tatsuya Mihashi, Isao Kimura, Toshio Egi, Masahiko Shimazu
Written by: Akira Kurosawa, Eijiro Hisaita, Ryuzo Kikushima, Hideo Oguni, based on a novel by Ed McBain (a.k.a. Evan Hunter)
Directed by: Akira Kurosawa
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Language: Japanese with English subtitles
Running Time: 142
Date: 01/03/1963

High and Low (1963)

4 Stars (out of 4)

King's Ransom

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

My favorite of Kurosawa's films (no small compliment), a crime classic based on an Ed McBain novel about a manhunt for a kidnapper who accidentally snatched the chauffeur's son instead of the rich man's son. Frequent Kurosawa star Toshiro Mifune sheds his samurai garb to play the modern-day millionaire in a suit and tie! As with his previous Stray Dog (1949), Kurosawa revels in the details of detection, as well as doing miraculous things with the composition of his widescreen frame. Underrated for years due to its lack of samurai action, this has now earned a place on Criterion Blu-Ray.

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