A 1963 film directed by Creator/AkiraKurosawa and starring Creator/ToshiroMifune and Creator/TatsuyaNakadai, based on ''King's Ransom'', an Literature/EightySeventhPrecinct novel by Creator/EdMcBain.
Kingo Gondo (Mifune) is a wealthy executive (the factory manager) for National Shoes. He's caught in a power struggle between a trio of directors who want to wrest control from the company's president, and the autocratic president himself. Behind the scenes, he's arranged a leveraged buyout that will give him control of the company so that he can run it his way. Just as he's committed himself to this course of action, mortgaging everything he has, Gondo is informed that his child Jun has been kidnapped, and the kidnapper demands a ludicrously high ransom.
Gondo is prepared to pay even if it ruins him, but then learns that his son is safe. Instead, the kidnapper has accidentally taken Shinichi, the son of Gondo's chauffeur. Gondo must now struggle with the moral dilemma of either bankrupting himself for another man's child...or letting the child die at the hands of the kidnapper.
While Gondo suffers from this dilemma, and the results of his decision, the police, led by Chief Detective Tokura (Nakadai) attempt to match wits with the kidnapper and bring him to justice.
!!This film provides examples of:
* AccidentalKidnapping: The kidnapper gets confused and winds up taking the chauffeur's son instead of Gondo's.
* AdultFear: Your child being kidnapped? Check. Financial ruin? Double check.
* BigBad: Ginjiro Takeuchi, the mastermind of Shinichi's kidnapping.
* TheBigBoard: The cops in Yokohama have a large map of the city that they use in an effort to puzzle out where the kidnapper called from.
* ChekhovsSkill: Gondo's youth as a cobbler's apprentice comes in handy when the police need to hide something in briefcases.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: The three directors want to take over National Shoes so that they can make gaudy but shoddy products at a high profit, assuming their customers will be easily fooled by advertising. The "Old Man", who is never seen, does not appear to be corrupt, but is autocratic and behind the times.
* CowboysAndIndians: Jun and Shinichi play "Sheriff and Outlaw", then switch roles and outfits; this leads to the wrong boy being kidnapped.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: Gondo's plan to take over National Shoes fails, and he loses all his possessions when his creditors call in his loan. But he gets the cash back when the kidnapper is finally caught, and he gets a chance to start over again with a smaller but better shoe company.
* FaceHeelTurn: Gondo's secretary Kawanishi defects to the side of the directors; he tries to disguise this as a HeelFaceTurn, but Gondo easily sees through it.
* FilmOfTheBook / ForeignRemake: Based on the novel ''[[Literature/EightySeventhPrecinct King's Ransom]]'' by Ed [=McBain=] (pen name of Creator/EvanHunter).
* FreudianExcuse / NoodleIncident: It's hinted that the kidnapper's life has been hellish, including whatever gave him that nasty scar. But he decides not to tell Gondo about it, because he doesn't want to be pitied.
* HonestCorporateExecutive: Gondo, while engaging in some sneaky dealings, wants to produce good quality and stylish shoes at a reasonable price as this will produce more profits in the long run.
* MakeItLookLikeAnAccident: The kidnapper uses as his partners in crime two heroin junkies. He then murders them with heroin overdoses by deliberately giving them 95% pure heroin.
* MoralityChain: Gondo's wife Reiko, at first, and later his son Jun.
* PhoneTraceRace: Police trying to trace the phone calls.
* PoliceProcedural: Particularly in the second part of the film.
* RansomDrop: From a train per the kidnapper's meticulous instructions.
* ScaryShinyGlasses: The kidnapper's sunglasses always manage to have bright light reflecting in them.
* ShoddyKnockoffProduct: At the beginning of the movie, Gondo is being pressured into making crappier, cheaper and absolutely flimsy shoes at the National Shoe to drive up profits. He doesn't warm up to the idea at all.
* SelfMadeMan: Gondo worked his way up from cobbler's apprentice to the position he now occupies, though his marriage to Reiko did give him much more wealth to work with. (And note that this kind of upward social mobility would have been ''extremely'' rare in Japan at the time, making Gondo's moral dilemma even more harrowing.) The fact that he was a leather worker implies that he was not simply poor, but a Burakumin, making his success even more extraordinary.
* SplashOfColor: A plume of pink smoke when the kidnapper disposes of evidence appears in color.
* TrueCraftsman: Gondo cares about making quality shoes, and takes offense when more ethically challenged executives at National Shoes suggest making a deliberately shoddy product.
* TwoActStructure: The first half of the film involves the kidnapping and RansomDrop, which is complicated by Gondo's planned takeover of National Shoes and his reluctance to expose himself to complete financial ruin. The second half of the movie largely leaves Gondo behind and follows the meticulous police investigation that eventually tracks down the kidnapper.
* VillainousBreakdown: The kidnapper breaks down sobbing and tries to swallow a heroin overdose when he is finally caught. And his brave front when he faces Gendo winds up dissolving into hysterical screaming.
* YamatoNadeshiko: Reiko