7.2/10
2,314
24 user 42 critic

Gate of Hell (1953)

Jigokumon (original title)
Approved | | Drama, History, Romance | 10 December 1954 (USA)
A samurai pursues a married lady-in-waiting.

Director:

Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Adventure | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Depicts the early life of the legendary warrior Musashi Miyamoto; his years as an aspiring warrior, an outlaw and finally a true samurai.

Director: Hiroshi Inagaki
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Mariko Okada, Rentarô Mikuni
Drama | Music | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In the War's closing days, when a conscience-driven Japanese soldier fails to get his countrymen to surrender to overwhelming force, he adopts the lifestyle of a Buddhist monk.

Director: Kon Ichikawa
Stars: Rentarô Mikuni, Shôji Yasui, Tatsuya Mihashi
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A man takes a job at an asylum with hopes of freeing his imprisoned wife.

Director: Teinosuke Kinugasa
Stars: Masuo Inoue, Ayako Iijima, Yoshie Nakagawa
Ugetsu (1953)
Drama | Fantasy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A tale of ambition, family, love, and war set in the midst of the Japanese Civil Wars of the sixteenth century.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Stars: Masayuki Mori, Machiko Kyô, Kinuyo Tanaka
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A kabuki theatre-inflected story about a poor village whose people have to be carried to a nearby mountain to die once they get old.

Director: Keisuke Kinoshita
Stars: Kinuyo Tanaka, Teiji Takahashi, Yûko Mochizuki
Kwaidan (1964)
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A collection of four Japanese folk tales with supernatural themes.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Stars: Rentarô Mikuni, Michiyo Aratama, Misako Watanabe
Miss Julie (1951)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Late 19th century. The young miss Julie lives in a mansion with her father. She has recently broken her engagement but is attracted to one of the servants, Jean. They spend the midsummer ... See full summary »

Director: Alf Sjöberg
Stars: Anita Björk, Ulf Palme, Märta Dorff
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Follows a woman's fight and survival amid the vicissitudes of life and the cruelty of the society.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Stars: Kinuyo Tanaka, Tsukie Matsuura, Ichirô Sugai
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Schoolteacher Hisako Oishi forms an emotional bond with her pupils and teaches them various virtues, while at the same time worrying about their future.

Director: Keisuke Kinoshita
Stars: Hideki Gôko, Itsuo Watanabe, Makoto Miyagawa
Black Orpheus (1959)
Drama | Fantasy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, set during the time of the Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro.

Director: Marcel Camus
Stars: Breno Mello, Marpessa Dawn, Lourdes de Oliveira
Jigoku (1960)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A group of sinners involved in interconnected tales of murder, revenge, deceit and adultery all meet at the Gates of Hell.

Director: Nobuo Nakagawa
Stars: Shigeru Amachi, Utako Mitsuya, Yôichi Numata
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The head of a Japanese theatre troupe returns to a small coastal town where he left a son who thinks he is his uncle, and tries to make up for the lost time, but his current mistress grows jealous.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Ganjirô Nakamura, Machiko Kyô, Haruko Sugimura
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Moritoo Endô
...
Kesa
Isao Yamagata ...
Wataru Watanabe
Yatarô Kurokawa ...
Shigemori
Kôtarô Bandô ...
Rokurô
Jun Tazaki ...
Kogenta
Koreya Senda ...
Gen Kiyomori
Masao Shimizu ...
Nobuyori
...
Yachûta
Kenjirô Uemura ...
Masanaka
Gen Shimizu ...
Saburôsuke
Michiko Araki ...
Mano
Yoshie Minami ...
Tone
Kikue Môri ...
Sawa
Ryôsuke Kagawa ...
Yasutada
Edit

Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Most Honored Screen Import in a Decade! See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 December 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gate of Hell  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Visa de contrôle cinématographique France : #15760(subtitled version) or #15760/D (dubbed version). See more »

Quotes

Kesa: [after Moritoo grabs her in a strong embrace] What are you doing?
Moritoo Endô: You refuse no matter what?
Kesa: Yes.
Moritoo Endô: Then I'm ready. You're mine now!
Kesa: No matter what you say, female virtue won't allow it.
Moritoo Endô: Drop your husband. Leave Wataru.
Kesa: I can't do that.
Moritoo Endô: Why can't you? I, Moritoo, will slay Wataru. I won't stop with Wataru. If needed, your aunt too. I might have to kill you too!
Kesa: [the camera moves in for an intense close-up of Kesa] Are you ready to do all that? Do you want me that much?
Moritoo Endô: I want you. I can't live ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Janus Films' re-subtitled version, prepared for video releases, translates Kazuo Hasegawa's name as "Cazuo Hasegawa." See more »

Connections

Referenced in And the Oscar Goes To... (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A gorgeous film - even now
22 April 2006 | by (Orlando) – See all my reviews

I saw this last night on TCM, which, BTW, is a rare treasure in this medium called the "idiot box". Isn't it remarkable that this movie is 53 years old, and it still sparkles? What an accomplishment! It had the ingredients of a truly great film - complex characters that are developed fully and efficiently, great story-telling with attention to details, and good acting - a little stylized, but keep in mind that that impression might be due partially to Westerners unfamiliarity with Japanese culture, and partially to how the definition of "good acting" has evolved.

I love the film's nobility and moral rectitude. Those were the days when (and we were in a culture where) "doing the right thing" was the expected norm. It was seen in Moritoh's loyalty at the price of - at least it seems at the time - expediency, which was preceded by Kesa's unflinching sense of duty and willingness to lay down her own life. This is the beauty of Kesa's "soul" that Moritoh found out all-too-late he failed to see, which manifested itself as bookends in the plot, but is in fact the moral center of the movie. Such ideals are no longer frequently or fully embraced these days. Look at how we glorify criminals in shows like The Sopranos and Thief. I also liked how the plot falls together: Kesa's readiness to sacrifice herself at the outset of the story made her self-immolation at the end of the film ring true. The little details: remember the talk of chestnuts when Moritoh first saw Kesa with her aunt? We saw later on those very chestnuts hanging on the swaying trees during Moritoh's unfortunate night time visit. When Wataru and Kesa took what turned out to be their last walk in the garden under a full moon, it was all peace and serenity. The very same setting is transformed sinister and ominous just moments later, with the moon now hidden by clouds, as Moritoh slowly emerges out of the darkness in the background - a truly masterful and memorable scene in the history of cinema.

The theme of "folly" pervades the movie: we see a lot of it just from one character, Lord Kiyamori - and he's a top dog and a leader! His son had to advise him to act quickly to quash the uprising when we first see him. He then failed to reward Kesa, who is every bit as deserving as Moritoh of recognition. Even if you chalk that failure up to be culturally driven, we have his Jephthah-like stupidity and arrogance in giving Moritoh pretty much carte-blanche in his wish for a reward. What's more, we have his incessant and insensitive teasing - instrumental in precipitating the tragedy, in that it made the proud Moritoh all the more determined to have Kesa. Was Wataru cowardly, foolish, or both, when he "threw" the race? Lest you missed it, there's the cruel irony of Moritoh's comment after his brother's treachery resulted in his execution, "My brother was a foolish man". Well you proved to be no Solomon, Moritoh.

I thought it was a little frustrating to watch Kesa's helplessness when Moritoh blackmailed her. Surely there's another way out, woman! But I suppose that's part of the tragic theme: all the characters had strengths as well as tragic flaws. At the risk of second-guessing the director of a great movie, I felt that he could have kept the identity of the person in bed a secret until the moment of truth, but I'm sure I need to remind myself that this is not meant to be a thriller. I'd like to watch this movie again, maybe along with a movie it reminds me of: Kurosawa's Ran.


11 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?