Cinema: A Yen for Yen

High and Low. Japan's Akira Kurosawa is an eclectic film genius who has borrowed plots from such classic sources as Shakespeare, Gorky and the Hollywood western. This time, he takes a routine American thriller by Ed McBain (pseudonym for Evan Hunter, author of The Blackboard Jungle) and proves that he needs neither sex nor samurai to set the screen crackling with excitement. Basically hackneyed, and at times impausible, High and Low is a Kurosawa triumph of man over matter.

"I made this picture to point up the laxity of Japanese kidnaping laws," Kurosawa says....

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