By Allen Gardner
High And Low (Criterion) Akira Kurosawa’s 1963 adaptation of Ed McBain’s novel King’s Ransom is a multi-layered masterpiece of suspense and one of the best portraits ever of class warfare in post-ww II Japan. Toshiro Mifune stars as a wealthy businessman who finds himself in a moral quandary when his chauffer’s son is kidnapped by ruthless thugs who think the boy is Mifune’s. Beautifully realized on every level. Also available on Blu-ray disc. Bonuses: Commentary by Kurosawa scholar Stephen Prince; Documentary on film’s production; Interview with Mifune from 1984; Trailers and teaser. Widescreen. Dolby and DTS-hd 4.0 surround.
Leon Morin, Priest (Criterion) One of French maestro Jean-Pierre Melville’s rare non-crime-oriented films, starring Jean-Paul Belmondo as a devoted cleric who is lusted after by the women of a small village in Nazi-occupied France. When Fr. Morin finds himself drawn to a