A shoe magnate (Toshiro Mifune at full tilt) in the midst of a costly takeover battle is faced with a Shakespearean dilemma when his chauffer’s son is mistakenly kidnapped by cold-blooded criminals who demand a ruinous, multimillion-Yen ransom. Should he pay the gang and lose everything he’s worked for in order to save the life of another man’s son? Largely set in Mifune’s modernist hilltop mansion and Tokyo’s tawdry lower depths, Kurosawa's taut adaptation of Ed McBain’s King’s Ransom is a gripping race-against-time cliff-hanger, a compelling policier and a tour-de-force of black-and-white, Scope cinematography. A virtuoso sequence on a speeding bullet train and the sweaty, narcotic haze of Yokohama’s dark alleys and nightclubs are highlights in this feverish procedural.
“A full-fledged masterpiece. . . . Kurosawa captures the agonizing tension of the situation with stunning verve, using the TohoScope wide-screen with brilliance, shrinking it and even stretching it with his compositions.”—Chris Fujiwara, The Boston Phoenix.
Bing Theater | $10 for the general public; $7 for LACMA members, seniors (62+), and students with valid ID; $5 LACMA Film Club members | Tickets: 323 857-6010 or purchase online.
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