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Tengoku to Jigoku
Description * The Story
(from the original press sheet)
To me Kurosawa's best movie. No doubt I'm as much prejudiced as Ed McBain.
(I started reading the guy because he had written the original novel—well worth it).
Every outstanding motion picture has at least one scene that really sticks out. For me, High and Low has several:
— the Bullet Train, where Gondo throws his fortune out of a toilet window; about the most exciting scene I've ever seen
— the police in a car tracking Aoki and son in Gondo's Mercedes, with Hitchcock-like Bernard Hermann music
— the final confrontation of Gondo and the kidnapper; talk about heavy!
— the addict quarter scene
— and the "pink smoke" scene with its incredible chutzpah of splicing one single hand colored shot into a B/W movie.
Credits: Cast: executive producers
adapted from Ed McBain's
Choici Nakai - Takao Saito
143 minutes, B/W and color, TohoScope
Toho, as my friend Hiroshi Noune of their Paris office informed me, was very impressed with our way of handling their product. Ironically, because of that the critics wrote about it as a classy film rather than a hard-boiled thriller, and the film flopped badly. The movie was shown in the art house circuit where it really did not belong, and I lost over 10,000 Dutch guilders on it; would have been almost $15,000 in 2001.
We had to indicate a 20 minute cut, as the movie was too long to fit into two evening screenings. Hiroshi-San did not want to know this, because if Kurosawa heard about it he would go to the Head Office and make problems. I'm proud to say that, as it turned out, no exhibitor actually made the cut. (They all preferred to project at 26 frames per second).
Our Dutch press sheet was designed by Henk Kleijn; the advertisements by Ron Seubert.
High And Low Industrialist Toshiro Mifune hunts the kidnapper of his chauffeur's son in this drama from Akira Kurosawa. At once a fine detective story and brilliant allegory on the nature of class differences, as represented by the businessman, his servant and the kidnappers. Based on a story by Ed McBain. TohoScope
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