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Criterion revisits High and Low

High and LowCriterion continues their process of updating some of their oldest Kurosawa releases. Next in line is High and Low, which will get a new treatment on a double disc set that comes out in July.

Just like with earlier revisits that Criterion has made to Kurosawa films that they had already released — Seven Samurai, Yojimbo and Sanjuro — the new High and Low is presented with a new high definition digital transfer, improved subtitles, a new commentary track, as well as the relevant episode from Toho’s Masterworks series Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create. Thrown in are also a few interviews.

According to Criterion, features for the new release include:

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer, with newly restored original four-track surround sound
  • New audio commentary by Akira Kurosawa scholar Stephen Prince
  • A 37-minute documentary on the making of High and Low, created as part of the Toho Masterworks series Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create
  • Rare archival interview with Toshiro Mifune
  • New video interview with actor Tsutomu Yamazaki, who plays the kidnapper
  • Theatrical trailers from Japan and the U.S.
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien and a reprinted essay by Japanese film scholar Donald Richie
  • More!

More information and preorders available at Criterion’s website.





Great news!!


Lewis Saul

It doesn’t say anything about the aspect ratio, tho…

I thought that was the major problem with the initial release!


[P.S. Okay — I went to Criterion and see that indeed they have remastered this with the correct 2:35:1]


Lewis Saul

But the original Criterion release was 2:35:1. What did they fix?


Vili Maunula

I think that the source of confusion comes from a BFI release, which was marked in some places as being in 2.55:1, and which contributed to many reviewers considering it superior to the original Criterion release.

When I asked BFI about this, they said that their release is in 2.35:1, which is also the aspect ration in which the film was supposedly originally released.

The issue becomes more complicated, however, when you consider that neither the Criterion nor the BFI is in point of fact presented in 2.35:1. Master Thief pointed this out here.

Confusing enough for you? 😉


Jeremy Quintanilla

Will buy- its criterion.

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