Monday, November 28, 2005

Day 22: "High and Low"

Director: Akira Kurosawa 1963
Kidnappers snatch the son of a wealthy businessman (the great Toshiro Mifune) and demand a huge ransom. There's only one problem: they mistakenly kidnap the son of the businessman's chauffeur. The first hour revolves around Mifune's dilemma: if he pays for the release of the boy, he will lose his business. The rest of the film follows the police as they attempt to bring the kidnappers to justice. Under Kurosawa's deft direction, the disparate stories work well together. There is a scene near the end in which a team of cops trails a kidnapper through a crowded city street; eight years later, "The French Connection" would show Gene Hackman and other cops following a bad guy through the Upper East Side in much the same way. Based on Ed McBain's 87th Precinct novel, "King's Ransom."


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