Review of High and Low (1963)
The socioeconomic aspect is pretty crappily done, worse than in The Bad Sleep Well (1960). Kurosawa apparently felt kidnappers should be punished more heavily, and got his wish. The theatre-style drama is not much fun: Nakadai is merely handsome, not properly crazy. The wife is hardly even a character, but the drugs, bar scene and mirrorshades vaguely prefigure cyberpunk and especially Neuromancer (1984), 20 years early. Watch the Japanese and American trailers, and It Is Wonderful to Create, a Toho production on the Criterion release, where Deme Masanobu tells a good story about running a red light because someone did not want to offend the tyrant director.