Of the Akira Kurosawa films which I have seen to date, I think this may be the greatest, which is high praise indeed. A film of two very distinct halves - the kidnapping and ransom of a small boy, and the subsequent hunt for the perpetrator - this is a real nail biter, long but never overlong. Kurosawa regulars Toshiro Mifune and Tatsuya Nakadai are superb as the wealthy shoe magnate forced to choose between his own future or the life of a child, and the dogged chief detective on the case. Many wonderful performances, powerful images and a final act that does not disappoint one bit. Very enthusiastically recommended, and the first 10/10 I have awarded in more than two years.