Tengoku to jigoku (1963)
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so far my favorite kurosawa. pleasant surprise!
One of his [Kurosawa] strongest for sure, with Toshiro Mifune giving yet another knockout performance.
"In place of some clarification of what all this might mean, then, we are left with Gondo alone, facing a blank barrier. At the beginning of the movie, caught up in the effort to grab the company’s power for himself, he was already treading a dangerously individualistic path. Now he has finally succeeded in being fully alone in a society in which lives impinge relentlessly one on another, and has thereby—whether he wanted to or not—achieved the solitariness that was the kidnapper’s whole identity. The two have essentially become one—but we already knew that from the way the face of each, staring through the glass, was superimposed on the other. Takeuchi is a demon of isolation, defiantly cut loose from those indispensable ties of human contact that are measured throughout every frame of High and Low by a constant play of glances and postures. Hierarchies and group identities, and the impulses that can undermine them from within, are charted so clearly that we can draw the invisible lines connecting any character with any other character. From moment to moment they cannot help but show us where they are. "
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In 15 official lists
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This movie ranks #8 in IMDb's 1960s Top 50
This movie ranks #14 in iCheckMovies's Most Favorited
This movie ranks #15 in Kinema Junpo's Top 200 Japanese Films
This movie ranks #15 in IMDb's Mystery Top 50
This movie ranks #18 in IMDb's Crime Top 50
This movie ranks #19 in IMDb's Thriller Top 50
This movie ranks #24 in The Criterion Collection
This movie ranks #56 in BIFF's Asian Cinema 100
This movie ranks #78 in IMDb's Top 250
This movie ranks #97 in Tom Vick's Asian Cinema: A Field Guide
This movie ranks #338 in Sight & Sound's The Greatest Films of All Time
This movie ranks #340 in Empire's The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time
This movie ranks #371 in TSPDT's 1,000 Noir Films
This movie ranks #377 in The New York Times's Book of Movies
This movie ranks #392 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films