In Kabuki style, the film tells the story of a remote mountain village where the scarcity of food leads to a voluntary but socially-enforced policy in which relatives carry 70-year-old ... See full summary »
After falling in love with a courtesan, Rikiya is blinded by ash during a fight in a brothel. Believing the blindness permanent and his opponent dead, Rikiya goes back home to his sister. ... See full summary »
Shiba, a wandering ronin, encounters a band of peasants who have kidnapped the daughter of their dictatorial magistrate, in hopes of coercing from him a reduction in taxes. Shiba takes up ... See full summary »
In 1160, in the Heian Period, Lord Kiyomori travels with his court to another feud and his Castle Sanjo is invaded by two other lords, in a coup. The loyal samurai Moritoh Enda asks the court lady Kesa to pose of the lord's sister to create a diversion while the lord's real sister and his father flee in the middle of the people. Then Moritoh travels to meet Lord Kiyomon and fights with him to defeat the enemies and the coup fails. Lord Kiyomon rewards the warriors that helped him and when he asks Moritoh what he wishes, he requests to marry Kesa. The lord grants his wish but soon he learns that Kesa is married with Wataru Watanabe, a samurai from the imperial guard. Moritoh harasses Kesa and threatens her, promising to kill her husband, her aunt and her if she does not marry him. Kesa's decision leads the trio to a tragic fate. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I saw this film in 1970 or 1971 in New York and have remembered it ever since. We came in late to a double feature and didn't see the title--I have been unsure of it all these years. It features impressive battle scenes, a heart-wrenching love story and beautiful cinematography. It is also the first film I ever saw that depicted medieval Japanese culture in all its glory. The beautifully photographed compound of the shogun is, by itself, worth the price of admission. There are many interior shots, showing beautiful rooms with sliding screens that figure in the plot. Now I would dearly love to see Gate of Hell again, but apparently it is not available on DVD. Criterion, here is a worthy quest for you!!
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